I still remember clearly the first time I invited some Dutch friends for dinner. As soon as they heard my invitation, almost everyone took out their phone or diary to check their schedule. I felt so embarrassed because it seemed that they were not going to accept my invitation.
Dutch people like to put everything into their phone calendars and schedule their life with it.
I found that although many Europeans stick to the time seriously, no one in other countries sticks to their calendar quite as seriously as the Dutch do. In China, at least in my hometown, it is polite to accept an invitation to dinner immediately. A common way to turn down an invitation is to accept it first and cancel it later with some good reasons.
These days I fully understand this practice and I myself also use the calendar in my phone quite often. It makes me feel more organised and my working efficiency has increased a lot. I guess I will introduce this habit to my friends as well as my colleagues when I go back to my country.
Guo Yu, MSc student of Environmental Technology, from China
De eerste keer dat ik Nederlandse vrienden uitnodigde voor een etentje was ik verbaasd dat ze hun agenda trokken. Het leek alsof ze eronderuit wilden komen. Nederlanders organiseren hun leven rond hun agenda, veel meer dan in andere landen. Maar inmiddels zie ik er ook het voordeel van, het geeft je een georganiseerd gevoel. Misschien ga ik het in China ook wel introduceren.