Double Dutch

Growing up in a small town in the Netherlands, I had never lived anywhere else than in the safe surroundings of my little flat country before. Sure, I had gone on a lot of trips throughout and out of Europe, but at the end of the day I would always come back to my own country full of clogs and cheese again. If you would have asked me what I liked about my country, I would have probably listed three things: rain, rain and biking in the rain. Because who doesn’t love taking free icy cold showers with their clothes on and walking around in wet jeans all day?! So when I finally got to leave the Netherlands for longer than a month to actually go live somewhere, I was absolutely psyched. I already saw myself riding yellow school buses, drinking out of red cups and binge watching ABC family. I was going to be so American, that much was sure.

Never had I ever dared to believe that leaving the Netherlands was the very first thing to make me feel more Dutch. Every time I got to meet new people, I was thrilled to tell them I am Dutch. Oh, and did you know the Philips lamps that hang in the library bathroom are from a DUTCH company? (I spend way too much time there…). Your Suave, Dove or most of your other body products? All from a Dutch company called Unilever. And did you know that one song about waves that you listen to so much, the one by Mr. Probz, is ALSO Dutch? After two months in this country, I have realized that my favourite thing to talk about at parties is how much I love my country and how fantastically it functions. Sorry for all the people that had to listen to me because I am living the social phenomenon of being that mother whose first child just moved away to college and who has to fight the urge to talk about her kid at every opportunity possible. Yup, that is what has become of me. And you know what the worst part is?

If I could, I would dress up in orange (the Dutch national color) from head to toe tomorrow and I would start dancing in the rain.