Welcome to Utrecht: highlights of the Intro Week

A new great semester is about to start, and ESN is there with you every step of the way. The new residents of the beautiful city of Utrecht had a chance to visit it with the help of more other students that already know all the secrets!

Introduction Day

On the introduction day, groups of brand new internationals had a day to explore the city with the guidance of the mentors. There was time to make the highest tower under the tower…

joco (2) intro day

… and to play some fancy pool!

joco (3) intro day

For the brave that still had energy after such an eventful day, the night was also full of excitement at Woolloomooloo!


Intro Week

After the introduction day, a more prolonged introduction to the student life in Utrecht was kickstarted. During the introduction week, smaller groups of internationals and their mentors took part in different activities organized exclusively for them!

Some groups did laser tag…

joco (4) day 2

… while others had the Cantus…

joco (2) day 2
During the Cantus
joco (3) day 2
After the Cantus

… with notorious before and after differences.

The following days had a healthy dose of bowling…
joco (2)

joco (3)

… and, because our internationals are extremely gifted, karaoke!

joco day4

In the name of the JoCo, I wish all of the new internationals in Utrecht a great experience abroad! We are here to help you make the most of your time here, sharing our tips and knowledge. We are also here to give you a voice, so if you think there is something that you would like us to talk about leave us a message in the comments!


Gym De Workout

Staying in shape as a student can be difficult. Most gym memberships are expensive and most of the time the weather in the Netherlands is too rainy to enjoy a run. Thankfully, we found you a gym with a student discount and a lot of possibilities to stay in shape: De Workout!

De Workout image 1

De Workout is a gym in downtown Utrecht. We talked to one of their long term members, Fee, who told us why she prefers De Workout over other gyms in Utrecht. Fee has been a member for three years and joined the gym after her friends told her about it.

There are several different ways to practice sport in De Workout. It is possible to join the group lessons, like BodyAttack (Fee’s favourite). Besides the standard group lessons, De Workout also organises sport events to break the routine once in a while. For instance, they organised a spinning marathon to raise money for charity.

If you rather work out at your own pace, you can make use of the cardio equipment or weights. Fee told us that she prefers De Workout over other gyms, because the employees pay a lot of individual attention to all their members. It is possible to work out with a trainer, who takes your personal goals into account. In addition, they are willing to make you a personal schedule for weight training.

Fee spent a semester abroad herself and experienced that it can be difficult to keep working out during an exchange period. Therefore, she recommends De Workout to all international students who would like to stay in shape. During her three years at De Workout, she came across a lot of internationals and she told us that the trainers and instructors are willing to help you out in English. In short, there are no excuses to not work out during your time in the Netherlands!

4 ways to impress your date on Valentine’s Day

Schermafbeelding 2018-02-13 om 22.13.58.png

As we’re already in February (!) it’s time for a very special holiday!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! The day where we celebrate love! And consumerism. But most importantly: LOVE!
I f*ck*ng love love. Even when I hate it. I am very much in love at the moment, and already cooking up some ideas what to do. Now, my girlfriend has explicitly told me she doesn’t want flowers or a barbershop quartet send to her workplace, so I have yet to decide what to do. But as we all know: Utrecht is the most romantic city in the entire world. Forget about Paris, Venice or the Cinque Terre, Utrecht is where it’s at. And there are plenty of things to do in Utrecht!

Now let’s get to business. Here are some romantic ideas to impress your date!

#1 Romance on the Dom tower

On Valentine’s day you can experience the most romantic tour of the year. Take your big, new or future lover to the Dom Tower and enjoy romance in the sky while drinking a glass of bubbles. You’ll hear the amazing stories about the Tower and the canals. Of course you will enjoy a spectacular view. See the canals in a way you have never seen them before and your date will be surely impressed by you!!

