These are my current top ten favorite things about the Dutch people. They are in no particular order. However, I have many many more reasons why I love living in the Netherlands.
1) They know when to quit
They work hard and efficiently. Some will work late but a majority will leave between 5-6pm. They balance their work and their personal life.
2) Sense of humor
They love to joke around and be sarcastic. Not a day goes by when someone isnt trying to tell a joke or just be funny.
3) Sense of pride
The Dutch are very active, smart and social. They are good at a lot of things and are confident in those.
4) Lack of labels
The Dutch dont judge you based on your clothes. You don’t have to wear a designer label and be dressed fancy. Most people dress comfortably and are happy to wear bright colors and patterns.
5) Active, active, active
The Dutch are always biking, walking, playing a sport, etc. They are extremely active. I think this greatly adds to their happiness.
Almost everyday there is a group of students that meets together for lunch. There is a designated space with around 10-15 chairs where the students can all meet. I never have a problem finding someone to talk to or go for a walk with. The Dutch know how to take the time to get to know someone.
7) Even playing field
Everyone’s idea is considered equal. Although younger students are usually quiet, everyone has a voice in the lab. People are not afraid to disagree with someone. However, there are never fights, not everyone has to agree. The academic discussions in the lab and even in social settings are very enjoyable.
8) Worldly view
Although the Dutch love their country and where they live, they are quite aware of what is going on in the world. Not only that, but they know history as well.
9) Sense of honor
There are laws and rules and people follow them. Train tickets aren’t always checked, but people still buy tickets. At least where I live, I haven’t seen or heard of someone being robbed.
10) Bikes rule
In the Netherlands, the bicyclists are respected. Cars, bicyclists, pedestrians, etc all follow the rules. People may be in a hurry but they still are safe and follow the rules. This is a huge change from Philadelphia, where you worry about a cab hitting you when you are biking or even walking.