At DutchReview we like to celebrate a lot of the wonderful things that make the Netherlands great, but let’s be fair, there’s also a lot that the Netherlands doesn’t have, but should.
If you’ve lived in Holland your whole life you may not realize, for example, that there are real places in the world where the not-so-mythical sun actually shines. However, we complain about Dutch weather enough. Instead, let’s focus on some other vitally important things that the Netherlands doesn’t have either.
Space and housing
Ok, so this one is quite simple. The Netherlands is small and it has a lot of people. It would be nice to have a bit more space to put all these people. It’s not as if we don’t have the technology. We’ve been making land out of water for hundreds of years, why stop now?
A logical follow up to the lack of space is the lack of houses, at least that’s certainly what it feels like. Ever tried finding a reasonable place to live in Amsterdam? It’s really super easy, just accept homelessness or crippling debt. Ok, so that’s not everyone’s biggest issue, but it’s certainly a problem if you’re an international student.
Is it that hard to put up curtains that actually block light coming in? How do Dutch people sleep in such bright conditions? I’ll never truly understand, and it’s not just in the bedrooms that curtains that cause problems. It’s on every window!
Have you ever tried one of those lovely summer evening strolls in the Netherlands? There you are, just strolling calmly along the sidewalk and suddenly your gaze drifts to the right and next thing you know you’re staring at the neighbouring family gathered together to watch some evening television.
READ MORE | Why don’t the Dutch like to use curtains?
So you turn back before you’re caught creeping and thank god you didn’t just make eye contact because holy shit what if they had seen you? What would they think? And you know the Dutch, not afraid to speak their minds. What would they tell their friends? What if you’re ostracized from all social interaction with others because you’ve become that creepy guy that looks into others’ houses?
It wasn’t even your fault, you accidentally looked, you didn’t mean to look in. Good curtains are just something that the Netherlands doesn’t have. So you keep your eyes down for the rest of the walk. Who needs to enjoy the open air and actually look around at the cute neighbourhood houses? The sidewalk is just fine, and so that’s what you look at when you awkwardly make your way home trying to avoid any eye contact with others. And all because Dutch people just don’t have good curtains.
Delicious Dutch cuisine
Yes, Dutch food does exist, but is a plethora of fried snacks and glorified mashed potatoes really worth celebrating? Wouldn’t it be nice if the Dutch had good food to call their own? It’s not as though there is a lack of ingredients. The Dutch are some of the world’s most renowned experts when it comes to growing with greenhouse technology. Not to mention they have no issue producing high-quality meat and fish as well.
Why then have the Dutch settled for sticking a potato, a plain piece of meat, and some broccoli on a plate? Simply put, it seems the Dutch, on the whole, lack an appreciation for truly brilliant food. It’s not as though they hate it, of course, and there are plenty of exceptions, but the love for food just isn’t as ingrained in the Dutch.
It’s not too strange to see a Dutchie bring their own sandwich to work and eat it in 10 minutes before continuing work. Have you ever seen a Frenchman do that? Or an Italian? I haven’t, and that’s because they have an appreciation for taking the time to enjoy good food. That same appreciation is just something that the Netherlands doesn’t have.
So as much as I love the Dutch, I do often wish they had spent time developing a food culture worth enjoying. Like the French, or the Italians, or the Indonesians, or the Greeks, or the Thai, or the Spanish, or the Japanese, or the Mexicans, or the Brazilians, or the Indians, or everyone else except the British.
A good men’s football team
At the moment, I am super happy with the state of Dutch football. Well… women’s football that is. I mean, we’re European champions! So nothing to complain about there. Let’s keep that up.
But when it comes to the men…well, let’s just say it would be nice to maybe dream about an opportunity to maybe get to the second round of qualifying for a major tournament. Right now, though, it seems that a good men’s football team is just another thing that the Netherlands doesn’t have.
Let’s stay optimistic though, at least the women are doing well in qualifying so far.
Toilets with leg space
I know I’ve complained about the absurdity of Dutch toilets before, but I just can’t help myself. Why can’t they just put the toilet in a room where you aren’t resting your knees halfway up the wall in order to fit your legs? Why even bother putting a toilet if you end up squatting on top of it anyway? It’s not as though the Dutch are small people, it’s even the exact opposite!
I will never understand, but I’ve been complaining about this for years and it seems to make no difference. Maybe I just need to give up. It seems toilets in the Netherlands will just never have legroom.
Is there anything else you think the Netherlands doesn’t have, but should? Let us know in the comments below!