Tickets are 12,50 PP


#2 Ice skating

It’s nice to be active with your date. And one thing that’s fun to do is ice skating! Take your date to the Vechtsebanen in Utrecht and skate hand in hand! Or impress your date with an awesome pirouette like you saw on the winter Olympics!
If you have never ice skated you might come off as clumsy, but that is cute and absolutely endearing so don’t worry about it! It is nothing but fun and after the skate sesh you can stay at Vechtsebanen for a drink.


#3 Make a valentine’s dinner together

Sure, you can look up a recipe that is impressive but almost impossible to make. It doesn’t have to be that hard. You can take any easy recipe and make it as romantic as you want. For instance, a homemade lasagne is reeeally easy but delicious and fun to make. It’s perfectly fine just to get a lasagne mix from Bertolli, or make very easy but delicious spaghetti. The best thing to do is just get all the ingredients and make sure your kitchen is clean and romantic. Light some candles, put on a sexy song and bake that thing together. The good thing about cooking together is that it’s a perfect moment to already drink a couple of glasses of wine. That’ll take the edge of. And if you fail, you fail together you get that covered.

#4 Comedy night in Hofman

If you’re not particularly funny yourself, but you still want your date to laugh, take him or her to the comedy night in Café Hofman! Share some food, drinks and laughs and just enjoy the night. If the comedian is terrible, make fun of him together! If the comedian is hilarious, tell your date that you knew in advance that it was going to be something special for your date. You can’t go wrong with a comedy night.


So here you go! four ways to impress your date and have a successful Valentine’s Say. Now go out to the market and buy your Valentine a rose and surprise him or her with a very special date and celebrate love!!

The Extended Battle of Nuremberg: Portugal x Netherlands in culture

2006, Nuremberg, Germany: FIFA’s world cup is taking place in Germany and Italy would become its ultimate winner. Before the conclusion of the tournament, however, a curious incident takes place.

On the 25th of June, a game from the Round of 16 is played between Portugal and the Netherlands. The air was warm and humid and the sun was hiding behind a cloudy sky. At Frankenstadion, forty one thousand supporters cheered on the bleachers for their favorite team. Their hearts were beating to the sound of each national hymn. Valentin Valentinovich Ivanov was the appointed referee. The bloodshed that followed was bound to be sung by generations to come: 4 red cards and 16 yellow cards. One of these was issued to the Portuguese player Luís Figo, after a headbutt with another player. About this incident, the then Portuguese manager Luis Scolari commented “Jesus Christ may be able to turn the other cheek but Luís Figo isn’t Jesus Christ“.


The football field was a battleground between the two nations on that day for the world to see. But for me, since I am Portuguese, some of these spats are fought within myself when some cultural differences arise. Let’s take a look at some of the most outstanding cultural differences between Portugal and the Netherlands!

Your agenda, please! One of the most surprising things for me in the Netherlands was how everyone managed their social life as if they were a doctor running appointments: people have to check their agendas to see if they have time to meet with friends! In Portugal, the structure of the social life is much more laid back, and people just call each other to check if they would like to have a drink that evening. But here people can be booked for a whole month! Though sometimes I miss the spontaneity of just getting together when I feel like it (which is also enabled due to generally better weather), I must admit that the agenda culture has some advantages: you can look forward to meeting friends, prepare better and more special get-togethers and it sometimes gives me courage to go through an awful day or week because I know there is something else to do when it is over!


Would you keep it quiet? When I arrived here for the first time, the thing that I noticed immediately was how quiet the streets were, and they were packed with people! Though initially I thought it was only due to a lack of cars in the city center (which are replaced here by bikes), I later started noting it that wasn’t just that: people just don’t speak as loudly on the streets or public spaces as Portuguese people do! They always try to keep it in a low tone, which in my opinion is very polite, but it can give you an awkward feeling if you want to shout out to your friend at the other end of the street…


The food, of course. One of the things the Portuguese are most proud of is their cuisine. We have a lot of traditional main dishes, and a wealth of amazing pastries, one the most famous being the pastel de nata. The Dutch cuisine is… more modest. Sure, we can have a stampot, or the occasional stroopwafel, but you wouldn’t go out to a Dutch restaurant to have a dinner with friends. If you ever go there, make sure to try as many dishes as you can! Some delicious suggestions: francesinha, bacalhau com natas, frango assado, espetadas, pastéis de bacalhau, tarte de natas, baba de camelo.

