Saturday, January 8, 2011

Whats New???

Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd start out with some photos I've taken on walks to campus.

With this post I'd like to compare and contrast a few things about Dutch and American culture.


  • The Dutch use a currency everyone has probably heard of, the Euro. As of today 1.00 Euro is equal to $1.30 USD. They have 5, 10, 20, 50 cent pieces. Below is a picture of the their 5 and 20 cent pieces.

  • One thing that separates the Euro from the dollar is instead of having bills for $1.00 and $2.00 they have 1.00 Euro and 2.00 Euro coins! Their lowest bill is 5.00 Euro. Back at home, I put my change in a jar because I didn't care to walk around with it. Here, I have a new appreciation for it! Below is a photo of a 1.00 Euro coin and 2.00 Euro coin.


  • I'm not sure if this will come as a surprise to you or not, but the Dutch do not have separate bathrooms for males and females. When I entered my first dutch bathroom, I was extremely confused. Outside the door there was a picture indicating that it was a bathroom but not the gender. I entered very cautiously and stood in front of the mirror. A few moments later a male walked in and I had a exhaled a sigh of relief. 
  • The next day I had class in a new building. The time came once again for me to use the restroom. Once I had located it, a girl came rushing out. I stood and thought to myself... is this for males or females. Some time passed and a gentlemen walked in. My only conclusion was that they indeed share bathrooms between males and females. I slowly walked to the door, opened it and entered the bathroom. There were two girls standing in front of the mirror washing their hands. Anxiety came over me as I thought they would scream,  "AHH! Get out!" but that never happened. 
  • My whole life I was trained not to enter the forbidden place, "The Female Bathroom." I'm still working on getting over the fear that I'm going in the wrong bathroom but I'm close to over it! ha


  • Everyone bikes. The Netherlands is a very populated country so efficiency is their bread and butter. The whole city perfectly incorporates bikes. Most of the roads have separate roads next to them specifically for biking. I saw a woman who looked about 80 years old on a bike today... you don't see that very often in America. There are many different bikes as well. While most people ride a casual cruiser, I've seen bikes that carry children over the handle bars, and behind the rider on the bike. Of course I've seen the child carrier behind the bike but i've also seen a wagon built into the bike!

Check back soon for updates!

Hope everyone is well and Its not too cold back home!


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