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News Category: NewspapersNews Tags: differences, Netherlands, tips, and travel

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  • Have you ever wanted to live abroad?

    In Part III of our Humans of Ptownlife series, I interviewed a Pleasanton local who had spent a year living abroad in the Netherlands and learned about the cultural differences between the United States and the Netherlands (one of them involves chocolate…yum!).

    But first, be sure to get caught up on parts I, the top tips and tricks for living abroad and Part II, how to save up money and plan your budget for the trip.

    5 cultural differences from living abroad:

    1. In Belgium, Belgian waffles are not a breakfast food
    “One time, we went to Belgium, which is basically a very similar country; they speak the same language. We were so excited to have Belgian waffles and we sat down for breakfast to have Belgian waffles and they were all like, ‘You don’t eat waffles for breakfast.’ We were like, ‘What are you talking about?’ They eat them at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Its their afternoon snack. Very different.”

    2. Pancakes are not for breakfast
    “The Dutch do have pancakes, but they have them for lunch. They’re the size of a plate and they put bacon and cheese and stuff on them and they’re DELICIOUS.”

    3. For breakfast, bread should be eaten with chocolate
    “They put chocolate sprinkles on their toast. They call it ‘hagelslag’ and it’s also delicious. It’s not like the chocolate sprinkles we have here that are fake. It’s like real chocolate and so it tastes like you would spread Nutella on your bread, it’s kind of the same concept. Which is a very European thing that has finally come to America.”

    4. Women keep their maiden name
    “The women don’t take their husband’s name. That was different. So outside every house, there is a sign with their name and the house number and there were typically two names for a married couple because it’s more important to them to keep the family name.”

    5. If you wanted to meet someone for coffee, you would invite them to your house, not Starbucks

    “If you wanted to meet someone you would invite them to your house. I guess at the airport there are Starbucks and they do have little coffee shops, but generally you invite people over to your house to have coffee in the afternoon. Whereas we would say let’s go meet at Starbucks here, they would invite you to their house to have some snacks or whatever. It’s just different.”

    Stay tuned for more great information on how to live abroad!

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