It is a common belief that the Netherlands is a country with a slow pace of life. You can hardly feel the metropolitan life in big cities here. Many facts can prove this: the shops only open at 9:30 in the morning in the winter, there are many holidays throughout the year, the banks are closed during the weekend, there are few people on the street at night.
Though I have been living in Holland for three years, I am still occasionally shocked by the relatively slow pace. The most recent one was during the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. As a big fan of the Lord of the Rings, I had to see this movie, so I went to the cinema. There was a scene in the movie where Azog, one of the main villains, was chasing the dwarves. The moment Azog almost caught the dwarves, the big screen went black all of sudden. I thought something was wrong with the projector, but people around me stood up and walked out, unsurprised. Manifestly, this was normal to them. Apparently, even the movies are interrupted with a break in the Netherlands. I have asked many foreign friends whether they also have a break during the movie, but this is not the case in Vietnam, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, or the Czech Republic. It is clearly one of those uniquely Dutch things, contributing to the slow and enjoyable life here.
Yue Han, Chinese PhD student at the Laboratory of Virology Do you have a nice anecdote about your experience of going Dutch? Send it in! Describe an encounter with Dutch culture in detail and comment on it briefly. 300 words max. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and earn fifty euro and Dutch candy.
Winkels die laat open gaan, uitgestorven straten in de nacht: het leven in Nederland is niet bepaald kosmopolitisch te noemen. Onlangs kreeg Yue Han daarvoor een nieuw bewijs. Bij een bezoek aan de bioscoop ging hij volledig op in de nieuwste hobbitfilm, toen plotseling het scherm op zwart ging: pauze. Duidelijk een van die typisch Nederlandse gewoontes die het leven hier traag en prettig maken.