The most surprising thing about the Netherlands for somebody from London is how calm and well-behaved Dutch drunk people are. The first time that I came to the Netherlands, I was amazed how people were sympathetic and friendly with me. What surprises me is the country is so small, but the people’s smile is so huge. The thing that has astonished me is how friendly they are. If you pass them when you’re biking, everyone says hi. In the first couple of days, I wasn’t responding because in California, we’d never do that. Whenever I’ve just been like cycling around, or I’ve been like walking to the shops, people will always say ‘hoi’. I find it strange because you don’t know them. You never get that in southeast London. It gives you a friendly atmosphere between you and sometimes, it opens up into a conversation. A guy would be walking his dog and then he’d start talking about the weather or whatever after he said hi. You have to say hello to 40-50 people on the way. They’re very polite; I think over-polite. A guy came out with his truck; he had to make a left-hand turn, and I was just sitting at the bench. He pulled out, and he was going like this for about ten seconds or so trying to get my attention so he could say hi to me. When I came here, all my girlfriend’s at home said: Oh, you have a ‘Nederlander’. And I said why is it so special? Oh, they are so open; they are so nice. They are this, they are this… and they are! The Dutch mentality and the people that they are direct. Dutch people say everything very directly. You can have all kinds of thinking; nobody will feel strange; feel shocked. They speak more loudly than Japanese people. When I’m in the class, I have to speak more loudly than normal. One thing I found really surprising about here is that people give out their bank account numbers to other people. That would just never happen in the United States. You can pay me. I said: okay, well how? Here’s my bank account number. That just would not happen. Coming from the south of Italy, I was just used to the fact that people would not stick to their word. So I was very surprised what was the difference between the Italian way of hiring a person and the way they instead do it here. The most surprising is the lack of hierarchy that we see in our organizations compared to the United States. In Japan in school, we have to respect teachers, respect old people. In the Netherlands after the class, we always drink beer or do karaoke with my teachers. We are very equal so that is very impressive for me. I found it very surprising that they throw this most amazing carnival party down in the South, the Catholic south, on a par with Venice or parts of South America. You know….to see the Dutch going totally wild. That was such a shock. How tall everyone was. I mean I knew there was like tall people here but then when you stand in a concert, and there’s just no way you’re going to see anything… ever… The smell of the country. You can feel the smell of the cows or the sheep. It surprised me. That is really surprising because this is everywhere. I felt this… I said oh my gosh I stepped in something, and I start to look at my shoe, and it was nothing there, and I said oh, my gosh a bird has pooped in my hair, and I start to look in my hair, and oh my gosh, maybe I’m sick. You know… We don’t have the alarm. The first time I was here, I didn’t know about it and suddenly at 12 o’clock… wooh-wooh-wooh I don’t know… if it first was for war!? … and then for flood!? very, very scary. wooh, wooh, wooh There is a couple of bridges. These bridges are for planes. So you are driving, and a plane crosses the bridge right above your head. That still is funny for me. Prostitutes in windows. That’s pretty surprising. The red-light district. I didn’t know that a country would have that. I was in Amsterdam walking around on a Sunday morning, and I was very, very tired, and I needed some coffee. So, I politely asked a little old Dutch lady who obviously just came out of church where the nearest coffee shop was. Not knowing what a coffee shop meant in the Netherlands, she proceeded to yell at me and smack me with her purse. More foreigners would go to a coffee shop and smoke weed than Dutch people. The drug culture is very small. You go to England where it is illegal straight up, and more people in England smoke weed than they do in the Netherlands. The service here tends to be more focused on the human experience rather than making a quick buck. If I walk into a restaurant, for example. After we order, we usually don’t see the waiter again. We have to flag them down to get refills and also getting the bill sometimes is a problem. I have the opportunity to sit and enjoy the conversation that’s around me and go when I’m ready to go unless, of course, it’s closing time. It’s incredibly a human experience focused. How the hospital or the doctors work here is very different. If you go to India or the US or everywhere, then you’ve been pumped with a lot of antibiotics, and here if you go to the hospital, you get paracetamol… that’s all you get. Okay, wait for three days, see if the fever is still there. Okay after that, you come. Fully different than most of the countries I would say. The biggest surprise to me is that everyone bikes. I find that it’s so interesting that the older people still bike. They’re still able to get around; it’s amazing. You’d see three people on the one ‘fiets’ (=bicycle), one riding, one on this side, one hanging on the back. The parking lots would have 30 cars and 900 bikes. 10% of the parking lot was cars, and 90% was bikes. I knew that this is a biking place, and I love that about Holland, but they’re not afraid to run you over. Everybody rides a bicycle, and you have a road for the bicycles everywhere. It was really a surprise for me. I have to watch everywhere all the time because bikers are coming from all directions, and I was not sure if I’m taking the correct road. Am I on the bike road now or what is happening? The wind. The first two days, I couldn’t feel my face. Windmills. I wanted always to stop everywhere and take a picture of every windmill. I understood that there was rain here, but I did not fully appreciate how much. My very first year was the coldest, wettest year in over a hundred years. The steps. I remember just how thin and tall the houses were. Looking at them, I wondered how people could even live in them. Coming from Ireland, I found the organization of everything a total surprise. How Dutch people are so precise with time. Here, the tram comes in five minutes. It’s five minutes, it’s leaving. And I was always the one running behind it. You’re standing at the bus stop, and it says bus in one minute… and it comes! The shops closing at 5:30 or 6 o’clock. You can’t buy anything after that. That was like a big shock for me. I had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t get to a store after 6 o’clock or 8 o’clock now. At first it really irritated me, because I thought: Oh God, it’s so organized here. The more I sort of relaxed into it and the more time I spent here, I think oh, I think I’ll go over to Holland for a little bit of organization for a while.

