Last year, my family and I arrived in Wageningen with a terrible flu and cough. It was the fifth time that year and we were scared of going outside and getting worse. To our great surprise, the doctor we visited told us we were okay. There was no need for a drug prescription, we simply had to rest. We couldn’t believe our ears because we felt very sick. Fortunately, we had brought a big bag of medicines from our country.
A few days later, we were invited to dinner by a nice Dutch family. As soon as they heard about the bag of medicines, they advised us to leave it alone and go for a walk and breathe in the Dutch air instead. While they were astonished by our bag, we were alarmed by their suggestion: neither family could imagine the other’s point of view. That evening we learned that the Dutch rarely go to the doctor and that they are prescribed very few medicines. When they are sick, they just rest at home but also go out to get some fresh air. In Mexico we tend to go to the doctor for anything strange that happens to us, a lot of medicine is prescribed, and staying at home is compulsory.
Despite our hesitation, we heeded the suggestion and after a while, we started feeling much better. Now we are more familiar with this typical Dutch behaviour; we are much healthier and haven’t fallen ill even once. We walk more, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful Dutch landscapes. However, we must confess that we are still afraid of being infected by people who are recovering outdoors...
Leticia Elizabeth Romero García, wife of a postdoc researcher at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group, from Mexico
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.
NL: Eenmaal daags naar buiten
Hondsberoerd van de griep kwam de familie van Leticia Elizabeth Romero García in Nederland aan. Gelukkig hadden ze een zak medicijnen uit Mexico meegenomen. Nederlandse vrienden adviseerden hun echter met klem om de pillen niet te nemen; ze konden beter een wandeling gaan maken. De Mexicanen waren verbijsterd. Wat was dit voor gek land? Geen pillen?? Naar buiten als je ziek bent?? Toch besloten ze het een kans te geven. En nu zijn ze om. ‘We lopen meer, ademen de frisse lucht in en zijn veel gezonder.’