Pastel de Nata.

All in all, it is very interesting and enriching to notice cultural differences. Acknowledging differences allows us to be more kind with one another, understand that we all come from different geographical and cultural places, and that we should not assume everything on a first look. It teaches us to me more accepting of one another, not because we are all the same, but because we become more aware that we are all different anyway!

And when we need that nationalistic kick once in a while, let us play it out on the football field and get passionate about it!















Mysteries of Utrecht #3: The Wharf cellars

We all know Utrecht is ridiculously pretty. We gaze upon its beauty every single day. At a certain point you just get spoiled by the gorgeous canals and the beautiful houses. The world recognizes Utrecht by its canals. In 2015, the Australian website News.com.au said Utrecht has the most beautiful canals in the world. Utrecht beats Venice, Brugge, St. Petersburg and Amsterdam when it comes to the canals.

What makes the canals in Utrecht so special?

One thing in particular makes Utrecht stand out; their famous wharf cellars. Utrecht is the only city in the world who has these. These wharf cellars make Utrecht unique. But why are these cellars so special?

The first wharf cellars were made in 1150 and therefor extremely old. This day Utrecht counts 732 (!) of these cellars. Right now, you know them mainly as restaurants, shops, or if you’re very lucky, your house. But originally, they were used for storage. It was a very smart and easy way to supply Utrecht with its every need.


The first cellar was made by an unknown businessman who originally wanted to create a tunnel from his home cellar to the canals of Utrecht. Others took over this idea and the tunnels were getting wider and wider and that’s how the cellars turned into storages. The cellars were very convenient and saved a lot of carrying and lifting.

These cellars and canals created the middle-aged city harbour of Utrecht.

Why did no other city used this concept??

The water level in Utrecht is exceptionally low. This is because of a dam in the river Rijn close to Wijk van Duurstede (A neighbourhood in Utrecht).


The evolution of the canals and wharfs

‘Till the end of the nineteenth century, the wharfs in Utrecht were extremely important. But when the traffic on land became more evolved and more important, the wharfs were of no use anymore and became neglected. This happened because all the cellars had different owners. The cellars were part of the home and renovating them was very hard and really expensive. This was because you would have to work the wharfs too.

After the second world war, in 1948, the city of Utrecht got ownership of the wharfs and started renovating the wharfs, which made it much more attractive for owners to clean up the cellars. This is how Utrecht’s canals became the most beautiful in the world.

The renovation of today

You might have noticed that they’re still working on the canals. In 2009, Utrecht decided to renovate the canals once more. They had to be restored, but remain the same feeling of the good ol’ days. The City council decided to put 35 million euros into the renovation, but right now the costs have gone up to 47,5 million (!). That seems excessive, but hey… If you want to be and stay the beautiful canal city in the world, you have to be willing to pay a little…

Modern use of a wharf cellar, on the inside. The canal can be seen on the outside.

Procrastination for the nation: 7 ways to avoid studying


You know the feeling. You feel like you should be doing all sorts of other stuff in your life but instead you’re just sitting on your desk, studying… Deep down inside you know that there are so many more important things life has to offer besides studying. But what else can you do??Here are 7 ways to help you avoid studying and do the important things in life.

#1 Hang out with friends

The college years are supposed to be the best years of your life. You can’t be in social exile and have the best time of your life. So, get up, call your friends and meet them for coffee or a beer. Share the latest gossip and talk about your romantic conquests and/or failures. Listen to the stories, they tell you about personal difficulties with life and studying. You will recognize their problems and they will recognize yours. With these shared emotional problems, you will forge a friendship that both of you will cherish for the rest of your lives. After all: You will meet your best friends during your college life.

