Pimp My Bike #28

The Marilyn edition, spotted in the weekend on Nieuwezijdskolk. pimpbike28

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3 thoughts on “Pimp My Bike #28

  1. Hello I am an American high school student who is working on an exploratory project on the Netherlands for my literature class, and I was wondering if you would mind taking a couple minutes to answer a few questions I have on Dutch culture. If you could reply anytime soon that would be amazing!

    First question: What is it like socially in Amsterdam compared to other countries, if you have visited any others?

    Second: What are some common leisure activities or hobbies that people/teenagers engage in in Amsterdam?

    Third: What are some popular foods/types of food in Amsterdam?

    Fourth: How developed or up to date is the technology in the Netherlands?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Carter, I’m not Dutch, so although I’ve lived here for a long time I still have an “outsider’s view”

      First question: What is it like socially in Amsterdam compared to other countries, if you have visited any others?
      I’ve lived in five or six other countries. This is a country where it’s relatively easy to make friends with local people. English is widely spoken, the culture is rather open, and the Dutch are easy-going. They do not get easily offended if you criticise Dutch culture, as an example of this there is a facebook page “Stuff Dutch People Like”, well, half the followers are Dutch people who find it funny to laugh at themselves.
      In general the culture in Amsterdam is very open and tolerant. There are a lot of foreigners living here, and (this may be shocking to someone in the US) homosexuality is legal and celebrated in a festival every August. It feels like a city of opportunity even though we’re going through an economic recession.
      Second: What are some common leisure activities or hobbies that people/teenagers engage in in Amsterdam?
      Not so much a hobby – everyone cycles here, it’s a way to get around. Speaking to American friends living here they’ve been surprised at the amount of freedom Dutch teenagers have – but because they can cycle across the city in about 20 minutes they can do a lot independently. In terms of activities, well, football has to be listed, but I think lots of different sports, summers at the beach, dances and clubs (there are some aimed at teenagers), and generally hanging out together seem the normal activities to me. Through summer there are lots of festivals here with live music in the park, they are also popular.
      Third: What are some popular foods/types of food in Amsterdam?
      Everything. Because of the history of migration you can get almost any food here… and it keeps improving.
      Popular Dutch food – “ertwensoep” pea soup, “poffertjes” mini pancakes, “pannekoeken” thick pancakes, “haring” herring eaten with onions (check that on youtube)
      Fourth: How developed or up to date is the technology in the Netherlands?
      Very, internet use is high, smart phone use is high. All companies use digital tools to serve customers, all companies use social media often as a service channel (KLM wins awards for what they do, they’ll answer questions on twitter within 20 minutes). I know just one person who does not have a smart phone – she’s an artist and she’s 90. The Dutch have also been innovators for centuries particularly in terms of water management (25% of the country is below sea level), so it’s not surprising that they’re quick to adopt technology.
      There isn’t the start-up industry here that you see in California, but there is an increasing drive to support small companies starting up, even the Amsterdam City Council is supporting an innovation drive.

      I hope that answers your questions for today – let me know if anything is not clear.

      The Rat.

      • Thank you so much for the reply! That helped clarify a lot for me about modern Dutch culture.

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