I thought the Dutch were hard workers. But as I found out, the Dutch spend just as much time talking as working.
So our group assignment deadline was getting close. We decided to meet up at one of my group mates’ house to have dinner and then finish the assignment. The majority of my group were Dutch whilst I was the foreign Aussie. Everything was going fine that evening; we made and then ate our dinner, whilst having a good chat. Then it was time to work on our assignment.
We all sat around the table and started typing away. When I work I usually do so in silence, to focus on what needs to be done, although within a group I’m happy to talk about different aspects of the assignment. But I must say, the Dutch really love talking! Even I was a bit shocked to find myself chatting about the most random things whilst working with my group.
Every now and then one of my group mates would say, ‘OK, back to the assignment’, but five minutes later we’d be back into full discussion mode on something completely unrelated to our assignment. Somehow our topics ranged from English translation of Dutch words to what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our assignment deadline was a couple of days away and yet here we were talking about how superfoods are just a marketing ploy, and how curly hair bands don’t even keep your hair up when doing exercise.
Dear Dutch, please get your priorities in order. If you’re wondering, we didn’t finish the assignment that night. But I can't deny it, we did have a good time!
Ruby Sutherland, a former student at WUR, from Australia
Do you have a nice anecdote about your experience going Dutch? Send it in! Describ an encounter with Dutch culture in detail and comment on it briefly. 300 words max. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and earn twenty-five euros and Dutch candy.