The real huisvrouwen op Cheshire.

So this weekend I had a little roadtrip to my friend Layla’s house for her verjaardag. We met at my Dutch course, that’s our common denominator. Dutch, the language, the culture and the men! Now I’ve got to be careful what I say because I know she’ll be reading this! (Hi Layla!).

The inspiration for this post came from the ridiculous amount of chat we had about all things Dutch. With a share love for the Orange lands so it wasn’t hard for us to make nearly every conversation end up on or included something Netherlands related. In this post I am going to talk about some of the things that caused most discussion.


Be they Birthday or Christmas the Dutch just don’t seem to send them. I am a card lover. I love them more than gifts if I’m really honest. We spend so much time on laptops and phones these days having an actual hand written card is special. Turns out Layla’s Dutchies and my Dutchies just don’t bother. I know the NL postal system is a little bit more rubbish that Royal Mail here in the UK but come one! Everyone loves receiving post.  Why don’t the Dutch send them? I’ve never even seen a card shop in Holland, they have the turny stands in a few stores but not an actual ‘card shop’ like we do here. Kudos to my Dutchies I have had one card, an out of the blue ‘just because’ card dat was super leuk! 


English translations

I have given up correcting Dutch people, or indeed foreign people of any language, on the incorrect use of some English words and phrases. Even though in my experience if my pronunciation is even slightly off I get corrected. If you know what I mean just go with it, I may not use the exact words for the gist of the conversation is the same. The most comical Dutch whoopsies so far, have been ‘Swim Jeans’ with regards to swimming trunks, ‘snorkeling’ instead of snoring. Personally I thought they where hilarious!

accentsThen if we just touch on that dreaded word order for a second, don’t get me started! “It will be definitely an experience” or “What you are doing in London?”

Can we just talk about accents to. The Dutch accent on a guy, in my opinion, is super cute and makes me smile. They tend to speak English the same way the pronounce the alphabet in Dutch, similarly to a really thick French accent where anything can be turned sexy. Granted I understand Dutch much better when spoken by a woman but there’s something about a Dutch man speaking English that makes me smile. It’s a cuteness overload and well a husky voice can be a real turn on for some people *slowly raising my hand*.


Dutch places we both need to visit

Now Layla knows Eindhoven like the back of her hand and I suppose I could confidently get by in most places in Zuid-Holland. In our conversations the places we both recommended to oneanother are:

Madurodam – Its mini Holland, what is not to like and you get little ceramic clogs!

Delta Works – It’s the water place, the biggest friend and foe of the Dutch.

Scheveningen– It’s a tram ride from Den Haag, just the right mix of touristiness and localness in my opinion. Who would have thought that there where beaches in The Netherlands, I certainly didn’t. I never thought of beaches when I first thought of The Dutch. Zandvoort is definitely a place to see too! There is such beauty in the sea!


Dutch Pet Hates

Pet hates, we all have them. Ours consist of:

  • Assuming all English people come from London. I hate London! I know it relatively well thanks to working there but I hate it and what I hate even more is people assuming I ‘obviously’ come from London. I suppose that most English people, NOT including me, seem to think that the only thing about The Netherlands is Amsterdam. I suppose it’s a reciprocal pet hate.IMG_7113
  • Not having English tea. I love a good flavoured blend, I am a huge fan of Dutch tea, the pickwick one, but they don’t have a ‘breakfast’ tea. Oh and to top it all off the cups are way too small. I like a big o’mug of tea!
  • Telling the time. Half Een is 1330. NOT 1230. It’s not half before its half past. 30 minutes after the hour. It is simple. It is easy enough.
  • Ice in wine. Why? If the bottle is in the fridge it really is cold enough there is no need to water it down by adding fast melting icecubes! People do it here too. Its not solely a Dutch thing but its where I came across it first.


So there we go. Weekend summed up in terms of Dutch chatter. There was more no doubt.


Number of bottles of fizz consumed: 4

Hours spent talking about crap: 72+

Miles travelled: 164

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Thanks for a fab weekend Layla. I do hope you enjoyed your birthday!! xx 


10 thoughts on “The real huisvrouwen op Cheshire.

  1. It’s amazing how in only one post you’ve summed up soooo many differences with Flanders! I honestly can’t believe my eyes at reading them. I always though our cultures were quite close, but from this post it looks as if Flanders is a completely different country… Mind me summing up a few things? I think it might be interesting for you 🙂

    First of all, the cards! OMG how can they NOT send cards?!!! That’s so strange! For Christmas it’s obligatory to send everyone you know a card. Birthday presents are quite random if not accompanied by cards, etc. Okay, I have to admit it, I think it’s a drag having to write 50+ cards for Christmas by hand, but I love the tradition 🙂 And for birthdays I often forget it… but I always feel embarassed when I do so reminding myself that next time I can’t forget to buy one.

    English translations hehehe I think the reason why we make such odd sounding mistakes is that our languages are very similar and often litteral translations are correct (although not always idiomatic). Because of this, whenever we don’t know a word, we tend to translate that word directly into English assuming that the other will have an inkling.
    Btw, we Dutch speaking people have a little joke concerning these litteral translations: it’s really funny to see some of our proverbs directly translated into English. You can see some on this picture:

    For example: the first one “it rains steel pipes” is a literal translation of “het regent pijpenstelen” and means “it’s raining cats and dogs”. Or “I’m keeping you in the holes” is a translation of “Ik hou je in de gaten” meaning “I’m keeping an eye on you”. Really funny!

    Oh and with ‘snorkeling’, are you sure they mean ‘snoring’? As in a person being loud when sleeping? Because I recognize the Dutch word ‘snorkelen’ in it, which means ‘scuba diving’. It’s quite a change of the word’s stem if it would mean ‘snurken’.

    The hour is soooo weird!!! When we say “Half één”, we mean 12h30. Or, in West Flanders, they also just say the digital hour: twelve thirty.

    I’ve never seen ice in wine… I’m asking the same questions as you here :p


    1. Fabulous comment! Thank you for reading my post! I quite enjoyed writing it. I never imagined that we could be so different when geographically so close! We came up with loads of things!

      I love the ‘helaas pindakaas’ phrase. It has brought a smile to my face on many occasions!!! I must admit I’ve never come across ‘to participate for bacon and beans’ thats new on me! How do you use that phrase???

      M xx


      1. I am definitely going to try and use that somewhere in my next Dutch class!!
        My tutor will be impressed haha!


      2. You should! I actually wonder, how good would you estimate your Dutch? Because it seems as if you understand quite a bit already, seeing how you could guess the expressions 🙂


      3. I’ve been learning it since last August from no background or understanding what so ever. The only phrase I knew when I started was “Ik ben boos op jouw!”

        My technique has turned into getting the gist of it and taking a mighty good guess. So far it seems to be working. There is still so much I don’t know and so much that would take me years and years to understand but I’m carrying on. The amount of conversations I have with myself in Dutch is boarding on being weird 🙂


      4. It’s the same way I learned French and English 🙂 Just reading and trying to get the gist without fully understanding, but it worked well for me, so rest assured that in a near future your Dutch will be awesome 🙂


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