As I pedal my way past the halfway point (get it, because of the bicycle?) I’d like to think I’ve gotten the basis of living in the Netherlands down. I know how my classes work, I can say basic Dutch words, and figured out how theonline grocery ad’s workto figure out what I’m eating each week! While I am adapting, this doesn’t mean I don’t miss home and how I’m used to living.
In the Netherlands, the people are much more reserved and direct: it’s just in the nature. They mean no harm but sometimes can come off rude and it happens every day. This is especially true when you go outside of the normal. If you couldn’t guess by the title, my best example of this is my brightly colored workout pants.
People here dress nicely, everywhere. I’m not saying suit and tie, but definetly borderline business casual, it’s just a cultural thing! This is not true of Americans whatsoever. While I personally can’t bring myself to do it myself, almost all of my friends walk around in their pajamas if they want to. This is just something that does not happen in this country, and as a result, I’ve been afraid to wear my exercise pants while biking to the gym.
It hit me today that while it is important to adapt, it’s also important to remember where you came from and keep those parts of yourself too. This can mean cooking your food at a certain time, splurging on your favorite shampoo or even wearing your pants to the gym, no matter how many looks you get. And despite the looks I received today, I finally felt comfortable enough to brave them all and wear my fun pants to my gym.
To my surprise? Someone else was wearing blue pants too. I finally felt at home.