#2 Tinder

In the words of Lenny Kravitz: “Let love rule”! Everybody knows that love is the most important thing in life (definitely more important than good grades!)
Are you sick of seeing all your friends dating? Are you tired of the questions from your mom about when you finally will settle down with a nice boy or girl? Or are you just lonely? Take matters into your own hand and try this great app called Tinder! Nothing will get your mind of studying like swiping mindlessly through profile pictures of the opposite (or same) sex. If you are lucky enough to have a match, engage in awkward chattery, trying to make your match think you’re amazingly smart and interesting! If you have the cojones, ask them out for a date and let the awkwardness continue. Maybe he or she is just as emotional insecure as you and the both of you will fall in love! Kill two birds with one stone: Fall in love and avoid studying! This might be the best advice I have for you.

#3 Clean your room

If you finally have decided to study, take a good look in your room. You can’t possibly study in this mess! The best thing to do right now is clean that shit. Plus: You never know when you have friends or a lover in your room. You don’t want them to think you’re a disgusting little piggy. Save yourself the embarrassment and avoid studying by doing something responsible and hygienic.

*Important: You might think you’re ready with cleaning your room and therefor ready to study, but most people forget about all the other things to clean. Have you done the dishes? Have you ironed your shirts? Is all the hair out of the shower drain? No…? Get back to cleaning! You ain’t ready to study!!

#4 Netflix

When people tend to study a lot, they can forget a basic human right: Being up to date with all the latest Netflix shows.
As Nelson Mandela once said: “No man or woman, no matter what they study, should be afraid of spoilers because they aren’t up to date with Narcos, Riverdale, Stranger things or any other Netflix show because they had to study!”
After all, binge-watching is important for your personal development. You should be able to have and express your opinion about the social injustice that reveals itself in “How to Make a Murderer”. Developing your awareness of cultural masterpieces and being able to discuss this art is an important part of your time as a student. You simply can’t let this get in the way by something as mundane as studying.

#5 Shopping

Being part of the modern world means you have certain responsibilities. One of the responsibilities is that you help the economy grow by consuming. Consuming aka shopping will make you and others feel better. Buying nice clothes, make-up, colognes, fresh toothbrushes will make you more attractive and likeable. If you have enough food and drinks in the house, you can welcome any weary traveller with whatever they would like or need.
So, you can ask yourself at any time: “Do I have enough clothes and food for any occasion I can possibly think of?” Probably not. So, get out and spend that money! If you by any chance have all the things you need. You still need to get out and buy pens and notebooks to help you study. If you also have all of that. Think of something else you need, you can’t have everything yet! If you don’t have any money, you can always go window-shopping. (Dreaming is important!)

#6 Drinking

If you’re still stuck with studying and you can’t find a way to procrastinate studying. Have a beer, a glass or wine or any kind of alcoholic beverage. You will soon find the motivation to study to leave your body like a dying man’s spirit. Invite your friends over and have great drunk intellectual conversations. But be sure to not drink too much! Because remember kids: “binge-watching is cool, binge-drinking is for fools”.

#7 Write an article on how to avoid studying

As I am writing this important manual. I should be studying for my exams, which are pretty soon. But I feel like as a writer, you have to believe in your own product. Therefor I’m leading by example and avoid studying by writing this article. As I am writing my final sentences I am already contemplating how to avoid the books for the rest of today. Luckily, I have just written down several ideas so I’m good to go. If you yourself have any good ideas or Netflix recommendations, please put them down in the comment section.


6 Must see movies of 2018

New year, new movies! Make sure you don’t miss these 6 movies coming out this year.


