- Drowning your fries in mayonnaise
A typical person may enjoy a side of ketchup with their fries… maybe even a few packets if they’re feeling adventurous. But the Dutch take condiments to a whole new level. Order a cone of Dutch fries from Manneken Pis and prepare to have a nice pool of mayo laying on top of them.
- Stairs that feel more like ladders (especially after a wild night out).
If you visit a building that involves going upstairs, then you better strap on your hiking boots because chances are you will be climbing these stairs on your hands and knees to prevent from tumbling down. Also, elevators are most likely not available in most of the older buildings- just in case you were hoping to take the easy way up.
- Beware of the bikes.
There’s pretty much a 100% chance that, at some point during your time in Holland, you will get yelled at by someone on a bike (or at least get a furious *ding ding ding* from their bell). It’s ok, it happens to the best of us! Just remember that the bike lane is equal to a very busy freeway… so make sure you don’t just walk right into that traffic.
- Your credit card is pretty much useless.
Want to go to a nice café? Well then you better be prepared with some cash or a maestro card (which is sort of like a debit card, but not? It’s hard to explain). About 90% of grocery stores and markets in Holland won’t take your Visa travel card or your fancy new Gold Card from American Express…. so be sure to pack some cash with you. If you plan on being in the Netherlands for more than a few months, then you better look into getting a Dutch bank account! This way you can have a maestro pin card that won’t charge you a foreign transaction fee every you use it!
- Don’t be afraid if you see an open urinal.
Yeah, it’s a thing. They come in all shapes and sizes, so keep your nose on guard to avoid stumbling into one of these. The good news is that if you’re a guy who needs to relieve himself, you’re in luck!
- Let’s go Dutch!
Basically, this is when people split the bill on a first date. Does it seem kind of rude to you? Well, in Holland it’s totally acceptable for the man not to pick up the tab at dinner (even on the first date). Sorry ladies, looks like you’re paying for that 40-euro steak that you ordered!
- The Three-Kisses.
This one is important to remember. Most people who are new to the Netherlands go for one or two kisses on the cheek, just to be polite. But when greeting someone from Holland, there is a third kiss that more often ends in an awkward in-between brushing of the lips. So, remember to keep going until the third kiss, unless you are hoping to “accidentally” collide faces.