There’s a handful of things that are so Dutch and different that expats in the Netherlands spend their first few weeks in the country laughing at how goofy they seem. Then an odd thing happens. You wake up one day and find yourself not only doing these things, but actively seeking out and enjoying them.
The following are all things you can do sober. But you’ll encounter them more frequently during a night out with a couple drinks.
The Dutch love bikes, but you can see why. It’s so easy and friendly to ride a bike in the Netherlands.
Which is why it’s kind of funny to ride to the pub and park your bike in a place that’s relatively empty. Step inside, have a few drinks, some laughs, and when it’s time to go home the cycles have multiplied. Scrutinizing through (what feels like) a thousand bikes in the dark is awful, but it happens.
If your friends are good people they will stay and help you. If they’re drunk, they’ve already ridden home (or to the döner shop).
Piss in the Thing:
Did you know that, most of the time, you can pee on the city streets of Holland.
Not everywhere, mind you. The city sets up urinals in high-traffic areas of the street. Sporting events, concerts, Rembrandtplein on the weekend.
The thing is, you’re never really out of sight. These makeshift terlits are placed just to the side of the street, and some only come up to shoulder height. Passers-by can’t see what you’re doing, but they know what you’re doing.
When you’re going to take a midnight leak, I shouldn’t be able to make eye-contact walking by.
Crazy as it may sound, if you’ve had a few, it becomes a more attractive option.
Plus, you won’t even get separated from your friends. You can watch where they go the entire time.
Onions and mayo:
I’m a fry man. I could eat French fries every day if it was socially acceptable and possible to do without my heart exploding by the age of 40.
Not just a late-night food, fries in the Netherlands are an all-the-time sort of thing. And they do them well.
Now, mayonnaise on French fries is nearly sacrilege in North America and I myself have gone on countless rants about the non-compatibility of the two.
But, I have to admit, I’ve since eaten my words. The frite saus out here is just too good.
Not only have I come around on the mayo-fry combo, but the addition of raw onions on top of the whole thing is damned magnificent.
Staying with the topic of food (especially the late-night, after-the-bar kind) you can’t go any further without mentioning FEBO.
The most popular fast-food in all the Netherlands can best be described as little hamburger lockers.
Well, it’s not just hamburgers. You can get all sorts of fried Dutch delicacies: frites, krokets, frikandels.
Like a vending machine, they’re easy to use. So even a child, Canadian, or drunken fool can figure them out. Put in a euro coin or two, open the door, and grab your snack.
A rarely seen but noble feat is called the diagonal. One brave soul will attempt to eat from every box in a row, end-to-end.
Friends can compete to finish first. It’s like tic-tac-toe, but with grease and shame.
Need your breath to smell fresh after that third-beer cigarette? Try a Smint. The mint with the most fake-sounding name you could think of.
By the way, the best month to eat Smints?