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Release date in the Netherlands: 11 January 2018
Genre: Drama

This movie tells the story of a woman, Mildred, who lost her daughter. Her daughter has been found murdered a few months earlier. Mildred is angry with the police, because she thinks the investigation isn’t going as quick as it should. To provoke the police, she places three billboards near her home. “RAPED WHILE DYING”, “AND STILL NO ARRESTS?”, and “HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGBHY” is visible on the big, red boards. The billboards cause a lot of anger with the other villagers, who harass Mildred and her son. In the meantime, the investigation goes on and Mildred still hopes to find her daughter’s murderer.


Black Panther
Release date in the Netherlands: 14 February 2018
Genre: Action

“Black Panther” is one of the many superhero movies from Marvel. What makes this movie different, is the mainly black cast. The story is set in ‘Wakanda’, King T’Challa’s home. In the movie “Captain America: Civil War”, we see T’Challa for the first time. In that movie, he’s just getting familiar with his ‘Black Panther identity’. Now, T’Challa has return home to Wakanda. As it turns out, he isn’t safe in his hometown, because two of his enemies are trying to take down the kingdom. He has to fight as the Black Panther to prevent a civil war.


Deadpool 2
Release date in the Netherlands: 1 June 2018
Genre: Action comedy

“Deadpool” is also based on the Marvel Comics. In the first movie, we can see how Deadpool acts more like a funny villain than a superhero. Despites his actions, Deadpool has a good heart and is most of all hilarious. The second movie promises therefore to be just as good for your funny bone.


Love, Simon
Release date in the Netherlands: 14 June 2018
Genre: Drama

“Love, Simon” promises to be a good and teachable movie. The main character, Simon, is secretly gay and in love. The problem is, he doesn’t know who he’s in love with, since it’s an anonymous internet crush. An even bigger problem is that the letters he sent to his secret pen pal, have fallen into the wrong hands. He’s blackmailed into being someone’s wingman to prevent his secret coming out.


The Incredibles 2
Release date in the Netherlands: 15 June 2018
Genre: Animation

This one is for the nostalgic people amongst us. Fourteen (!) years ago, most of the current students begged their parents to take them to the cinema to see “The Incredibles”. An incredibly funny and good movie. Now, the time of the second Incredibles movie has come. The starring superhero family exists of the extremely strong Mr. Incredible, his wife Elastigirl and their three kids who are also blessed with strange superhero powers. After battling a villain in the first movie, the family tries to balance their normal suburban lives with their superhero lives. But when another villain rises, they have to fully commit to save their selves and the world. Make sure you don’t miss this!


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Release date in the Netherlands: 16 November 2018
Genre: Fantasy

As a big Harry Potter fan, I strongly feel this blog wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t discuss this movie. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the second Fantastic Beasts movie. If you haven’t seen the first one, I suggest you plan a movie night with your friends, right now! It’s definitely worth watching. In the first Fantastic Beasts movie, we see Newt Scamander chasing all the magical creatures that escaped his even more magical suitcase. In “The Crimes of Grindelwald” Newt and our old friend Albus Dumbledore try their best to keep the dark wizard Grindelwald from getting followers.

And the cheapest supermarket in Utrecht is…

We all want to spend the least amount of money possible while we do our grocery shopping, right? But it is not always the easiest task. You are bounded by what are the closest supermarkets, prices change all the time, and just one supermarket might have some products that are cheaper and some that are more expensive, when compared to others. To complicate things further, since lots of times supermarkets are franchises (they use the main house name and follow some rules, but each store is run independently and can decide on some prices), the prices can vary across stores of the same chain; usually things will be more expensive outside of the city, where competition is less fierce. On top of this, sometimes the absolute cheapest things are of really terrible quality, so, if you are like me and want to have a good price-quality balance, it can really be puzzling.

Chain supermarkets, like Jumbo and Albert Heijn, are nice because you can buy all your food in one go, both the fresh food, like meat and vegetables, and the dried and canned food, like rice and tomato. You can also find the brands you are used to. So, while markets and Turkish shops are sometimes better and, oftentimes, cheaper options, we will compare some chain supermarkets so you can make an informed decision the next time you have to decide where to go!


How can we compare supermarket prices?