What was your BIGGEST SURPRISE… on arriving in the NETHERLANDS?
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100 thoughts on “What was your BIGGEST SURPRISE… on arriving in the NETHERLANDS?

  • April 23, 2019 at 5:53 pm
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    Canadian guy Calvin won an award for being the best lecturer of the Netherlands in 2018. Use the information as you please.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 11:40 pm
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    One thing to say… Take the train…

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  • August 1, 2019 at 6:50 am
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    Everyone talks to you? I don't live in Amstedam never seen that happen.

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  • August 1, 2019 at 8:29 am
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    Aardig ga maar naar zaandam daar zeggen ze niks

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  • August 1, 2019 at 11:46 am
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    Dutch drug culture is small?? service is more focused towards human experience?? It always smells of cows everywhere?? This video is full of crap, it sounds like most of these people have never lived in The Netherlands for more than a week, and only visited the touristic areas, or farmer’s villages.

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  • August 1, 2019 at 12:43 pm
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    3:15 the smell of the country.. cows and sheeps. omg.

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  • August 1, 2019 at 7:57 pm
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    4:49 are u sure about that

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  • August 2, 2019 at 5:31 pm
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    Mooi! 🇳🇱 #ikhouvanholland

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  • August 3, 2019 at 5:35 am
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    Everybody say hoi you say 40 times hoi ???? U smell cow poo everywhere
    Where the fuck in the netherlands is this

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  • August 3, 2019 at 9:42 am
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    He may open a conversation but I will open his liver

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  • August 5, 2019 at 12:01 am
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    ja dat klopt wel allegaar zo,n beetje.

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  • August 5, 2019 at 10:19 am
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    Yeahhhhhhh right!!!!

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  • August 6, 2019 at 2:45 am
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    We don’t give out our bike accounts we send tikkies 😂

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  • August 6, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    I was surprised to see lots of Arabs, spitting in the streets

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  • August 6, 2019 at 7:40 am
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    do i live in the wrong Nederlands?

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  • August 6, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    iedereen is van de wereld en de wereld is van Nederland

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  • August 6, 2019 at 2:18 pm
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    Like als je Nederlands bent

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  • August 6, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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    Right! If i wouldnt interview a arabic or a black person either.. you would hear the tru identity of the dutch people

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  • August 6, 2019 at 8:46 pm
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    Hoi ik ben van nederland

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  • August 7, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    I hate living in the Netherlands…..

