One of my biggest interests when living in a new country has always been how expressions reflect different insights into the local culture.
Being half Dutch, I am - as many of us are - multi-cultural. Having a Dutch father, an American mother and spending most of my youth in Rome has left me in a continuous cultural crisis. In an attempt to gain some connection to my 'roots,' I did my undergraduate degree in the United States and now my Masters here in the Netherlands. When I lived in the United States, I found that I did not feel very American-and after living in Wageningen for a year, I came to a similar realization, not feeling very Dutch.
One day, on my way up the hill on my bike, I started to hear rustling sounds over the music in my headphones. Upon further inspection I found that there were some leaves caught in the front wheel of my bike, to which I immediately thought: 'Wat heb ik nou aan mijn fiets hangen?!' This was a breakthrough for my goal of experiencing the typical Dutch life - so maybe there is some hope for connecting with my Dutch heritage after all.
Michael Portegies-Zwart (Dutch/American), MSc student of Urban Environmental Management at Wageningen University.