I have been living in the Netherlands for a month now. You know me- ever so curious and analytical, I observed and studied the Dutch way of being.
This article will focus on the positives. I will not address my endless bureaucratic jams, because nobody wants to read that! The conclusion of it is that I managed. I am fine now. It was not an easy beginning. It made me want to have less and less new beginnings-that’s for sure!
I also want to get back to this submerging diversion of writing just for the sake of writing and sharing knowledge …
Well, in this case, sharing opinions.
Growing up literally battling against the elements, they grow up so independent and self-reliant. So ingenious, capable and never ever complaining or asking someone else to teach them how to do something, ESPECIALLY TO DO IT FOR THEM. They don’t wait, they plunge. They learn it themselves and make as many mistakes as it takes, as much budget as it takes, to get it right- to get it perfect. In this sense, Dutchies don’t care that much about wastefulness of resources.
Perfectly gelled up hair?
They gel it up since they are kids, probably when the first few hairs grow. How else will it remain in one place with the constant wind blowing in every direction? The hair shouldn’t move and should remain flawlessly, proportionally gelled up. Every. Single. Hair.
Gigantic height and strength?
Sports. They are all so sporty. Rarely will you see an overweight or short guy. My theory- the bad batch, the ones who don’t fit the image, are being exported to other countries. A Dutch guy measuring less than 1.80m? A guy who is not a sports and gym regular? That is rarer than a unicorn here. You might see him living in another European nation tough. The banished Dutch don’t feel bad about their predicament. They just didn’t make the cut.
Gulliver and the Lilliputians?
Dutch people grow in height because of space issues. Similarly to why sky scrapers were first build, territorial restrictions play a big role in growing upwards instead of sideways. The Netherlands is so small, if duchies want to stay here, they shouldn’t take too much space, so they grow Up, up up. The rest of us are the Lilliputians in this version of the fairy tale.
Going to a wedding?
Their style. Dutch people dress very elegant, calculated, simple but classy. They dress the part. (Surprise, not surprise, the Part is always an important one).
Do I look like a homeless chicken after riding my bike to school, sweat and melted makeup ornamenting my rain soaked attire? I sure do.
But they look flawless. How do they do it?
Is it just a matter of getting used to this weather? Is it a matter of practicing? Can I ever hope to reach their level of magical impeccable style?
One can only hope.
Enough of the physical traits. Let’s not be so superficial.
She laughed in my face.
Turns out she broke her ankle playing volleyball (sports,sports,sports), and biked herself to the hospital in the midst of a huge storm.
Her advice: Just keep pedaling.
Yes, rain coats and rain pants exist here, but the Dutch armor is their stamina. Their determination and confidence built from early age leaving them to their own device to figure it out. To learn to bike. To fail at sports. And by failing so many times, they eventually succeed. They know that. They know they will reach the hospital, if they keep pedaling.
They don’t dwell on this shit weather, the 30km/h wind blowing against you, the broken ankle, and the rain drenching every skin cell. Even if they advance a few cm. against the storm, it’s still an advance.
They don’t complain, because this won’t change the weather or the situation. They don’t ask for help, because it’s their life, their bike, their broken ankle.
The child-parent rapport is not strong here. There are no informal visitations. Everyone is an independent item. Everyone has their own storm to get through.
How not to admire them and pity the rest of us?
Bulgarians give up so easily, they are so afraid to fail that they never even enter the competition. They don’t build up a resilient fighting spirit, they complain against out of our control elements all the time. They expect assistance.
Hoping that you got my point, I want to focus on a last subject.
This self-assurance makes Dutchies extremely business minded. I see this in the educational system too. They are preparing us to be owners. Just like we own the responsibility over our learning. Currently our success depends entirely on us. If you don’t learn how to work with the printers, you will fall behind. Your student card cannot be charged? Figure. It. Out.
This is their philosophy and this is why they succeed.
All current greatest entrepreneurs are from the Netherlands. Amazing startups, amazing minds, amazing education, not so amazing weather.
So, we reached the roots?
My conclusions were reached after undergoing undercover anthropological observations in Dutch homes, on Dutch dates, interviewing my Dutch classmates, Artez graduates business owners and University staff.