Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dutch living: Some things gezellig

As per request from Pop, this post is about the minor adjustments to our new Dutch lifestyle as well as the added bonuses that Dutch life brings. Pop was inquiring about the new 'Dutch stuff' we're encountering, rather, I'm encountering. I'm noticing that things in general are smaller, cuter, and cozier. Mmmmmm. There is this Dutch word, gezellig, that does not really have an English translation. Gezellig can be used to describe things that are cozy, comfortable, or enjoyable. It can even refer to people or the company that you keep. I think this is why going out for dinner is not as common as in NY. They like to keep things gezellig.

I have a theory about why things are smaller. I'm sure there's more official research on this, but this is my observation. I think because the Netherlands is a smaller place, more densely populated, etc. things in general are just smaller. Where things in the U.S. things are pretty big. Maybe because of all the wide open spaces, the 'wild frontier', large mountain ranges, etc. things are just bigger and in some cases huge! Just a thought.

Here's a little tour of our kitchen complete with smaller oven and fridge. (The refrigerator is decorated with pictures of Joey and Elin). P.S. We don't have a freezer, but I'm learning to live without it.
That's our 'oven' on the left

We drink tea like it's our job. I'm not sure what these are called, but I noticed that all Dutch homes have one. Jaap's Mom gave us one to keep our tea warm. Thanks Trees.
On Saturday we went for a bike ride and ended up in Eijsden. We took a risk with the weather forecast, but only got caught in the rain for a few minutes. Here's a picture of our ride.
Saturday bike ride. Fall is here!
Saturday night we watched Damages with some tea and pepernoten. They're small cookies that taste like ginger snaps. A very gezellig evening.
Tea & pepernoten

Yesterday we went to Eindhoven to apply for my residency permit. I should be a 'legal resident' of the Netherlands in about three months. Afterwards we had some hot chocolate and appelbol. It's like a minature apple pie baked in dough and sugar. Yummy. Here's a cute picture of Jaap. The blog is partially named after him so he deserves some pics on here. Here's a little glimpse into Dutch living. I miss you family! Hope all is well!



  1. What a coincedence.. This morning my teacher told us she used the word "gezellig" because there is no English word that means exactly the same. It makes me feel good that you already had "gezellige" experiences. I can imagine very well that you miss your family and friends just because of that..I hope we'll have a nice day to- morrow with "gezellige" moments.. See you soon! Trees

  2. I'm happy to know that my miniature stove and fridge are very euro! Nice pictures Elena!