The Dutch love their flowers, plants and gardens, but do not consider flowers an extravagant expense. For decades, the Dutch have been masters of growing flowers and produce. The Netherlands has been blessed with fertile soil, mild winters, long summer days and greenhouse know-how and state-of-the-art technology. All together that makes for gorgeous, plentiful flowers and an inexpensive indulgence. You can find 25 tulips or 25 roses for €5 a bunch on the weekend flower markets.
The Dutch are among the top 10 biggest bread consumers in the world. Every morning after bread for breakfast, many Dutch people make and take their own sandwiches to work or school. The evening meal has a larger variety of food from many different cultures. A traditional Dutch evening meal is served at or near 6:00pm. You may start with a bowl of pea soup, then have sausage with(mashed) potatoes and vegetables, followed by yoghurt for dessert. Then, around 8:00pm, many Dutch have their last cup of coffee to close the day.
It is rumoured that the Netherlands has more bikes than people. Several reasons make biking popular. Apart from the occasional bridge, the Dutch landscape is flat and ideal for biking. Almost every road in the city or the countryside has a bike lane or a separate bike path. The country's gas or petrol prices are heavily taxed and the most expensive in the world. Like the Dutch, students often choose the bike as a form of transport because it is the most practical, cheapest, and often quickest way to travel.
The Dutch don't like to throw away useful household goods like old clothes, shoes, toys, dishes, books and sometimes just plain junk. They would rather find a second home by either donating or selling old, used or unwanted items. Match that with the fact that the Dutch enjoy the sport and challenge of finding a good deal. Then, maybe you can better understand why flea markets and junk markets are a popular form of weekend entertainment for both buyers and sellers. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
The Dutch flag is red, white and blue, so why are crowds of Dutch people seen wearing orange? The royal family is called 'van Oranje' or 'from Orange'. The Dutch are usually not very nationalistic and patriotic, with a couple of exceptions. The Dutch will dress up in goofy hats, orange clothes and face paint to support their national teams in football, skating or biking. Although loud and proud, Dutch sports fans are rarely hooligans and are usually harmless. The whole country becomes a sea of orange during the nationwide holiday 'Queen's Day' on April 30.
The availability of marijuana and prostitutes may lead you or your parents to believe that Dutch society is more dangerous and promiscuous than it actually is. Selling soft drugs is illegal, but tolerated. Getting soft drugs and prostitution out in the open and away from criminal dealers is a Dutch belief. This live-and-let-live approach is proving effective in reducing criminal activity, and the use of both hard and soft drugs. Typically, the foreigners and tourists tend to enjoy the freedoms of the coffee shops, sex shops and Red Light District, more so than the Dutch.
Many foreigners and tourists think the Dutch are rude. The Dutch are talented with languages and often speak several which is tourist-friendly. However, their approach and way of speaking can be very direct, straight forward and harsh. They do not mean to be impolite, but the Dutch have a habit of getting to the point quickly without too many pleasantries, which can sometimes benefit and help foreigners.