Wednesday, 27 May 2015

20 Signs You're Almost Ingeburgerd in the Netherlands

When you have lived long enough in the land of the Dutch some things become such a normal part of your life that you no longer give them a second thought. These are the things you do when you are an expat in the Netherlands but are well and truly on your way to an ingeburgerd (yes, of course that's a real word) state.
  1. You have orange clothes tucked away in your wardrobe especially for King's Day and those major international football tournaments. Oranjegekte is something you can really get behind.
  2. You own a pair of ice skates and there's a good chance you've used them on natuurijs and not just at a skating ring.
  3. You own a gourmet set and are hellbent on using it at Easter and Christmastime, and probably any other celebratory occasion you care to dream up.
  4. You don't even flinch when you see hoards of Zwarte Pieten descending on your home town in November. 

  5. You don't even blink when you see a child pour half a box of coloured sprinkles on their heavily buttered bread and have even been known to partake yourself in a little hagelslag fun.
  6. You contemplate whether you could actually spell arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering using the letters you have on your Scrabble rack.
  7. You don't gasp in shock when someone utters "Jij kunt" to you.
  8. Sausage floating in your thick dark green soup doesn't scare you.
  9. You and your bicycle have become one. It's like a Siamese twin with wheels.
  10. You search out three for two offers in the supermarket and cram your trolley full of said items in multiples of three even though you don't need even one of the product. you know, just like every other Dutchman around you, that gratis is gratis.
  11. HAVO, MAVO, MBO and VBO actually mean something to you.
  12. It feels like you have scored a bargain when a toilet visit is only 25 cents.
  13. You own both a kaasschaaf and a potato masher and you are not afraid to use them. 
  14. It's Calve pindakaas, or no pindakaas.
  15. You've started watching the Winter Olympics because for the first time in your life you actually have some kind of association with those winning the gold medals. (This may actually only be applicable to British expats.)
  16. You no longer fear the contents of UFOs (Unidentified Fried Objects) you see lying in the coolers of every snack bar you walk into.
  17. You leave your curtains undrawn (or don't bother putting any up at all) and actually wave at passers-by.
  18. You've accepted that oven gloves turned into oven glove and you just take everything out of your small oven with one hand now.
  19. The farmer wants a wife is more than a song to you, it's good TV.
  20. Your throat growls and regurgitates the 'g' sound so well that your non-Dutch relatives look somewhere between scared and concerned every time you say "Goed zo!" to a passing native.


  1. That was a fun post Amanda! But I am wondering about the green soup. Ertensoep? Not my favorite, but it always looks more like green mush than soup to me. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

    1. Yes, pea soup. I have very mixed reactions to pea soup - some places it's delicious but others it's essentially mushy peas and that is a HUGE no no. Mushy peas are evil.

  2. Funny, it took me ages to get used to the 3 for 2 at Waterstones as I could only ever find two books that I liked...

    And I still very much fear those snacks from no. 16..... ha, ha; lovely list and very true!!! Totally in live with my bike again!

  3. I think if you leave the country and come back the UFO fear returns..... you just need time..... :-)

  4. I don't understant #18. Is using always two gloves a British, or american thing? :)

    1. In Britain you can get oven gloves that are two gloves joined together. Like squares (the gloves) and a long piece joining them. No idea if this is only a British thing.......