The Dutch Experience

I believe that I’m not the only one experiencing this kind of awkward conversation, especially when you’re away from your regular normality (or home). In the Netherlands, it’s a totally different culture where people are generally so frank and straight forward with what they mean or think. I really don’t mind the questions (and the directness), though. I find it very refreshing. As a matter of fact, I like it a lot. Which is why I decided to make a small compilation of hilarious conversations I’ve encountered here.


On not drinking alcohol.

Him: So, you don’t drink alcohol?

Me: Nope.

Him: At all?

Me: Just those contained in the cough syrups.

Him: So you DO drink alcohol!

Me: No! I don’t drink alcohol. I DO drink cough syrups sometimes!


Her: Is it a medical condition or just because you choose not to drink alcohol?

Me: It’s the religious thingy.

Her: But then you CAN drink, right?

Me: Probably I CAN. I’m just NOT ALLOWED to.


Him: Why don’t you drink any alcohol?

Me: I get drunk already with Cola.

Him: It’s sugar rush, not drunk.


On being an Indonesian.

Him 1: Wait, what was your name again?

Me: Well, it’s an Indonesian name.

Him 2: I know some Indonesian (language)!!

Me: Yea? Go ahead!

Him 2: I know sate ajam, nasi goreng, (and series of other Indonesian dishes)…

Me: Dude. I’m a human, not a food.


On singing the proper expression of Mozart’s Kyrie.

Conductor: Who among you believe in God?

Choirs: … (some raised hand)

Conductor: Oh, sorry. Who among you believe in Catholic’s God?

Choirs: …

Conductor: I thought so.


On sex before marriage.

Him: So, what’s in for me if I convert to Islam?

Me: Well, God promises you heaven, like any other religion.

Him: And what’s out?

Me: No drinking, no weeds, no sex before marriage…

Him: Well, you are not supposed to do that as well as a Catholic, you know…


On not eating pork.

Him: You don’t eat pork?

Me: No, they are too cute when they are babies.


Her: So, you don’t eat pork and Nikita doesn’t eat beef?

Me: Yep. I don’t know if she doesn’t, but Hindu people in India don’t.

Her: Why don’t the Indians eat beef?

Me: Well, cow is considered to be one of their Gods resemblance on Earth.

Her: But then what should I serve if I invite you guys for dinner?

Me: Chicken dishes is safe, I guess.

Her: Aaaaww, poor chicken.. Nobody wants them as their Gods…

Me: Pork is not sacred in Islamic view, you know.


Him: But what happens if you accidentally eat pork? Are you going to die or whatever?

Me: No. Nothing, basically. I accidentally ate a chunk of pork-contained-food a couple of times by now.

Him: But you didn’t know it was pork?

Me: Not until I ate it. God the Almighty is Merciful.


On the deadline.

On WhatsApp messenger:
Her: Putri, how are you?! What is your stress level right now?

Me: 7. … out of 5.


On working at home, on my own.

Her: Hey, don’t disappear! Come down to the faculty once in a while. It’s good for you to see some faces. You know, you can work at the faculty and then chilling, socializing.

Me: Well, the “chilling and socializing” part is definitely working. Only the “working” part is not.


On the thesis.

Her: It’s OK, we’re going to be fine in the end.

Me: Yeah. “In the end” is really the key word. I will be fine by then, not now when I’m working on it.


Supervisor 1: You don’t have anything to worry about, it’s OK. I think you know what to do.

Me: Weeeelll… I might know what to do, I just don’t know what I am doing.


Feedback session after my presentation:
Supervisor 2: First of all, no coffee in the morning before the presentation!

Supervisor 1: You might want to consider doing yoga. You need to be more centred.


Emailing the supervisor be like:
Me: I think I need to reframe my thinking process, I think I kinda miss something. And I think I need to focus on a more specific thing, and bla bla bla bla bla ……

Supervisor 1: Putri, I think you are overthinking.



On getting old.

Her: Oh my God! Sorry, I’m still in shock. I can’t believe that you’re 30!!

Me: Nope, me neither.


Him 1: I will be turning 20 and I kind of like “AAAKK!!!”

Me: Ow, you’re celebrating your 20th birthday? Oh, that’s cute… I can pretend to be 20 for one day, I’ve done it before! It was quite some time ago, though.

Him 2: How much long before again was that?

Me: Umm.. Weeeellll, around 10 – 11 years ago?

Him 3: Oh my God, I feel so young!



On coming early to the faculty.

Her: Are you going to go to Jan Maarten’s P5 tomorrow?

Me: I don’t know. What time is it, again?

Her: 09:15.

Me: IN THE MORNING?! I don’t think so.

Her: Hmm, I thought so too.


On the weather.

Her: Do you think it’s going to be a nice weather tomorrow?

Me: Well, it’s the Netherlands. You’ll never know.


Her: Dammit, is it raining?! I thought it is summer already. I didn’t bring my rain jacket.

Me: Come on, you’ve been living in the Netherlands one year longer than me.

Her: Yea, I should’ve known better.





On going back home after graduation.

Him: are you going back to Indonesia soon after graduating?

Me: I don’t mind to stay for another year if I can find myself an internship or temporary job, though.

Him: well, you could change your nationality to Dutch!

Me: yea, but then I have to to learn Dutch (language) or marry a Dutch guy. Not sure which one is easier for me at this point.

Him: is that supposed to be a hint?

Me: BHAHAHAHAHAHA… clearly not for you!


Her: did you buy your ticket back already?

Me: nope. why?

Her: see! noone’s bought the ticket yet! everyone just wants to stay…


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