Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2014
Having lived in the Netherlands for over 30 years it was with a little trepidation that I turned to Dutched Up – Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style. Would I be confronted with clichés which have long ceased to shock, and preconceptions which had long since blown away?
Not at all.
After the first contribution, I found myself jotting down notes: small baby (yep, as a shortist English woman I’ve been through that one); small bike (yep I still struggle to find a bike which allows me to put my feet on the ground); having children who speak better Dutch than you – oh absolutely, even after 30 plus years.
Yes, there are the bus drivers who accuse you of being rude, discount spinach you don’t want, the visitors from hell who won’t go home, the awful silence when your six year old says ‘s*** in front of his English grandparents, the horribleness of weak fruit tea, the unbelievable fabulousness of kraamzorg, the fact that you will never truly understand your Dutch husband – it all seems so familiar and so true. I had forgotten quite how.
If you are a new arrival, this book will let you know you are not alone. If you’ve been here for some time, you will find yourself nodding in agreement and if you’ve left, you will find yourself nostalgic for a rusty bike and glass of hot water that once looked at a teabag.