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  • August 7, 2019 at 10:27 pm
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    Wat ze nu zeggen is echt totaal niet zo😂

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  • August 8, 2019 at 8:19 am
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    ATTENTION:: WE ARE SERVED A LIE HERE :: ATTENTION

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  • August 8, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    ze verbazen zich over in wat voor een hard, onbeschoft en hufterig land ze zijn terechtgekomen

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  • August 8, 2019 at 8:42 pm
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    What I find interesting about what the Japanese man says about respect towards teachers is that he says that here teachers and students are more equal to each other, but what does that have to do with respect?

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  • August 9, 2019 at 1:53 am
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    Amsterdam is the Blackpool of the Nederlands. Go cycling in the country. Have a joint and a picnic.

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  • August 9, 2019 at 6:10 pm
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    Love these video's – how people from outside the Netherands think about our country! You never really think about it ourself.

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  • August 9, 2019 at 11:23 pm
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    I feel complimented😂 i really do😂

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  • August 10, 2019 at 9:49 pm
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    Friesland have you been?

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  • August 10, 2019 at 11:03 pm
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    I think they didn’t came in Rotterdam 😂

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  • August 11, 2019 at 5:44 pm
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    Strangers saying hi to you everywhere you go in the Netherlands? Yes, probably only in the parts of Amsterdam where they're high 24/7. And someone trying to catch your attention in traffic for 10 seconds only to wave at you? My man you must have been blocking the road or something 😂

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  • August 11, 2019 at 8:08 pm
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    7.20 well… they didn’t meet NS then😂😂😂 basically every train is too late or just dissapears

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  • August 11, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    so one sided i say and io am dutch

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  • August 11, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    oops typo

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  • August 12, 2019 at 10:25 pm
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    They come to one place and then judge

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  • August 12, 2019 at 11:48 pm
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    And that is exactly what is wrong with the Netherlands. I call it Singapore at the North sea. A name for that is( in dutch ) regelnevenland which in fact is not so easy to translate but it means that the cousins or the nephews organise everything in this country. Everything is arranged even the leaves of grass are planted one by one according the rules which were devised especially for that purpose. Soon the authorities will decide which shoes you have to put on in the week. For monday red shoes, for tuesday on your left foot a blue one and on you right a green one. Wednesday it is allowed in the morning to put on a bronwn shoe on the left foot and a black one on the right. However after 12.00 glock this will not be allowed anymore because then left is blacj and right is brown .
    Etc etc. For every day in the week SICKENING.

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  • August 13, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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    Total bullshit

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  • August 15, 2019 at 10:00 am
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    nederlanders zijn gwn aardig VMBO AFDELING EUUUUH

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  • August 16, 2019 at 1:09 pm
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    I agree with polite drunk people 😂 they are even more polite than sober people from other countries

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  • August 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Getting yelled at and smacked with a purse (4:22) because you asked directions to a coffeeshop?
    You're so full of shit! That never happened. Not in Amsterdam.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 5:11 pm
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    Greetings from Amsterdam..

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  • August 16, 2019 at 6:01 pm
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    Wat hebben ze gerookt?

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  • August 16, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    That’s sometimes I hate about the Netherlands. The opening hours of shops. And I’m a local. And it’s not that shops don’t want to stay open: they can’t by law.
    Most supermarkets here in Amsterdam are open 7 days a week from 8am – 10pm.
    But small stores open at 9 am and close at 6pm. And at Saturday they close at 5.
    Some stores even close entirely on a Sunday.
    And the fact that we don’t have any 24/7 stores is so depressing. They should open a Walmart, target or at least a 7/11 here.

