The Netherlands is a wonderful place to live. There are beautiful fields everywhere. Sheep are used to mown most parks and fields instead of lawnmowers. There are cute old windmills everywhere. People cycle to work, school, shopping, and more instead of driving. The country is known for its amazing cheese and beautiful tulips. The work-life balance is unbeatable in comparison to other countries. I really love living here. Even though I love living here, I still don’t agree with all the popular opinions about the Netherlands. There will always be things we love and things we dislike about living somewhere. For me, the good things heavily outweigh the bad things. Here are some things I disagree with.
1. Double Salted Licorice
Yes, can you believe it, people here actually eat double-salted licorice instead of the sweet ones. They also eat the sweet ones, and those I love. But salted candy, I don’t get it. I guess it’s for people who prefer salty things like potato chips instead of sweets like jelly beans. I personally find salted licorice gross.
2. The Quality of Healthcare
Most people believe that healthcare in the Netherlands is amazing. That is true if you’re healthy or if you have something easy to diagnose and treat. Once something isn’t straightforward, it takes forever to diagnose and to actually get treated. In my opinion, healthcare isn’t that great here. And this is based on my personal first-hand experience and speaking with other foreigners.
3. Dutch People
Dutch people are super nice when you need assistance with something like getting a visa or with directions. However, once it comes to making friends or getting some customer service in a shop, you’ll be baffled at the reality. Making Dutch friends and getting some help in a shop is next to impossible. Also, Dutch people are known to be very direct, but when you answer directly as well, they can’t take it. What is that about?
4. Biking in the Rain
The majority of people here use their bike as their main mode of transportation, rain or shine. They will even bike if it’s pouring rain. I love biking. But I refuse to bike when it’s rainy. Even with the rain outfit people wear, you’ll still get wet. I don’t want to come home shivering cold to prove that biking in the rain is ok. I’d rather take public transport or walk with an umbrella. My boyfriend always tells me that I won’t melt, but even he will rarely agree to bike in the rain. And he’s Dutch.
5. Heating Your Home
This is something I found really insane. I work for a real estate company in NYC. By law, we must heat the apartments we own to 68f (20c) in the winter. Dutch people will usually heat their homes to 66,2f (19c) or a bit, but not much higher when it’s cold. I keep my home heated to 70,7f (21.5c) or even higher. How is 66,2f (19c) considered warm? That is insane. When Dutch people see what I heat my home to, they think I’m weird. But guess what, I’m actually still cold even with the temperature being so high.
Despite all of the things I mentioned above, I still love living here. There’s nothing like waking up, going outside, and smelling nature in the air. I love that the country is so flat making it ideal for biking. The weather is temperate, so most of the time, biking is pretty easy and feels good. Most people value time with family over money and keep their homes in really great condition. Everything about life here just feels healthier.
What is your unpopular opinion about where you live?