Dutch Invading Scotland

Dutch Invading Scotland

Once you have become familiar with the sounds of the Dutch language in any way it becomes a very easy language to recognize and once you can recognize it you will realize it is impossible to escape the Dutch. They are everywhere. No matter which far away country you run to you will find them or they will find you.

This was something I was reminded of during my holiday to Scotland last summer. Everywhere I went the Dutch were there and I don’t just mean this because I was traveling with my Dutch girlfriend.

At first it did not come as a surprise when we heard Dutch amongst the other multitude of languages being spoken in our Edinburgh and Glasgow hostels. We did not go a single day without hearing the familiar throat clearing sound of the Dutch language from unknown Dutch people.

However, when we went even higher north into the highlands of Fort Williams and we were still hearing Dutch I started to wonder if I should get a restraining order.

One evening while we were enjoying a quite meal in an Indian restaurant I spotted a couple approaching the menu in the window for a read. From the way the man was dressed I got the strong impression that he was Dutch. I quickly dismissed this theory since it was possible that fashion had simply gotten that colorful and that bad in the rest of the world.

However, I quickly discovered I was right the first time when a short while later they entered the restaurant and spoke to the waiter in an accent so thick that I thought they were about to order a tandoori stamppot (I breathed a sigh of relief for the fashion sense of the rest of the world).

The following day we visited Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland. I felt pretty confident that it would be just us, some sheep and the odd Scotsman. We had not been at the summit for five minutes before I heard a child shouting, “Mama, kijk,” several times as he expressed his absolute surprise (and maybe fear) at being (a) above sea level and (b) on a vertically inclining surface steeper and higher than a speed bump (more commonly known as a hill).

Maybe that was it. Maybe we had never actually arrived in Scotland. Maybe we were actually in some rare part of Holland that had hills.

During the train trip from Scotland to London (which was starting to feel more and more like it was for the purposes of escaping the Dutch) we were still surrounded by Dutch couples speaking their native tongue.

By the time we arrived in London to stay with my parents I had heard so much Dutch that I would not have battered an eye lash if they had greeted us with, “Dag. Hoe gaat het?”

26 responses to “Dutch Invading Scotland”

  1. Anita says:

    They have to travel abroad – they wouldn’t fit all in the country.

  2. Aledys Ver says:

    :o) A restraining order!! Another great post, Stu. Funny how you can indeed recognize them from the way they dress, or the way they wear their hair! :o) And well, what more did you need, if they were checking the menu list AND the prices before going into the restaurant?

    Still, I think I win! :o) You found Dutch people in Scotland – ok, it’s almost as far north as you can go in Europe, but it’s still Europe.
    I was in the Andes at 3200 mts above sea level (I win again hahahaha) there was absolutely nothing there, except for us (hubby and I)the vastness of the landscape and maybe a lama or two. While we were enjoying the utter silence and the view, a car pull up and out came these tourists and said “buenos días” with a strong accent to us and then immediately to one another they remarked pointing at the landscape: “wat mooi, zeg!” :o)

  3. Lopa says:

    How gaat het? Really How gaat het? hehehe ;o)

    Hoe gaat het Mr. Stuart? :o) Alles Goed? ;o)

    When we were driving in Scotland, we were laughing on the same, we even played counting cars driving ahead of us with NL number plate ! haha

  4. Invader Stu says:

    Anita – I had not thought of it like that. I think you are right.

    Aledys Ver – Ok. You win :p I’m actully starting to think they send Dutch people to follow us when we go on holiday, to make sure all the expats come back.

    Lopa – I never said they would be great at Dutch :p We didn’t check for NL licence plates. We should have done that.

  5. Alison says:

    Maybe there’s some sort of exchange program, particularly since the Scots and Dutch share some similar words and throat-clearing sounds. There’s a sign for a neighborhood of Glasgow hanging in the bar I go to here in Utrecht.

    If it helps any, we keep running into Italians everywhere we go, even today. I think the Italians get around as much as the Dutch!

  6. Jase says:

    I started a new job yesterday, and my boss’s husband is Dutch. Even in Australia, we can’t escape the Dutch!! :)

  7. Iooryz says:

    According to popular belief, some hills are hidden in the south of the Netherlands.

  8. melissa says:

    Hilarious..I haven’t traveled much out of NL yet for vaca but I’ll be on the listen for it when I do..ha.

