Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The best of my trip

The best about Holland for me was catching up with everybody. Nearly no day past by or we met up with my brothers and their family, friends aunts and cousins. On some days we were very busy. Friends we made in Nieuw Zealand and now live in Holland came all the way from Friesland (2 hours drive) to visit. That was great.
It was wonderful to see how Mayke immediately clicked with her nieces and nephews even though the ones of my younger brother were very small when she saw them last. How we fitted in so smoothly like you only can with family which gives you a great sense of belonging. From the day I came we had sunny spring weather and could eat and drink coffee outside. I stayed at my mums house and in the weekend and on queens births day e.g. my brothers and family dropped in and we were sitting outside all around the table chatting along like old times.
The older kids now also participate in the conversation and the smaller ones get their fair bit of attention. Children are very important in Holland and if possible they get listened too and parents take the time to explain everything extensively to them. Of course they also get told the rules of not interrupting and being loud but they also get to know why.
Another real joy is to participate in the Dutch humour. I felt I lost the sharpness. I used to be good at it especially in my twenties. It is hard to understand for other nationalities and it is not for the fainthearted. Having said that I have found in NZ a few kiwies who are on the same line or even better. The Dutch like to make fun of a situation, oneself or somebody else. Usually it is sarcastic. When somebody makes fun of you, you never take it personally but return the favour. Most of the time it is just for a laugh or it is a lighthearted way to point out that they don't agree with something. For example when you make a mess (most Dutch people are very tidy) by spreading all your stuff over the table, somebody comes in and says something like "so, you make the place look tidy" or "are you holding a garage sale?" My oldest brother is a star in it and he always makes me laugh.
I noticed though that I was taken aback sometimes by the directness of the Dutch being not used to it for a while but it is also very revealing. You know that people here might think things too they just don't say it. The funny thing is with some things the Dutch are very carefull in what they say. You can't just say rubbish man anymore. That is now something like an environmental cooperator (milieu medewerker) and a cleaner is an interior attendant (interieur verzorgster) Ha ha but I drift of.
Have a great day, Marja


  1. wonderful to read this. It's like I'm sitting around the table with you and your family, sipping coffee listening to the chatter. Ah....sounds lovely

  2. Beautiful post Marja, nothing like having to be with families, I have missed you a lot. Seems like time flies faster than a jumbo jet..and suddenly we are all back at our own lifes. Wonderful images and glad you had a fun time. hugs.........M

  3. totally agree with Missy. Reading this made us involve in this and It was like We were a part of your family sipping coffee listening to the chatter.Lovely.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comment. feel free to visit again.

  4. leuke foto's Marja...je ziet er erg gelukkig uit...naar de efteling geweest:)) En wat een toestand he op 30 april in Apeldoorn..het gebeurde bij ons om de hoek!!
    En nu ben je weer thuis..de tijd vliegt.
    Fijne dag..:)

  5. Great to see you back on the blog! And I am glad you had a wonderful time in the Netherlands :-) Great to read your thoughts about it!

  6. Yes that was really cosy Missy

    Good to see you too M.Kate Nice to be back

    Inderdaad zeg Ongelofelijk wat er gebeurde. Die man moet wel erg gestoord zijn geweest om zoiets te doen. Moet voor jullie ook schokkend zijn geweest als het zo dichtbij gebeurd is

    Good to see you Isabella and yes I am a very lucky woman

  7. What a lovely post! Actually I found humour in all the countries where I have been. But you are right some Dutch humour is wonderful! I always enjoyed watching Toon Hermans, who could make fun of himself and his relatives. In Australia humour is very straight forward and I like that.

  8. Wonderful to read this ,Marja!

  9. Me again! I've awarded you a Great Expat Blog :-)
    Come check my blog at this blog entry to get your award:

    Have a great week!

  10. Nice to read about ur trip.You had a log time off.What's ur mother tongue by the way?

  11. It is always good to be home! Your observation of the differences in the language and demeanor of people is interesting.

  12. dus je hebt wel schik gehad.

  13. YOUR back????
    Better tidy my room

  14. Welcome Back!! Glad to hear the trip was a good one.

  15. Again I say it is great to have you back; and a joy to read about your reunion with family and friends in Holland. Yes, indeed language is never static and it changes to suit the times. No doubt, that's the beauty of language; its cultural correctness, political correctness and fodder for creative imagination.

    I enjoy very much reading this blog in so many ways. Thank you very much. Sending lots of love and hugs to you and your family.

  16. OH???
    Dutch people have humour?

    Pass The tui!


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