When we compare prices across supermarkets, the easiest strategy is to compare branded products of the same size and type, for example how much a 33cl. can of Pepsi costs, and this can be a good indicator of how supermarkets fare against each other. However, there are a few caveats that we must look at. Firstly, most chains have the same big brand suppliers, and, since these are the products that are easiest to compare, they might cost the same across all stores where they are placed. Secondly, because not all chains, or even stores, sell the same branded products, it can get hard to compare them. For example, in one store you might find only Coke, and on another only Pepsi.

Finally, because these are usually the cheapest, the most interesting and difficult products to compare are house brands. This is hard for several reasons: since the producers and suppliers of house brands are usually different across chains, the quality and cost of production is different and how it translated into the final price is very unpredictable,  and it can also depend on how much the big brands are priced. For example, if there is a house branded rice and a rice of a big brand, even if the house brand is much cheaper for the supermarket, they cannot put their price much distinct from the big brand one, since people would either only buy the cheapest one because of that, or not buy it all because they would think it is of very bad quality. However, all chains face this problem and solve it in the same way, but my point is that it is very hard to assess the value of these sort of products.

Something that makes it extra hard to access how products from house brands compare between chains relates with what role these products play compared with big brand products, and there are three main roles. The first is to have one house brand and sensibly one alternative house product for each product, which is usually of medium quality, and is what happens, for example, at Jumbo (mostly) and Plus. You will find one Jumbo or Plus alternative to a specific type of rice, and by its side you will find the branded alternatives.

The second is to have more than one house brand for each product, of different quantities. This is what happens for example in Albert Heijn, where you find AH Basic products, normal AH products, and AH Excellent products. Although not all products have AH produce all three alternatives, many products will have at least two house options of different qualities, next to branded products. One example of a product that has all of them in AH is pizza. In Jumbo there are also some products that have two of them in Jumbo brand, and, looking at the difference in price, we assume that there are also two levels of quality, since it is not straightforward from the marketing.

The third is to have almost exclusively house products, like in Lidl, or unknown brands, like Aldi. These products tend to be a bit more expensive than medium quality house brands in other chains, because they are the only ones on sale, but also because of this they are usually of better quality.

This problem between chains is also very presents in fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, which might have different origins and there might be more than one option for each product.

There are particular ways in which you can get better prices from time to time: look at the promotions, which here are called “acties” or “aanbieding”. And in AH you can use your Bonus card to have those discounts.

This can be a good guideline for you if you wish to compare products and prices the next time you go shopping. We will give a small example to try to get an idea about which one, between Jumbo, Albert Heijn and Plus, is the best bet!


Let’s compare prices!!

We will compare house and branded products from different chain stores that can be found around the center of Utrecht, but we will look at the online prices (these prices were consulted on 06/01/2018). Of course we can’t compare all of them in store, so this is just a taste, and prices can vary per store! We will keep in mind that, for the house brands, we will use the middle quality brand in the case of Albert Heijn, an in Jumbo as well when applicable. For the fresh vegetables, fruits and meat, we will always choose the cheapest one available. We will not compare Lidl and Alsi because their prices are not online.

Let’s look at the following shopping list:

  • 1L Coke
  • Spaghetti
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 1Kg Tomato
  • 1 Lettuce
  • 1 Loaf Brown Bread
  • Frozen 4 Cheese pizza
  • 1L Skimmed Milk (fridge)
  • 1kg Chicken Breast

For the spaghetti, we will look at the house brand and at “Grand’Itallia” as an example of a branded product. For the 4 Cheese pizza, we will do the same but use “Casa di Mama”.

The coke costs 1,56€ in Jumbo, and 1,62€ both in AH and Plus.

The house brand spaghetti costs 0,61€, 0,74€ and 0,7€ in Jumbo, AH and Plus, respectively. From “Grand’Itallia”, it costs 1,13 in the first, and 1,2€ in the last two.

