You’re Going To The Netherlands? -The Reactions


Like I explained in a few posts, not everyone welcomed the idea my studying in the Netherlands with open arms. In fact, there were plenty of reactions ranging from the hilarious to the incredibly clueless and of course, the genuinely concerned.

Now I know, the reputation of the Netherlands is far from spotless, but it does not make it a horrible country by all means (I’m not even there and I’m already defending it). Most of the people think that because I don’t party or drink and generally have my own set of beliefs about right and wrong, I will have a very hard time adjusting.

These are some of the reactions I heard:

Where the hell is this Maastricht?

You, as in TK, are going to the Netherlands? Do you even know what happens there?

It’s going to be a huge culture shock. Be careful.

From the moment you land in the airport, you’re gonna see stuff you’ve never seen in your life. ( I tried to explain that it can’t be that bad, but the person in question won’t listen)

Stay out of the red light district!

A view of two brothels in a small street in Am...
Trying to explain to people I'm 3 hours away from this is pointless.(Image via Wikipedia)

Do your parents know you’re going?

We know you have a sweet tooth, but don’t you ever take candy from anyone. You never know what they could put in it.

So the good girl finally goes bad? (Yeah I had no idea my life was the title of a Rihanna album either)

I wouldn’t advise you to have the brownies.

Hash in legal there. Be sure to have plenty of it. It’ll help you study.

Bring me back some hash please!

Since I’m your best friend and all, you’re not coming back to the country without getting me the full Ajax kit. Socks included.


I’m definitely coming over to visit. You’ll be living my dream!

You could’ve just stayed in Beirut, gotten yourself a decent job. What will this all get you to in your life? This won’t help you in getting married.

Doesn’t AUB have that? Why do you want to go all the way to the Netherlands?

Part of the upper campus as seen from Penrose ...
AUB, We've had a great time together but it's time to go now (Image via Wikipedia)

Are you sure you can handle living alone, in a city no one has ever heard of, and you don’t speak the language and have no one to help you?

Good luck in Moscow! Don’t freeze to death! ( I had to explain to that friend that I was going to Maastricht, which he now calls Mah-Stri-5it! exclamation mark included)

3 Comments Add yours

  1. caroinmaas says:

    My reactions were :
    “are you going to learn Dutch ?” (then I have to explain the classes are in English, and I already speak Dutch better than English anyway), “when are you finally getting a job ?”
    or just “ah…” Sometimes a few words about weed too…

    But we are happy and will have a great year. (Red Light District is in Amsterdam)

  2. Johannes says:

    Hm…these comments are really interesting. They reflect definetly every reality and prejudice of the Netherlands. However, it will be certainly different to all these statements.My first thought was:

    I would like to see you talking to yourself in two years. When you come back to Beirut, you will be a different person and you can do nothing against it.

    By the way, red light is indeed in Amsterdam and weed will be illegal for foreigners from summer on.

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