January 09, 2015

15 Ways to Brace Yourself for Eurosonic Noorderslag

As ticketscript becomes increasingly international, we still find a way to wander back into the Lowlands. So without further ado, we thought the upcoming of Eurosonic Noorderslag presents a mighty fine opportunity to give you a sneak peek into the habits of the Dutch and tips on dealing with them!

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Introductions
1. Schedule Appointments
Spontaneity may be liked, but it definitely isn’t something commonly practiced. There’s no such thing as just ‘popping by.’ The Dutch are planning advocates, so don’t be surprised if you even catch them scheduling chill time in their calendars. If there’s anyone you’d really like to get some quality time with just make sure you contact them prior to the event so they can include you in their diary!

2. Avoid the Handshake, Go With 3 Kisses
We all have our ways of greeting newcomers, be it a kiss, a handshake, 2 pecks on the cheek or a simple wave of the hand. So do the Dutch. More commonly practiced amongst friends, friends of friends and relatives the Dutch are pretty cheeky – giving not 2, but 3 pecks on the cheek. (Another rumour is they’re nose pickers, so best avoid the handshake anyway)

3. The Weather
If you’re British, then this should be a breeze for you (pun intended). Need a conversation starter? Bring up the weather! Dutch people love it. Take advantage of that watercooler moment and throw in a ‘Mooi weertje, he?’ (Nice weather, eh?’ or a more vile ‘Wat een hondeweer!’ (What sh**weather!). This may actually get you in on a friendly chat with a stranger.
Want to be more impressive? Show off your weather knowledge by downloading Buienradar app – the popular Dutch weather app.

4. Dutch Humour
Tell a joke about the Germans or Belgians and you’re in! They love making jokes at the expense of their two favourite neighbours.If you can remember this one, it will take you far:

A Dutch man sees a man on his knees using his hand to drink water from one of Amsterdam’s canals. He walks up to him and says in Dutch ‘Hey! You can’t drink that water. It’s dirty and will make you sick.’
The tourist shouts back in German: ‘Was sagen sie?’ (What are you saying?)
The Dutch man responds in German: ‘Sie sollen mit zwei hande trinken. Das geht besser!’ (You should use both hands. It’s much better!’)

5. Lekker
There’s no way you’ll get through this festival without hearing the word lekker. Lekker originally refers to food, meaning delicious. But it has grown versatile and now has endless uses. Here are a few examples of its uses:

– Lekkere broodjes → Tasty sandwiches
– Lekker weer → Great weather
– Slaap lekker → Sleep tight

6. Dat Kan Niet
AKA the conversation killer. This means ‘that cannot be done.’ If you’re looking to spark a debate and this phrase is muttered, be sure to accept your loss.

What to Bring
7. Hair Gel
Dutch people are among the highest consumers of hair gel in the world, so don’t forget to take an extra tube in case your new Dutch acquaintance runs out!

8. Red Pants
Want to fit in? Wear red (or even citrus) pants.

9. A Smile
Dutch women and children rank amongst the happiest in the world. 95% of children rank their happiness as above average. So, as the Dutch would most likely say, ‘Stop whining and smile a bit more!’

10.A High Chair
Never mind Lowlands. Welcome to Tall-lands. It’s no rumour the Dutch are rather elongated. In one century, they went from being one of the shortest nations to the tallest in the planet. Perhaps it’s all that dairy consumption, but regardless, if you want to refrain from looking like a tiny toddler and have a good view of the panel then take those high heels with you…or a high chair.

Be Aware
11. Dutch Directness
You may have heard the Dutch are rude, blunt, graceless or point-blank, but whatever it is know that they pride themselves in their ‘honesty.’ So don’t get too offended if they’re not hesitant to show dislike towards an idea or opinion of yours. Just suck it up and think of it as ‘constructive.’

12. The Taste Bud Test
Don’t be surprised if a Dutch person springs some liquorice on you. A Dutch person enjoys an average of 2 kg of drop per person per year. Think of it as a test. If you can handle the drop, well then, welcome to the club! Perhaps take some with you and be the first to surprise.

13. Suspicious Spreads
If those taste buds are oozing and your tummy is urging for your lunch break, well, you may end up a tad disappointed come the time. You may want to get familiar with being served an insatiable amount of bread and paste known as ‘salade’ or ‘filet.’It may not have been what you expected, but they are super ‘lekker.’

14. Expressive Speaking
It’s no secret the Dutch like speaking in expressions. Here are a few that may get you scratching your head and leaving a dumbfounded look on your face:
– Nu komt de aap uit de mouw: Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve (now the cat is out of the bag)
– Helaas, pindakaas: Too bad, peanut butter (too bad)
AND don’t forget they also like to speak from the back of their throats….like this.

15. Lack of Queuing
If you’re British, queuing is something you very much take seriously, but forget all that when you’re in the Netherlands. Can’t be bothered with that 10 minute line for the loo or food? Jump away and proceed to the top! It is, after all, a dog eat dog world.

Emma Brincat