Thank God, the weekend is here. It’s been a long ass week in my new job, I’m going through a 4 week training first and believe me when I say that it is a LOT of information crammed in a very short time-frame. But the information IS extremely interesting, much more so than anything else I’ve had to train for previously. So I am excited to start.
At the end of the day we (the training group) all decided to go grab a pint at the local watering hole, which is based in the business park (so damn convenient) and while it was nice, it didn’t do a whole lot for me. I am finding it harder and harder to connect with people. I feel like I am awkward around them and being myself is all I want to do but it doesn’t seem like people are understanding who I am. I don’t want to bitch too much about it because it’s only the first week and all but I can usually feel when I am going to connect to someone or not. That feeling isn’t there.
Also I met half of the Dutch team I am going to be working with, and I thought to myself “This is going to be tricky.”. They are the typical Dutch people, who are rude, loud, obnoxious and arrogant, and I can honestly say it made me feel very uncomfortable being around them which is really not a good sign. One already found it necessary to tell me she just absolutely hates Germans. For no reason did she say that other than a German just passing behind me. I just hope that the other 3 can compensate for these ones. It made me realize why I left The Netherlands in the first place and why I have no desire to ever return, not even for a visit. There’s nothing about me that fits in that country’s culture.
From a young age, you are encouraged to be ‘assertive’ in my country, which if you ask me can be a good trait but it’s taken it’s extreme form in MOST of Dutch culture. It becomes being aggressive because people feel so entitled and stressed out that they use their assertiveness to blow up at people at any small thing. Also waving that condescending no-no finger because you aren’t adhering to the social norm of the collective. Being even a little bit different is not something that’s very accepted in this culture even though they’d like you to be believe that Holland is such a tolerant country. It was once upon a time, it definitely isn’t anymore. I see more and more racism coming to the surface, masks are falling and people are showing their true colors. Don’t believe me? Read this. Also I know that some think that the Dutch are direct, there’s a difference between being direct and being just plain rude and giving unwanted advice. Contrary to what you might believe, this directness does not mean that you won’t be talked about behind your back, because they sure do that anyway.
Being sensitive, polite and friendly have become undesirable traits in Holland and are often seen as weak. Too bad because those are all traits that define me. And so I’ve never belonged in my own country. Sometimes I joke when I say ‘I was born in the wrong body, wrong country and wrong time. Did I get anything right this time around or what?’ but it does make me wonder. I left the Netherlands when I was 18 and it was so necessary for me. I couldn’t handle any of it anymore. I did come back for several years when I was 22 but man, every day I wanted to get out and so I did.
And so it’s ironic that my job is about providing my fellow Dutchmen with Customer Service and Support.. I still am unable to completely escape the culture I so loathe. I know some people reading this will have negative things to say about it, such as that I am generalizing the Dutch. Understand one thing, I’ve lived in it for over 2 decades. I’ve seen the country and culture deteriorate. I am half Dutch, half Surinamese/Indonesian and thusly seen as an ‘Allochtoon’, an offense term only used in Holland to describe a non-western immigrant. There’s also been quite the discussion regarding ‘Black Pete’ who’s part of the extremely popular Sinterklaas-holiday as you can read here, which I do recommend. This is not a question anymore of not fitting in, the Dutch truly lack humility, and self-reflection.
Both my parents have long since emigrated abroad and I think it’s bad when even my own mother, who is 100% Dutch, is unable to stand her fellow countrymen and has no hope left for the country that she used to love.
Sorry for the rant and if it might’ve offended you but these are my own personal experiences from living in different parts in Holland for a very long time as well as coming in contact with other Dutchies abroad. I do want to say that not ALL Dutch are like this, I have met wonderful people who I cherish but the sad truth is that the MAJORITY IS like this and it’s getting worse.
Signing off with Eminem’s new song, Wicked Ways.