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The Netherlands was never really a place that fit in my horizon. It was a place I knew certain things about that most people know too but there was nothing that really made it special to me. Till I read this book.
A collection of essays by expat bloggers in The Netherlands opened my eyes to how tall the Dutch are, how complicated their language is, how blunt their words are, how they steal bikes left and right, how their doctors don't really want to see you, and how stress and worry free they are when it comes to their kids.
The book also showed me the realities of expats in a country that is totally alien from their own. I loved the diverse voices and how so many different countries were represented. I even enjoyed guessing what country the blogger came from based on how they wrote - the Americans and British have a distinct way of writing and I don't just mean how differently they spell their words from each other.
Now I definitely want to visit this country! And I feel my horizons have definitely broadened after reading this collection!
I only gave it a 4 because not all essays were as good as the others, but most were very interesting!
This was definitely interesting. Many of the stories and cultural elements were relatable to me as an expat in France. (Or am I really an expat if I'm here for life?). But there were so many other cultural elements that were 100% Dutch and it was fun to discover all of them, from riding bikes, coffee dates, pregnancy, language... If you like visiting other countries vicariously, you'll love this anthology.
I am an American living in NL. While reading, I mumbled to myself many times and laughed at the familiar. Read this if you are in the NL. or will be soon. You need a mention of the candle tray in most all Dutch households and the lanterns in the windows. (Cozy, I now have both)
This is an amazing book to read. It is entertaining, informative and very well written. The 4 women put together a collection of stories about their experiences in such a way it makes you feel like part of it.
Although I have never lived in the Netherlands, and at the moment have no intention to, I loved this book for its honesty about expat life. Some of the articles were very particular to Holland, some were more about expat life in general - but all of them made me laugh and gave me great insight into living the Dutch lifestyle as an alien. I really loved the articles about making friends, and chuckled at the "leech" (who hasn't encountered a leech somewhere in their expat life?), as well as the stories about shopping and giving birth.
I am also a little bit jealous. I have moved to several different countries as an expat, and about to move again, but have never had such a useful reference book to help me find my feet. This would be an excellent gift for anyone about to make the leap into expat life in the Netherlands.