Likes and dislikes of living in Holland

After 7 months living in Holland where is what I have enjoyed the most:

  • Living with Renate of course but that is the point.
  • No rush hour. Ok so this isn't a Dutch thing but I can wake up in the morning and be working at 7:30 without sitting in a car for 30-45 minutes.
  • Biking pretty much everywhere. The movies, shopping for groceries, going to friends houses or even the forest.
  • Different foods. Lots more interesting types of food to try both at the supermarket and dining our or at friends places. Fresh figs aren't $2.50.
  • Being so close to everywhere else in Europe. Weekend trips to other countries.
  • Meeting new people
  • Learning all the subtle cultural differences (some not to subtle). I even went to a ballet :-)
  • The great selection of beers on offer and of course better access to South African wines.
  • Lack of chain stores - You can go to 20 towns and except for the supermarkets all the small shops are unique (unlike the malls in NZ).
  • Terraces and canals of HollandTerraces - The city centres are pretty much closed to traffic and every restaurant/bar has seating on the street.
  • The streets are alive with street performers and artworks


...but there also some things I didn't like or missed:

  • Being away from my friends, family and colleagues
  • The hard water always coating the jug with calcium?
  • The constant McDonald's signs whilst on the motorways. Its almost like McDonald's was the only company to get permission to put signs up above the height of buildings.
  • Unable to have great Asian food
  • Having to call an 0900 number and stay on hold to tell your Internet Service Provider (ISP) your Internet isn't working. Is there something wrong with this picture?
  • Missing the New Zealand bush and mountains... a lot and the first thing I'll do when I get back.
  • Only being able to buy small cuts of meat in vacuum packed containers.