Around 15.00 h two friends (Susan and Christoph) and their daughter Leah came along. Leah is going to study in the Netherlands in september, in the south-west part called Zeeland in a very historical town called Middelburg. So we talked about the " strange" things in the Netherlands. Or things that are just different.
For example: we do a lot of handshaking. Not shaking hands is very rude. So when somebody new enters the room you stand up and shake hands. Or when you introduce yourself, you shake hands etc. etc.
We drink a lot of (free) coffee, normally you don't take your own coffee with you to a meeting. There is coffee and tea. When you're going for a mortgage, buy a car/carpets/furniture or what else, they always will offer you coffee. Even during shopping in the grocery you can get free coffee from the coffee-machine.
More things to know: Students don't have cars, they ride on bikes, sometimes with bright colours and plastic flowers on it, that's easy if you want to regconise your bike very quickly, and it's helps against stealing your bike. (Big problem in the Netherlands, so you need a good chain as well).
Oke, you don't invite people for dessert. Here you can ask people to come for dessert. When we're inviting people for coffee in the evening they will come around 20.00 h. You start with coffee, and after the coffee you take drinks (wine, beer, and you serve cheese, chips, peanuts ...... ).
In restaurants you have to ask for the bill, if you don't, you can wait a long time. Because it's very rude in the Netherlands to give you the bill without asking.
Here in the USA they present the bill almost after your last bite.
We don't use often our creditcards, a lot of people don't have one, it's not like here that you can pay everywhere with your creditcard. We use bankcards or cash.
We know baseball, we don't like it, if you want to be real dutch, you have to be a soccer-fan (voetbal).
Practising dutch is very hard, because most dutch speak english, and they like to speak english with you (so why try to learn dutch?).
Well I like living in the Netherlands, so if you're coming to my country, buy a pair of wooden shoes (klompen) and eat lots of cheese (kaas), and you will feel very dutch.