    And on a side note: when I was growing up the opening hours where even more restricted. It was a nightmare.
    Supermarkets would open at 9am and close at 6pm(!) during weekdays. My parents would always have to buy in bulk on a Saturday because they worked 5 days a week and there was just no time for them to do grocery shopping.
    On Saturday they would close at 5pm and they would all be closed on Sunday.
    That was all because of government laws. The last 20 years they’ve become a lot more relaxed on those opening hours but it’s nothing compared to the UK or the US.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 10:23 pm
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    Of course the Jewish dude thinks we are over-polite.
    Israelis are known the be one of the most rude people on this planet. Especially the orthodox ones.
    They are not welcome in many hotels and hostels in South East Asia.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 10:32 pm
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    i was born in holland andive here for 20 years now, its a weird country, i like to live in other country's more. its more logical to me the way that they live in

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  • August 17, 2019 at 12:45 am
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    pff nou mn buurvrouw zegt bijna nooit hallo als ik gedag zeg overdrijven is ook een vak.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 12:49 am
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    lmao the japanese guy says after class we always drink beer…………….. hahahhaha, that only happens with the working class type of guys that drink every day, sorry for him he ended up with that type of dutch men. turned him into an alcoholic within a few days i suppose………….. smh civilized dutch men dont drink every day. only in the weekends is the social way of living.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 12:54 am
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    dont learn dutch, its a waste of time……. look at this video how many parts they cut out…………. that were all the parts were they spoke some dutch lmao. you will do super fine speaking good english in my country. some dutch people cant speak english, but believe me you dont even want to talk with them anyway, only thing those type of dutch people have to say is how important Black Pete is for their traditions and black people should stop complaining about it, i say this to you, because every child in the netherlands is being forced to follow at least basic education, and this includes learning english.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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    I am Dutch XD

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  • August 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm
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    Please stop selling our country. We don't need anymore immigrants🤗

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  • August 18, 2019 at 1:09 am
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    'Carnival party in the catholic south' yes it started as a catholic thing but it's basically dressing up in weird costumes, music and alcohol(or just normal drinks if you don't drink)😂

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  • August 18, 2019 at 10:39 am
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    "The dutch drug environment is smaller" nah, more people than you might think in the Netherlands smoke weed. Even tho its allowed(ish), most people tend to deny smoking weed. Except for teens, we are all open about it nowadays and we usually hang out with 20+ to smoke some and relax. No one gets bothered by it

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  • August 18, 2019 at 11:49 am
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    the betters are albanians and irish people………solar people

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  • August 18, 2019 at 12:36 pm
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    me (i come from the netherlands) : watches this vid also me: gets happy

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  • August 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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    Wooh wooh wooh

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  • August 18, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    What's the alarm at 12 o'clock? 🤣🤣🤣

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  • August 19, 2019 at 1:48 am
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    Wanneer je aan het kijken bent naar mensen die Nederlands leren: 'Nu bij Albert Heijn, 2 + 1 Gratis!' Haha

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  • August 19, 2019 at 10:58 am
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    Amsterdam is not the whole country. We don't even want it in the Netherlands. Seperate it from the rest of the Netherlands please. Make Eindhoven the Capital. Eindhoven de gekstuuuuuh!!!!

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  • August 19, 2019 at 2:14 pm
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    Vriendelijk? Ik twijfel nu of ik wel in Nederland woon

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  • August 19, 2019 at 5:35 pm
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    Me: Will you pay me please

    Friend: ja ik stuur wel eem een tikkie swa

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  • August 19, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    THE DUTCH, LIKE ALL OF EUROPE ARE VERY RUDE TO AMERICANS.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 3:19 am
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    the bicycle thing is because the country is flat and every car parking space costs like 7 to 14 dollars an hour

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  • August 20, 2019 at 11:27 am
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    I'm Dutch people say hi to me… I get scared and bike/run awayyyyyy

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  • August 20, 2019 at 12:53 pm
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    where the hell did they go to xD

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  • August 20, 2019 at 4:54 pm
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    been here for 20 years never got run over by a bicycle, what are these wankers smoking?
    geez you need to look both ways crossing the street, some people are natural imbeciles

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  • August 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm
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    Volgens mij wonen deze mensen in de Efteling

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  • August 20, 2019 at 5:47 pm
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    Wa zeg ie

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  • August 20, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    Nobody sais hoi when im walking to the Albert heyn

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  • August 21, 2019 at 1:06 pm
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    What I love the most about the Netherlands: CATS ARE EVERYWHERE I swear you go in a shop and the next thing you see is a cat chilling on the shelf or sleeping on the chair and honestly I love this so much

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  • August 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm
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    im dutch dab

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:18 pm
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    Dat heet politiek correct zijn vertrouw me 😀 we zitten elke dag met elkaar te auwe hoeren maar we lijken zo netjes van buitenkant

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  • August 22, 2019 at 9:18 pm
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    De aardigheid word er en beetje overdreven getoond ,zeg maar
    Ik zou het “gewoon normaal doen” noemen.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 10:36 pm
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    4:50 please dont feature her on any future videos. She does not know shit about the netherlands and shes just saying stupid shit.

