Tulips, clogs, canals, windmills, cheese, soccer,
water, the little boy with his finger in the dyke, tolerance, red light district,
Amsterdam and legals coffeeshops is generally the first thing that comes to
mind when non-Dutchies are questioned about Holland. But the Kingdom of the
Netherlands is much more than that!
you know that Holland is the most densely populated country in Europe?
That the capital is in fact Amsterdam but that the government is seated
in The Hague? And that the Dutch are known for the color orange? Why,
you ask? Because it's the color of our Royal Family, the House
of Orange. That's why we dress in orange and paint our faces at
soccer matches, at the Olympics and on April 30th (a typically Dutch
national holiday, known as the Queen's b-day, in fact it is the Queen
mum's b-day but no-one seems to mind!) and that's also why our agency
has borrowed that name! We decided to make it a bit more playful by
dropping the letter "f " from the word " of " ; probably not the best
choice because a lot of people seem to think that it's a typo! It's
not! So now you know...!
More great things
about Holland; we love to practice foreign languages and you will find that
most people speak English, some French as well as German. Because Holland
is so small and our public transportation system is excellent, you will
generally not need to drive. Get on a train and go to Paris
(about 4 hrs from Amsterdam) or take a bus downtown. Join your host family
in trips to Germany
(2 hrs), Belgium
(an hour) or Switzerland
(about 10 hrs) or be even more adventurous and hop on a plane to Italy,
or any of the Scandinavian countries. London is only an hour or so by plane
and Ireland is also just around the corner. In fact, the Dutch feel that
Holland is the center of Europe and if you look at a map, you can see why
If all of this hasn't convinced you yet that
Holland is the place to be, than maybe these au pairs can tell you why Holland
is different and fun:
from Toronto, Canada, 21 yrs old: Everything is so clean and nice and
neat and the people are so friendly. I love the architecture, the history
of the buildings and the culture of a country that is so much older
than my own."
from Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 yr old: I was amazed to see that
people parked their cars on the street, that the houses did not have
burglar bars and that everyone walked everywhere. Holland is safe and
from Napier, New Zealand, 19 yrs old. I really wanted to go to Spain
but now I'm so glad I picked a family in Holland. I'm learning the language,
playing tennis with the locals (and beating them :-) enjoying new table
manners and customs and I saw SNOW for the first time in my life!!."
|" Linda from
Johannesburg, South Africa, 19 yrs old. I was an au pair in the US before
coming to Holland and it was very different. In Holland I was able to
cycle everywhere and practice my Afrikaans. My family is originally
from Holland and it was such an opportunity to be able to see where
they were from."
from Townsville, Australia, 19 yrs old. It really impressed me to see
the contribution that Dutch men make to the household; they help with
the kids, cook, do groceries and the guys that we meet when we go out
are always so attentive and polite! "
California, USA, 24 yrs old: I cannot get over the size of the cars
- did someone shrink them? They're cute though and I'm eager to get
a ride in one of those cool little Smart cars. Oh and I love Indonesian