It’s time for the Xpat Blog Hop again, and this one kind of amused me, so I thought I’d see what I could come up with. The prompt is: list 5 things your country doesn’t have and you wish they did, and 5 things they do have and you wish they didn’t.
Things The Netherlands Doesn’t Have:
- Air conditioning. It’s not really been necessary in our house this summer, but it still gets warm enough and humid enough that when you have to walk everywhere, you can get a bit warm and sweaty. Sadly, most shops and restaurants don’t have AC, so you can’t even get any relief when you arrive at your destination.
- Biscuitville. Admittedly, most places in the US don’t even have Biscuitville, but there’s nothing better for a hangover or just an easy Southern breakfast.
- Mega grocery stores. I miss the variety of products available, including the convenience of buying makeup, contact lens solution, sewing basics, and more in one store.
- Sunday shopping and 24-hour shopping. Occasionally, I miss the convenience of life in the US.
- Antihistamines. When you’ve got a cold, sometimes you want the kind of drugs that will dry out every inch of your body. Sure, you feel kind of parched when taking them sometimes, but at least you have a chance of breathing through your nose. Nose sprays are decent, but there are times when you want more. Or at least something that will knock you out during the worst of the misery.
Things the Netherlands Does Have (But You Don’t Want)
- The wettest summer since 1906. I like the rain, but this year has been insane. It’s raining right now.
- Geert Wilders
- Drop, aka licorice. It’s pretty popular here — supposedly the highest per capita consumption of licorice in the world — but it’s just not for me.
- Tax offices that legally can only speak to you in Dutch.
- I really can’t think of anything at the moment. I had to stretch for that last one.
I like Amy‘s idea of listing five things I’m glad the Netherlands does have, so here goes:
- Outdoor cafés and terraces. If it’s remotely possible, even just a table or two, most restaurants, bars and cafés will have outdoor seating.
- Always getting a cookie or chocolate with your coffee.
- Pataat met (aka french fries with mayo)
- Cultural Sundays here in Utrecht
- Dutch light (and a hint of a rainbow)