  9. Lopa says:

    ROFL @ pics…. i missed those first time, or did you just upload them later?
    hehehehaha…. Still laughing… :D

  10. Invader Stu says:

    Alison – Maybe the Italians also have an exchange program with the Dutch

    Jase – you can leave Holland but Holland never leaves you

    Iooryz – I demand proof :p

    melissa – You wont be able to miss it when you do :p

    Lopa – I sneaked them in later. I only got the idea after I already posted the rest.

  11. Gez says:

    I can vouch for Looryz. I’ve been to the Three-Country point (the junction of Dutch, Belgian and German borders), and it is indeed on top of a hill. If you call 322m above sea level a hill…
    Plenty of tourists from all over were there. Including a German who couldn’t (or more likely wouldn’t) work out that “Een euro tachtig” was actually “ein euro achtzig”.

  12. Invader Stu says:

    So what you are saying is they are really hills the Dutch have stolen from Belgium and Germany… just kidding :p

  13. Sarah says:

    Great post! I was in Scotland recently and relieved not to run into any Dutch … but I did share an elevator with four dutchies in Singapore! I was so tempted to say Hoi!, hoe gaat het? because they were going on and on in Dutch and the men were checking out my friends boobs.

  14. kerryanne says:

    Oh this is so true!!! Everywhere we go- no matter how remote and far removed we think we are (me and my Dutch better half)…there they are! haha

    Small cafe at the table right next to us in a tiny village in Italy where we saw not one other traveler for days? Check. Remote area of Viet Nam, not another westerner for miles? Check.

  15. Dragonlady says:

    I have heard Dutch spoken in my local chemist and we do not live in a tourist area.
    If you remember Stuart you have climed the hills in Maastricht

  16. Keith says:

    I’m begining to think you’ve got some sort of obsessive disorder about Dutch people. Perhaps you ought to have a chat with a “psychiater”. Very soon?

  17. gyqz says:

    Hahahahahahahahahaha Tandoori stamppot….Couldn’t help myself laughing reading this!! As a dutch guy myself I find it very sickening coming across other dutch people everywhere I go….It is not the purpose of my travelling to seek out and meeting other dutch folk!!! If I wanted to do that, I would save money and just stay here…homebound…restrained …hahahahha. On the other hand : where ever I go I’m sure I can buy a ‘broodje kroket’ when I get the urge…hahahahaha
    De groeten…

  18. VallyP says:

    I’m a bit late here, Stu, but boy was it worth the wait…I LOVE this post..brilliant! And the photos…classic!! I’ve had similar experiences in SA too, and have started wondering whether my Dutch conspiracy theory is really true…have I told you about that? No? Ahaaaaaa, all will be revealed….

  19. Invader Stu says:

    Sarah – Oh you should have said it. It’s so funny in situations like that when people get busted.

    kerryanne – It gets a little scary sometimes doesn’t it.

    Dragonlady – They stole that one from Germany :p

    Keith – Me? I’m not obsessed with the Dutch. They are just every where. EVERY WHERE I TELL YOU!!!! MAhahaha.

    gyqz – It must make it feel like you’ve not actually gone on holiday sometimes.

    VallyP – I have to work out why some of your comments have got put into my spam folder :s

    I think you are right about the conspiracy theory. In fact I think they are getting into strategic places around the globe. Ready to strike.

  20. Just a Plane Ride Away says:

    All right. I’ve been in England less than 12 hours and haven’t heard a word of Dutch yet. Will keep my ears open ;-)

  21. Invader Stu says:

    Give it time :p

  22. Jules says:

    LOL! I thought it was just me! (Also went to Scotland last summer)

  23. Invader Stu says:

    Jules – The Dutch follow everyone on holiday

  24. Joeri says:

    We didn’t steal shit from the krauts, those foucking douchebags stole everything we had.
    by the way there are hills in holland, al lot of hills you should take a look in Limburg a provence in the south-east.
    and if you ever had history in school you should remember that during the period of 1600-1700 we ruled the world thats wy we’re everywhere and if you dont like it, well there is nothing you can do about it we wont leave just because you say so :P in fact if you say you dont like us being there we’ll phone in some relatives and buy the houses surrounding you ;) hahaha

  25. Londoner says:

    The Dutch love to travel and love Scotland, very true. And there’s a popular saying that there’s three things you will come across in any given country: Coca-cola, McDonald’s and Dutch people.

  26. yolandesign says:

    I’m Dutch. And yes, our family just loves Scotland! Wish i could live there! And boy, do we hate to see and hear Dutch people everywhere! Everytime we hear Dutch coming, we whisper to each other: “Code Orange!” and we keep very quiet! :)

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