Tips and guides about visiting the Netherlands are aplenty: where to go, what to see, and what to eat. But I have yet to see a simple guide to help short people navigate this wonderfully tiny country inhabited by tall people. 📏
It’s obviously a very serious issue that deserves our collective attention — especially my attention since as I stand at a towering 5’3” (160cm). On a good day, I’m 5’3″ and 1/4.
I know the plight of being a short person all too well, therefore I fancy myself an expert on the subject. So gather ’round short people, I present to you with the short Person’s guide to the Netherlands.
Make friends with shorter people
What better way to feel a little less short than making friends with people who you stand level with? You won’t have trouble shaking hands or seeing eye-to-eye, so to speak. Try your hand at expat hangouts where you’ll surely meet people who come from countries that aren’t as vertically blessed as the Dutch.
Conquer your bike
But there’s a way to get on that two-wheeler and ride like a pro. The trick is to position the pedal in a way where you can step on it, lift yourself up onto the seat and start pedalling. 🚲
Buying a kid’s bike (like I did) is always an option, but it’s so much cooler to get yourself one of the glorious beauties like in the picture below!
Give yourself a boost
I noticed during my time in the Netherlands that everything is placed a little higher, which makes sense — like when I realized I can’t reach the top shelves in a Dutch kitchen. So I suggest keeping a step ladder in your home and wearing platform or high heel shoes. 👠 Without these boosts, your legs will probably start to give out after too much standing on your toes to see through the peephole in your door.
I generally did a lot of tiptoeing and jumping up and down, like when I could only see my forehead and the top of my head in the bathroom mirror until I got an extra one. On the bright side, my legs certainly got a nice workout.
Exercise those neck muscles
The Dutch are people you can look up to, literally. If you’re going to socialize with the Dutch, whether it be in a relaxed, social setting or in the workplace, expect to look up to the skies pretty often. ☁
Those neck muscles are going to get a good workout, so you better practice at home. Try it in the mirror; you’ll want to practice doing this with style and elegance.
If you still find yourself fumbling with door handles or feel that your legs just can’t take any more tiptoeing, then it’s time to hop a train and go to Belgium.
Are you a short person living in this land of very, very tall people with tips to add to our guide? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: firstname.lastname@example.org/Depositphotos
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in September 2013, and was fully updated in October 2021 for your reading pleasure.