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  • August 23, 2019 at 11:34 pm
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    Hehe a Hungarian guy in a video about the Netherlands, this makes me happy
    (I'm a half Hungarian/Dutch kid)

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  • August 24, 2019 at 6:33 pm
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    Fact: some dutch is addictive in smoking like during break in work it seems “iederen zijn rokken”,ook meisje!

    Nou ja ,als je american bent ,jij moet niey zeggen: how are u ,want dutch mensen weten jij niet,beter zeg maar hoi,.

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  • August 24, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    3:17 she's went on the wrong time when the farmers fermilize the meadows with fertilizer like 'cowshit'. But thats once or two times a year. I guess so😂😂

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  • August 24, 2019 at 7:55 pm
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    These people are only went to amsterdam where only there hoes en coffeeshops are. The rest of Netherland is a boring so i understand that.

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  • August 25, 2019 at 11:36 am
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    That woman says it smells, what i think?
    SHE SMELLS

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  • August 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm
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    Almost everything I have heard in this video is the exact opposite to what I have experienced. ja ik ben NL

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:03 am
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    1:53 faggots

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  • August 26, 2019 at 7:37 pm
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    "all my girlfriends at home" good German English

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  • August 27, 2019 at 8:42 pm
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    snollebollekes

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  • August 27, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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    We dont smoke less hete than in everyelse where, but we know where we can buy good weed.

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  • August 28, 2019 at 6:43 am
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    Ben ik de enige uit nederland?

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  • August 28, 2019 at 6:59 am
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    hoi ik ben nederlands

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  • August 28, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    Dankje voor de complimenten

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  • September 1, 2019 at 5:32 am
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    Goed om te horen

    Blijf fietsen

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  • September 1, 2019 at 9:17 pm
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    The wooh wooh wooh is an alarm for air attack’s and it gets testet every first Monday of the month

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  • September 2, 2019 at 7:50 am
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    Als ik dit allemaal zo hoor denk ik dat de meeste mensen nooit in Nederland zijn geweest en behoorlijk in de war zijn.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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    This is funny to watch i am Dutch 3:16 I did not know that

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  • September 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm
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    I live here and a lot of people are inconsiderate and not nice at all. NO ONE smiles, or says ‘hi’. No one is direct.

    Of waarschijnlijk met het feit dat ik in LIMBURG woon skskskss🙄

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  • September 4, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    I laughed cause of the lady who speaks about the national alarm testing. Each first monday of the month at 12o Clock the alarm goes off haha

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  • September 4, 2019 at 8:54 am
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    The biggest surprise is How people are clean and well organised! And respectful Long live dutch people

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  • September 4, 2019 at 11:37 am
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    Wooh wooh wooh

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  • September 4, 2019 at 3:34 pm
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    Het sociale stelsel en de prachtige gevangenissen.

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  • September 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm
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    Yes i know, we are lovely 😂

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  • September 4, 2019 at 4:01 pm
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    Hey people Holland doesn't exist it only existed for a few year when we had a France king…
    That's the strangest thing about foreigners about The Netherland……it is 1 country 1 land and 1 kingdom ….

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  • September 4, 2019 at 5:20 pm
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    IK BEN NL

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  • September 4, 2019 at 5:38 pm
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    3:48
    I am dutch and that alarm is every first 12 hour of the first monday in a month, it is becuse they are cheking if the alarm still works

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  • September 4, 2019 at 8:52 pm
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    "Dutch people are very friendly"….have you ever been in Limburg?

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  • September 4, 2019 at 9:19 pm
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    What u mean the bus come on time? It’s always late

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