Disclaimer! The following post might/will annoy and offend some people. It’s from a Shallow Dutchman who has some rather controversial views. Don’t shoot the exceptionally well-dressed messenger!
Dear Shallow Man,
I was lucky to be born in one of the richest countries in the world, claiming total freedom for every citizen. Yet, this seemingly ideal place has not particularly lead to free-thinking inhabitants. I was not planning on writing to you, but after reading a handful of your articles I couldn’t resist it. Your notes on Dutch people are so very accurate that they were painful to read. Being highly jealous of the English sarcasm and knowing I will never reach that level, I will just stick to a few fun facts from the point of view of a Dutchman who has been with women from The Netherlands but also many other countries. Do whatever you want to do with it.
I will share some of my thoughts about the Dutchies, and in particular, about Dutch girls, as their behaviour intrigues me. I have been together for some time with my lovely German girlfriend, and before that with Dutch girls, and a few other nationalities, so I think I can say I have a rather broad perspective.
What you will find below are my own observations, my girlfriend’s anecdotes, as well as situations described by foreign friends and foreign hitchhikers that I took driving to my girlfriend in Germany.
1. Doe maar gewoon normaal
I live in Utrecht, perhaps the city with the most beautiful women in the Netherlands. Surprisingly, even on a warm spring day, the number of women dressing up or wearing make-up is as frequently present as the English football team in the world cup finals. Also, it is easier to find bare skin on a teddy bear than on an average Dutch girl.
Recently I had an eye operation giving me temporary double vision. However, I couldn’t keep track of my progression back to normal vision because everyone was wearing the same clothes and accessories. I really wish I was a designer of yellow raincoats, leopard print or Herschel bags! Unfortunately, at least as a guy, the choice of your shoes seems to be as important as being charismatic.
It is fascinating how parties have a constant threat of ending in a circle of death. You will find this phenomenon even in bars, where groups of 15 people stand in circles and give you an angry look if you try to move to the other side of the bar and happen to cross the group. If you are looking to meet new people your best bet is to go to a music festival, where MDMA reminds us that we ultimately are a social species.
I still haven’t found a place called ‘why?’ If you have just shaken the hand of a girl, while trying to maximize your distance to not provoke any suspicions, and ask her where she lives, the answer is usually: ‘why?’
I have loved all the examples on your blog. In theory, we have complete freedom of speech. Unless, of course, you have the wrong opinion. If your opinion that mass immigration may not be the best idea for our future, and support it with proper research, you risk getting stabbed by bakfiets-riding white fathers and mothers that just picked up their kids from a white school. ‘doe ff normaal joh!!’
Another freedom that we have is to travel everywhere we want. How this freedom is actually applied is best represented by the recent quote of a Dutch girl on a plane to Colombia:
“I actually wanted to go to the Phillippines, but all my friends have been to Colombia”.
We have the freedom to find our partners by love. Both Dutch guys and girls are incredibly bad at flirting. A random smile on the streets is so rare that when you exchange one, you should seriously consider bringing in the other party for further scientific research. Instead of working on their flirting skills, Dutch girls have perfectioned the mimics of Kermit the Frog. This ability is mostly observed in the case of eye contact at traffic lights.
We have the freedom to go out for a spontaneous adventure, but in practice, it is hard to make an appointment with most people (mainly couples) in the next three months. I find it more accurate to describe this social strangulation as a Truman Show.
3. The weather
The weekends of most Dutchies are so incredibly lively, and we are so open to each other, that we immediately start talking about the weather when asked how our weekend has been.
4. The Dutch girl’s emancipation crisis
As you mentioned before Dutch girls claim they are the most liberated in the world and, despite the facts, arguing about that is a useless waste of energy. Demanding the same salary (after giving birth and not working for one year) as a man their age is, of course, completely logical. In my experience, Dutch girls are the only ones in the world that can be truly interested in you and at the same time tell you that the earliest they can meet is in three weeks.
Dutch girls seem to be so obsessed with reaching the same goals as men that, when they finally have their career and have you cooking and ironing, they have to look for a new identity. Here, the Dutchmen are also to blame. Many of them seem to be completely fine with their girlfriends answering their phones, saying to your friends that ‘we’ already have plans, and with handing over their own agendas.
Flirting, in many countries a prime ability of women, seems to be regarded to as some kind of disease (see point 1). We are as good at it as Donald Trump is in being charismatic. It is, therefore, a much better idea to really get to know a guy on the Tinder chat after he couldn’t resist that photo of you with children from Africa or those photos from the 2-month trip in which ‘you saw everything’ in South America.
I feel quite liberated that I have gathered these insights about the Dutchies. At least now I regularly catch myself with typical Dutch behaviour. To have friends and girlfriends from outside The Netherlands is the best way to get to know yourself.
Hope you had a good laugh, that you recognized some of this stuff and have a good day.
No Dutch tourists taking selfies with African children were hurt during the writing of this post.
Infamous blogger, annoyance and self-confessed Shallow Man. Simon is a British expat who has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. As well as writing this blog, Simon also has a YouTube channel of the same name, writes and directs videos and hosts seminars about life in the Netherlands. He also works as a content marketing and SEO specialist.