Going Dutch

Being Dutch has always been something that I am incredibly proud of. My Dutch heritage is something I flaunt, and even though I have an English AND a Dutch passport, when someone asks my nationality, my reply is always “Dutch, but I was born in England”.

I feel that living in England my whole life has made me miss out on a lot of Dutch traditions, but my mum does her best to teach me them, so today, on King’s Day (or “Koningsdag”), I’m wearing pretty much all Orange. The rest of Holland will be doing it too, and no matter how many people complain that my jeans are too bright, I am NOT taking them off.
 
 
  King’s Day in Holland is the celebration of our King’s birthday. It tends to involve everyone getting horrifically drunk and partying on the streets… I’m planning on being in Amsterdam next year to join the party!

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Over the few days before Easter, I was lucky enough to make a quick trip over to Holland to visit some of my family. When you think of Holland, what do you think of? Amsterdam’s Red Light District? Or the soft drugs available on every street corner? I tend to think of tulips and cheese and bicycles, but that’s just me!

Yes, yes they are. Source
While I was in Holland, I visited the famous Keukenhof – it’s a beautiful garden filled with rows upon rows of flowers. I have NEVER seen that amount of flowers in one place, but it was truly beautiful!


 
I also had a very scrumptious waffle at lunch, like that fatty that I am ;)


I really would suggest that everyone has to visit Holland at some point in their lives, so here are a few hints and tips if you do!

1.       Don’t attempt to speak Dutch. We WILL laugh at you and reply in English!
2.       Don’t eat ‘drop’. It’s the Dutch version of liquorice. It can be recognized by its colour: black. The taste is a blend between earwax and black paint. The Dutch absolutely adore it and eat many, many kilos of it. There is a nationwide conspiracy to look at the faces of foreigners that were made to believe the stuff is actually edible.
3.       The Dutch do NOT like spending money (they would rather cut off an ear). They will love you forever if you give them something for free.
4.       If you ever want to have a cheese sandwich, do NOT cut the cheese with a knife. You will be forever hated, looked-down upon and ridiculed. We have an incredible invention known as a ‘kaasschaaf’, which slices the cheese in thin slices.
5.       A typical meal in Holland includes ‘een patatje met’ (chips with mayo) and ‘kroketten’. These don’t exist anywhere but Holland, and are the most delicious food in the world. They’re basically breaded food, stuck in a deep-fryer and eaten hot… there’s nothing better!
 
This is 'Kroket met patat'
6.       There is a fast and fool-proof way of embarrassing yourself in Holland. Enter a coffeeshop and ask for a cappuccino. Coffeeshops – remember this – DON’T sell coffee! (They do however have a large variety of stimulating products… If you know what I mean.)

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 7.       And, most importantly – the Dutch are the most kind and hospitable people. The Dutch may talk your head off, but they are truly kind-hearted. If you ever meet a Dutch person in or outside Holland, there is no shadow of a doubt that they will have a smile to share.
 
Let me know if you’ve ever been to Holland, or are planning on going! I’d love to hear. Don’t forget to email me on marieke@wonderlandclothing.com , or you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr!


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