1) The highly commercialized Valentines Day is hardly a blip on the radar here. No heart candies or roses are even to be found at my local grocery stores - the day before V-day! I read a statistic that only 1 in 5 Dutchies celebrate it, and 90% think it’s a stupid commercial holiday - I would have to agree!
2) When you’re online shopping, you don’t fill up your “Shopping Cart”; you fill up your Winkelwagen. This will never get old to me. The idea of filling a cute little wagon just makes me delighted... ok, enough.
3) The Dutch really care about avoiding food waste. There’s a restaurant here called Instock which prepares every single delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner entirely from food that would otherwise be thrown away by local grocers. There are also two different iOS apps called TooGoodToGo and ResQ which alerts app users to food that will otherwise get thrown away by restaurants and allows you to purchase it instead. Good stuff.
4) Dutch pea soup is called snert. Yes, snert.
5) The word “hoor” is used liberally and often indiscriminately at the end of Dutch sentences (and no it doesn’t mean what it sounds like in English). It means something along the lines of ‘you know’, or ‘yeah right’ or ‘sure enough’ or ‘no certainly not’ – you get the picture. It’s extremely multifaceted, but the best thing about it is that you can use the word sarcastically, too.
6) Despite cheese of seemingly every variety being sold every 5 feet, cheddar and many other types are not a thing here. Goat cheese is common. Sharing a link here so you can get a better understanding of the varieties available, as they are quite different than back home in the US! https://www.thespruce.com/guide-to-dutch-cheese-varieties-m…
7) There’s a Dutch saying that goes “Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg,” which literally means “just behave normally, it’s crazy enough!” The Dutch consider modesty and being down-to-earth as important traits and arrogance/pretentiousness is considered a high crime in Holland. Quite a bit different from some current American attitudes of entitlement (ahem, Trump!) Consequentially, Dutch businesses tend to be flat with leadership based on merit, competence and achievements.
8 ) Dutch love to eat herring and you can find it everywhere - even on the street corner walking to work. My personal favorite: herring dip on salty crackers. Yum!
9) You can string diseases together to make expletives in Dutch. For example, if my moronic self accidentally walks in front of a bicycle (easy to do here, you have no idea), the cyclist may call me a “kankertyfushoer” (which means a cancer typhoid whore). Fortunately, my Dutch is still so poor that I am not even aware of the lovely things I’ve likely been called. Joke’s on you, Mr Cyclist!
10) If something tastes delicious - for example, you are really enjoying that cod for dinner - the Dutch say “it’s like an angel is peeing on my tongue” (Alsof er een engeltje over je tong piest). Try using that back at home!
(Photo taken outside of our new home and @rivertheadventuredog is loving it!)