Ever had a funny, disorientating or downright weird experience as an international living in the Netherlands?
You are not alone.
Life as a newcomer in the Netherlands never ceases to amaze – just when you think stuff won’t get any wackier then things get turned up a notch or two.
This time in the podcast a collection of random stories I’ve gathered over the past few months since I started making the show.
Unlinked and yet strangely interconnected by the wonderful world which is our collective Dutch experience.
Hilarious stories of international life in the Netherlands.
Podcast: Here in Holland – Weird and Weirder
The podcast has a range of great stories this time. Take Luke, a British guy living in Amsterdam. Like most internationals he is keen to hone his cycling skills in the Netherlands. So, imagine his embarrassment when ending up mounting the pavement on his bike and accidentally head-butting an old man.
“There was lorry coming the wrong way down the street and I had to swerve to avoid being hit – there was nothing I could do,” says Luke.
“I ended up having to go up on the pavement and crashed into an old man head-butting him in the face. He swore at me profusely and I just kept on trying to say it wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could do.”
In the end the old man was ok, apart from the shock of having a young British guy literally in his face of course.
Surprise – it’s a cremation
When Molly from the US was trying to improve her Dutch she made friends with a lovely little old lady in her eighties who didn’t speak much English.
A perfect way to learn more about Dutch culture and practice her Dutch skills.
So, Molly was explaining about surprise parties in her best Dutch – verrassings feesten (surprise parties) she said, or thought she said. The little old lady heard – verassings feesten, which means cremation parties. Only one ‘r’ less but a world of difference in meaning and probably not the best topic to talk to little old ladies about.
“Yeah it’s only one letter difference but I guess my pronunciation was not so great and she was totally confused. She probably still thinks to this day that Americans jump out with balloons and streamers at cremations,” said Molly.
And Ruba from Palestine was totally confused by coffeeshops when she first arrived.
“We knew that you could buy cannabis from a menu – but we thought it was just an item on a menu in a restaurant. You know, like always on the menu in all restaurants. We had no idea there were special coffeeshops with their own menus for cannabis. It was a big surprise.”
“What was also really weird is that we were told it was not allowed to smoke a cigarette in a coffeeshop, only weed. I’m mean, why???”
To hear these stories in their full glory listen to the latest podcast. There are other stories too about language mix ups, more cycling mayhem and total disbelief about missing floors in rental apartments.
Here in Holland is a podcast in English about life in the Netherlands – it’s produced by Andy Clark – contact him via email@example.com or Facebook – website – you can subscribe to get all the podcasts in via your iPhone podcast app or your Android app of choice. Or follow on Soundcloud