Would you go Dutch?

Ok. I’ve touched upon various topics related to Dutch – Slavic cultural differences and yet a vital part of this intercultural communication was missing. Guess which one? Right… a fascinating and mysterious world of love and dating.

Let’s dispel dating myths or perhaps reaffirm some of them that you’ve most likely come across while immersing in Dutch culture.

“No playing in hide-and-seek” 

It’s no secret that Dutch are known for their brutal honesty and the habit to express their opinion regarding various phenomena without even thinking it through. When it comes to dating like a Dutchie, step aside from all so-called chasing-me or hard-to-get techniques, cause when you are constantly surfing a super ‘druk’ (busy) wave, there isn’t any time for such silly foreplays. For the female side, it’s highly recommended to approach the target yourself and ask him out on the spot. In this case, most likely he’ll have a spot available for you to have a drink in the upcoming weeks.


On some rare occasions, you may encounter some endangered Dutch species who might embrace themselves and actually play somewhat Romeo of the 21st century including a bike ride around the night city and picnic in the backyard.

Put those “Twilight” yearning looks and doe-y eyes away while sipping your drink at the bar. Otherwise, you’ll spot Dutch females pro in action who’ll leave no options left for you by the end of the night.

“Keep it down to earth level possible”

“I’ll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you..”

- Yours truly a pair of blue jeans.


Don’t let some things like dressing up go to your head once you are asked out. It’s less likely going to be an invitation to a theater or a restaurant, but even so, you’ll never be mistaken to go for some casual look. Don’t take as compliments such comments such as “Wow. Your lips are so red today” or “It’s quite impressive how you cycled all the way in this dress to get here!” It’s just the Dutch way to say that you’ve just crossed a casual “Doe normaal” line and it’s a yellow card.

Yet some may actually celebrate your feminine look, then be ready to grip it and rip it cause one day you might be mistaken for someone else.

“Going Dutch?” 

IMG_7541Sure things that are the most debatable phrase that some people accept as it is, the other half find it very uncomfortable to talk about. Since we’ve already discovered that Dutchies are the brutally honest type of people, then at the end of a ‘leuk’ date the question “Shall we split the bill” might pop up. No overanalyzing is needed here. The date could go great but since we are independent human beings, one is able to pay one’s own way. It’s sort of a compliment from the other side to appreciate your capability to stand out for yourself.

Yet, it’s still quite a controversial topic when it comes to girl talk since most of my friends and I were lucky enough to be acquainted with a gentleman kind of Dutchies.  The “the bill game” is still on. Your matter is to propose, his whether to accept it or to show a gesture of generosity without some second thoughts.

“Cycling all the way”

Well, your tummy is full, the drinks are done too. Shall you expect the continuation of the nice evening? English or French would have a walk of miles with you even if you live on the other side of the city. Athletic Swedish would propose some unexpected sports activities like going for a spontaneous swim. American or Russian would catch a cab for you, Dutch will… cycle with you all the way back and might even with a blindfold on and handless because they can.

“All I want for Christmas is … not spending money”

The Dutchies are born with pure love for ‘kortingen’ (discounts). The hunt for a perfect present might get easier if you stick to a ‘kortingen’ section. First of all, try to find out if this person in need of something practical like a shoe rack a tea holder, or a top-up card for your mobile phone.

The Dutch are quite some travelers too, so you might be completely smashed by a surprise trip that was planned in detail for you. So you might get 2-in-1 a “Surprise me” trip on a budget which is both exciting and cheap.

There might lay a great number of challenges between the two of you. The difference in backgrounds and mentality might not come in handy. You may speak different languages however being capable to find common ground and willing to compromise for the sake of love. 



Why Dutch are the first to adopt the innovation?

Why 2 simple words – “Education abroad” sound so mysterious and appealing? The answers may differ but there is a certain similarity. The choice of this path means that we are all driven by the same spirit of adventure and the thirst for gaining ultimately new experience in life. What else? The quality of education, university ranking, and the environment is a vital part of the choice for some people, others place the word “abroad” on the same shelf right beside the “the freedom”.

Continue reading Why Dutch are the first to adopt the innovation?

New Year’s Eve is the New Russian Christmas

Ever since I remember myself in the country where I come from – Belarus, New Year holidays are celebrated in a common and pretty familiar way which takes roots from the Soviet time. As long as Olivier or a Russian salad and red caviar are served, New Year’s celebration is legit.

First of all, why all the Christians in Western European countries and the US get together with their families on Catholic Christmas while all the Slavic people completely ignore this tradition?

Continue reading New Year’s Eve is the New Russian Christmas

Spontaneous planning in the Netherlands? Try it like a Russian

It’s about this time of the year to spend hours in book shops to buy a perfect annual agenda for the upcoming year. At least in the Netherlands, there will be a bunch of people congregating in front of freshly printed “Agenda” sections available in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The struggle is real! If you are a tech-savvy kid, then please renew your Evernote subscription or sign up at Any.do and make it your handbook for all life occasions planning from the daily routine to family birthday reminders. Believe me, all these seem to be unnecessary apps and websites would benefit your future life as an expat in the Netherlands. The success and your wellbeing for the whole upcoming year are at stake, no mistakes are allowed here. Continue reading Spontaneous planning in the Netherlands? Try it like a Russian

Healthcare: Dutch love for Ibuprofen and Russian addiction to Antibiotics

I left my parents’ nest at the age of 21 and mom immediately rushed packing a first-aid-kit for me as If I’d go for a 5-year journey to an inhabitant island in the middle of nowhere.

Well, now looking back at the very beginning of my Dutch journey, I’m grateful she did. Being raised as a highly educated person in the field of medicine (it can happen quite naturally if your parents work in a medical newspaper), I had gathered somewhat extensive knowledge regarding the usage of all the necessary medicaments. “Perhaps It was all in vain” – I sighed once I faced up with a remarkable Dutch healthcare system. It can be explained with one magical word – Ibuprofen that Dutch doctors absolutely adore. Unexpectedly, it can cure almost anything except diarrhea or so, at least I didn’t try to cure in the following way.

Continue reading Healthcare: Dutch love for Ibuprofen and Russian addiction to Antibiotics