Oh, The Places You'll Go!!!

In celebration of my new found intelligence and reaching the perfect midpoint to my life (yes, I intend to live till I’m 100) here are50 things I’ve learned about living in The Netherlands.. so far. *Remember, I’ve been here less than one year.

1.    Most everyone in The Netherlands speaks English so there’s no need to ask Rosetta for help. At least not yet!

2.    Shopping carts can go sideways and are designed that way to help give your arms a workout at the market.

3.    Always keep your change. Some of those are 1 and 2 E a piece.

4.    Knowing how to drive a stick shift is a good thing. Ya never know.. just saying!

5.    Pot is not legal (at least that’s my knowledge for this week)

6.    Coffee shops offer more than coffee.

7.    Saying hello or good bye to a friend.. pucker up! Right, left, right or is it left, right, left? Not sure just trying not to hit anyone on the lips.

8.    Let Op is a good sign to know when driving… especially if there’s a picture of someone on a bike below it.

9.    Drinking age is 16.

10.Taxes are up the ying yang, so get your ying and your yang on that city bus.

11.It was easy to find my Dr. I was assigned to the same Dr. as everyone in my neighborhood.

12.My dentist does not believe in Novocain … but he now understands that I do!!!

13.When looking for a house to buy or lease be prepared for the home owner to be home while you’re looking at their house. They also love to take you on a guided tour. Makes it difficult to point out the new blue carpet from 1950 is just not your taste.

14.When you walk into a Dutch home you will be greeted by a coat closet and a bathroom (usually with cold running water only).

15.Coffee is part of a balanced diet.

16.French fries with mayo is also a major food group.

17.Dutch stairs are like climbing Mount Everest. Take a flag with you and jam it into the ground when you reach the top.

18.Coming downstairs requires you to take off your socks unless you feel the need to visit the local hospital.

19.Driving age is 18.

20.I’m living below sea level.

21.The Dutch are ingenious at figuring out how to fit things into small spaces.

22.Biking is not only great exercise it’s a means for transportation. I can’t wait to get mine!!

23.If you are a Queen, the whole country will celebrate your birthday! Nice!!

24.Orange is not the new black it’s The Netherland’s color and they all wear it with pride!

25.Using a fork and a knife at the same time to eat. No fingers allowed.

26.Graffiti is cool if done in the right places. Love that Berenkuil!

27.There’s no getting away from the rain. You just have to embrace it and enjoy the green wonderful life it brings.

28.Listening to the radio or tv is difficult in Dutch but 4 letter words translate just fine and they are not afraid to use them.

29.It’s ok to pee outside, especially if the city provides you with the outdoor urinals right in the middle of the town centrum.

30.Lunches and dinners may take up to 3 hours or more.

31.Tipping is usually a very small amount if any at all.

32.Just because you are driving down a main road does not mean you have the right of way. Watch out for the shark teeth or lack of teeth.

33.While driving if someone taps their forehead with their fingers he’s telling you that you are a stupid driver and what were you thinking. I know this because I used this signal today when a man tried to back his car into my car and blame it on me.

34. Speeding tickets come in the mail and there is no way to bat your eyes and talk your way out of them.

35.Joining groups with women from all over the world has been one of the best choices of my life. These women are brave, intelligent and oh so much fun!!!

36.The hamburgers here are horrible! If you try one don’t say I didn’t warn you!

37.I’ve really taken an interest in art. I enjoy the history and learning about the different styles and artist. And… I’ve enjoyed picking up a paint brush and painting a few things myself.

38.The Doors here are amazing! Are they leading somewhere and calling to us to open them. I just want to open up and take a peek. They are all so unique and interesting.

39.The flowers and scenery are beautiful. It’s shocking to see field after field flooded with the colors of the tulips.

40.Watching the people skate on the canals when they froze over was amazing! I will get skates before that happens again! One area right by us someone had shoveled out into the snow on the canal…. WINTER 2012. There was not one other foot print around. Very cool!

41.For 2 E you can enjoy an afternoon of wonderful music at the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven. Go with a good friend to lunch and then the concert and you have the perfect afternoon. Lunchpauzeconcert!

42. Within 20-30 minutes I can be in Belgium at one of my favorite places, Postel Belgium. A monastery with Monk beer and cheese! So enjoyable.

43.A canal ride through Amsterdam is a very interesting and enjoyable experience. I love listening to them talk about the city.

44.The beauty of a windmill still shocks me. The perfect blades, slowly moving through the winds of time.

45.Carnival is CRAZY but Fun!

46.Churches are closing all over The Netherlands. People just aren’t going to church like they used to. I find this incredibly sad. Church is a good thing no matter what religion you are. I’ve heard stories from people all over the world saying… I don’t have to be in a church to talk to God. That is so true. But God is asking us to give up one hour a week and come and put our prayers together and to be together to hear his word. Anyway, It breaks my heart the beautiful churches that are standing empty here.

47.My favorite place to view the flowers is the Keukenhof.

48.I cannot wait to go to the Kinderdijk to see the windmills.

49.Roundabouts are not ment to drive you crazy but to get you going in the right direction a little faster.

50.On a sunny day it’s perfectly normal to throw the windows open and air out your bed linins. I truly enjoy this and will continue to do this forever.

With the passing of midnight here in The Netherlands, I am now 50. That has always sounded really old. Now… I’m beginning to think I’m just getting started. To all my friends that are turning 50 this year. Congratulations! We're doing great!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!


  1. What a bunch of great information and insights. I do hope i can find a reasonably priced ticket and come over in July!

  2. Congrats on turning 50! Great blog post. :)

  3. great job. Another great blog. I always look forward to reading them

  4. So true! Have a great day. Big hug.xx

    1. Thank you so much Marie-France!! I'm so glad we met the other day.

  5. Fantastic post. I was laughing so hard at some of them-- the urinals, the flag up the stairs, the driving versus drinking ages, the 2E change... But mostly seeing Amsterdam through your eyes, ahhh I want to go visit it soon, sounds like a wonderful place.

    Happy birthday, Lisa. Here's to the next 50! Cheers :)

  6. One more thing? I find that I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the wonderful blogs I follow if I don't do it by email (my Reader is hopelessly overwhelmed). Would you consider adding a "follow by email" widget to your blog, pretty please? Blogger has a handy-dandy one, very easy to find and add :)

    1. Absolutly.. if I knew how to do that:) Somehow I don't have the widget thing down yet. I'll try to find your e mail and send you mine as well.. maybe you can help:)

  7. 'Embracing the rain' ... Apparently you haven't been here very long :-)

    Don't practice nr. 33. too often, it can be dangerous (some people have short fuses).

    1. You are so right!One guy got really pissed when he tried to jam his car in front of mine on the highway. There was no room between me and the semi in front of me. He ended up having to exit onto another highway.. which I know for a fact that there is not an exit to be seen for miles. I'm sure he was late for work and sure that he blamed me for his poor driving skills. :) I of course was right on time. A freakish habit of mine.


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