1) The Netherlands sometimes goes by the name Holland for tax reasons.
2) Holland is not below sea level. The sea is above Holland level.
3) The word ‘gezellig’ was successfully translated into English in 1982 but the Dutch government covered it up.
4) Everyone in Holland wears clogs. The sound of thousands of people walking in wooden shoes on the city’s concrete streets is deafening.
5) Tulips have become intelligent and are slowly taking over the country one field at a time.
6) Everyone in Holland lives in a windmill… apart from those who don’t… who aren’t really Dutch.
7) The Dutch consider hills to be as mythical as unicorns and fairies. They laugh at anyone with such geological beliefs.
8) None of the cannabis in Amsterdam is real. Tourists are getting stoned by the placebo effect.
9) If you drain all the canals of Amsterdam you will find the remains of an ancient lost city (and a lot of bikes) underneath.
10) The reclaiming of land from the sea is mainly down to the Dutch being very OCD.
11) Dutch drop was first invented as a way of uncovering German spies during World War II. It was the uncontrollable facial expressions of shock and horror upon experiencing the extreme salty taste that identified them as not being Dutch.
12) Raw herring was first served in Holland due to a miss translation in a cookbook. Since then it has become hugely popular throughout the entire country. No one has had the heart to point out the mistake to the Dutch.
What to know more? Check out more lies about the Dutch and the English:
- Lies about the Dutch
- More Lies about the Dutch
- Even More Lies About The Dutch
- Some More Lies About The Dutch
- Lies about the English
- More Lies about the English
The other day I physically attacked a waitress. I didn’t mean for it to happen. She certainly didn’t deserve it. She had been polite, she hadn’t kept us waiting for long and she had even gotten our order correct. But I attacked her anyway… but not intentionally.
It all happened in a small cafe in Amsterdam as I had lunch with two friends. I was in the middle of telling a joke. It wasn’t a particularly funny joke in hindsight but I was being very animated while telling it. Unfortunately, as I threw my hands into the air to tell the punch line I was unaware of the waitress walking up behind me holding two cups of mint tea (which we had ordered).
What happened next happened extremely fast so I will slow the text down, allowing you to properly follow the full sequence of events.
As I threw my hands into the air I felt one of them suddenly connect with something hard. This was followed by a sudden gasp from everyone in the cafe.
I quickly spun around in my chair to see that I had just punched a glass tea cup out of the waitresses hand and propelled it across the room. In a panic I reached out to grab the airborne tea cup but I was too late. It was already out of reach and flying towards a table of two now very nervous looking business men.
This also meant that instead of grabbing the tea cup (which was still in flight) I awkwardly grabbed the waitresses now empty hand, throwing her off balance. Suddenly the tea cup in her other hand was sent flying in the opposite direction as she started to stumble backwards.
I quickly tried to reach out again, this time to stop her from falling. At least that had been my intention. Due to my general lack of coordination I only made matters worse. Instead of reaching out a helping hand and steadying her I unintentionally pushed her down the small flight of stairs that lead up to our table.
The contents of tea cup number one narrowly missed landing in the business man’s lap. Tea cup number two landed with a smash on the wooden floor and the waitress landed with a thump on her butt.
Everything was suddenly still again… To everyone in that small cafe it had just looked like I’d disapprovingly pushed the tea away and shoved the waitress down the stairs for bringing me such a unsatisfactory beverage.
My friends looked shocked. The waitress looked shaken. The business men looked relieved. I looked at the door and wondered how quickly I could make my escape. However, retreat was not an option because not only would it have been impolite and rude but the fallen waitress was between me and the door.
Luckily (for me and for her) the waitress was alright. She was quickly back on her feet and trying to make sense of what had just happened as I blurted out an embarrassed apology the way only an Englishman can (to both her and the business man who had almost been covered in boiling water and mint leafs).
For the rest of lunch I sat very still, not daring to move my arms. The waitress brought us two new teas. This time she announced her approach just to be safe. I occasionally apologised again just to make sure that everyone was aware it had really, really been an accident (and not some violent outburst). They seemed to believe me but kept their distance.
I’ve not been back to the cafe since.. just to be safe.
May your New Year Day hangovers be kind.
I’d like to say a great big thank you to everyone for another great year. Thank you so much for all your support and for making writing so much fun. Without you this blog would not be half of what it has become.
And now that the year has comes to a close lets look back at some of the blogging highlights from the last twelve months:
- How I Sound When Speaking Dutch
- You Know It’s Summer in Holland When…
- Circle Party Closed Loop Theroy
- The Greatest Mystery of All
- More Warning Signs That You Are Becoming Dutch
- The Red Room
Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year.
It was early in the morning and I was still half asleep. The train I was sitting in was already running late because of either a engine malfunction, leaves on the track or a space time anomaly. I was not sure which because, after all, I was still half asleep. The important thing to know was that it meant we were arriving in Amsterdam ten minutes later than normal.
Being on a delayed train can sometimes be quite funny. You’ll often hear quite a few people chuckling to themselves. Not because the train is delayed (as that would suggest they have lost their minds) but because of the unintentionally funny apologies often made by the train conductors. On trains to Amsterdam especially they will often try to make their announcements in both English and Dutch, with varying degrees of success. In fact, they will sometimes be half way through a sentence when they suddenly realise that it has all got a little too complicated. That will be the moment when they just randomly grab at any English word that comes to mind in a panic. However, this morning the train conductor decided to deal with it a little differently.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Unfortunately we have arrived in Amsterdam…”
He suddenly paused. We waited. It went on for a while… And then, he simply decided to abandon the sentence.
“Have a nice day.”
It had almost been possible to hear him thinking over the intercom. I think the words he had been looking for were, “with a delay of 10 minutes,” but we will never know for sure. It is entirely possible that he just really does not like Amsterdam.