Now for a fresh salad. The kilo of tomatoes costs 2,16€, 2,18€ and 2,38, in the same order. The lettuce costs 0,95€ in the first, and 0,99€ in the last two.

For your breakfast, the loaf of bruin bread costs 1,09€ in AH, and 1€ in the other two, and the liter of skimmed milk costs 1,04€ in Jumbo, 1,07€ in AH and 1,06€ in Plus.

If you like that quick frozen pizza, this is for you. In the house brand, it costs 1,99€ both in Jumbo and Plus, and 2,15 in AH, whereas for the one from “Casa di Mama” costs 2,72€ in Jumbo, and 2,89€ in the other two.

Finally, for you dinner with friends, the cheapest kilo of chicken costs 8,49€ in Jumbo, 7,76€ in AH and 7,5€ in Plus.

The total shopping list would have cost you 23,2€ in Jumbo, 23,54€ in AH, and 22,98€ in Plus.

So, what is the cheapest supermarket??

If you look at how the prices of the products compare individually, Jumbo did better in all fronts. Albert Heijn seems to be consistently the most expensive supermarket. Plus seems to fluctuate between both, being sometimes as cheap as Jumbo, and sometimes as expensive as AH, only beating both on the meat.

It is very interesting though that the cheapest in the final bill was Plus. The key is the price difference in the meat, so beware of how supermarkets compensate the lower prices in some products on other products!

So, now you have some objective comparisons between these supermarkets. If I am being honest, this matches my own experience with these supermarkets, and I still believe that Jumbo is a good choice, but mixing them if you can is of course the best.

If you want other tips to save money during your stay, check out Robin’s article.

What do you find to be the best supermarket in Utrecht? Do you agree that Jumbo is the overall cheapest supermarket? Do you have other tips to compare prices between supermarkets? Share your thoughts in the comments!

10 Dutch sayings that don’t mean anything to you, but help you impress your Dutch friends!

Gezegde engels nederlands

Whenever you’re in a new country, it is nice to fit in with the locals. We the Dutch appreciate any effort internationals make when internationals they try to fit in. But sometimes that can be hard and you don’t know where to begin. Don’t worry! I am here to help!

The Dutch have a love/hate relationship when it comes to our own language. The grammar is a pain in the ass.  But there are certain elements we love! For instance: our sayings! Sometimes it feels just amazing when you can add a nice little saying within a conversation to emphasise, exaggerate, or just say it for the fun of it.

Now we know our language is hard. I struggle daily with some sentences, but I can’t imagine how weird and hard it must be to learn them as a foreigner. Well…We can’t make it less hard, but we can make it weirder! In this article I will translate 10 Dutch sayings in English and explain what they mean. Now keep in mind that this won’t make any sense to you, I am translating them word for word as we say it in Dutch. But if you can remember them and you tell them to a Dutchie. He or she will absolutely love you!

Here we go!

  1. “Not normal. What a Closet of a house!!”

(Out of the ordinary. What a huge house!)

  1. “Make that the cat wise!”

(I don’t believe you. Try and convince the cat!”)

  1. Congratulations, but don’t walk beside your shoes!”

(Good job, but don’t feel better then you are!”

  1. He had there clean enough from. So he gave him the wind from the front.”

(He was sick and tired, so he yelled at him)

  1. “Unfortunately peanutbutter, dude!”

(Too bad for you, dude)

  1. “Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve!”

(Now the secret has come out!”)

  1. “He laughs like a farmer with toothpain.”

(He laughs, but he is not amused at all.”)

  1. “I’ll drink you under the table!”

(I will outdrink you till you’re under the table)

  1. “Now we have the dolls on the dancing!”

(Now we are in big trouble!”)

  1. “It walks out of the claws”

(It’s getting out of hands)

Here you go! Try and memorize these gems of sayings and you will impress every Dutchie with your insane cultural knowledge!

*If you want to learn more dutch sayings, follow “Make that the cat wise” on facebook!

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