Weird Dutch dust and other observations

Am I spending almost a whole blog post writing about dust? Why yes, yes I am. During our first weeks here, I thought that there was dust everywhere because my cleaning skills were poor, but then I learnt that this dust is really a “thing”.

I turned to my best friends on the South Africans in the Netherlands Facebook group to find out if anyone else experienced this, or if it was just me as we are in an apartment with lots of trees around, and our windows have been open quite a bit. The post got 88 comments, with people from all over The Netherlands and in different types of abodes saying that they experience the same thing.

Dust here looks a bit like the lint you find in your tumble dryer, and sometimes I can see it drifting in the air right before my eyes, taunting me as it lands everywhere. The stuff even gets under objects, and I have to wipe down my plants that get dusty leaves. When I clean my face, I can see the dust on my cotton wool swabs, proving that no stone (or wrinkle) is left unturned.

I’ve learnt that dusting is simply not enough for the dust – one needs to wipe down surfaces too. So I need to Swiff (a verb I’ve coined for my amazing Swiffer duster), and then wipe down with a cloth and cleaner. I usually do this a day after so that the dust only has a day to settle (literally!) before I pounce on it with the big guns, aka my plant-based cleaner.

Dust aside, here’s what else has been of interest to me:

  • We got letter to vote in our municipality for improvements we’d like to see in our area, with their 100k euro budget. We got given a voting code, and on the website were proposals that we could for. Options included benches every 200m along certain routes, big pots/planters to separate the bicycle lane from cars on a road, a dog park and a meditation garden in Amstelpark. I’ll report back to see what wins the vote.
  • I often see people sitting on benches (not necessarily in parks only), and chilling. They could be eating, reading or just gazing at the nature/people. This might sound creepy but it looks like fun and acceptable. The idea of heading to a bench with my book and maybe a G&T coffee sounds relaxing and fun.
  • The medical system is so different to what I’m used to. Your GP, who is kind of a specialist (they study to be a GP for around three years), needs to refer you to a specialist, for example a paediatrician, in order that medical aid covers the appointment. They have your main file, and all the specialists would give them reports about you. The GP has more of an overall yet insightful knowledge of and interest in you.
  • I’ve mentioned it before, but the Dutch just get on with things come rain or cold. I heard that expression that there’s no such things as bad weather here, only the wrong clothing. The weather doesn’t seem an impediment to going out or getting stuff done.
  • Our school does weekly lice checks, which I think might be a thing in the country. Each week, a parent needs to go and check their child’s class for lice. Since I’m a class mom for both my kids’ classes, and managing the volunteer lists, I thought it only right that I put my name down. So next week I’m on double duty – Rebecca’s class on Thursday and Max’s on Friday. The gloves have been ordered, and I’m going to have to Google a) what lice looks like, and b) how to check hair for it. I might need to take some Valoid before I go too. And maybe some ResQ remedy, or even a G&T.

Restaurants are currently closed as Covid cases have increased, and they’re taking more lockdown measures. For now, at least I favourite carbohydrate outlets are open, and we can still get fresh stroopwafels and fries!

Happiness lives at Melly’s Stroopwafels – these are my new favourites in Amsterdam      



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  • […] I can’t keep up with cleaning up Dutch dust. […]

  • Bronwynne

    26 October 2020 at 4:15 am

    Wow, those colours as the seasons change are magnificent 🧡💛🤎 I’m curious to know if you voted for the dog park? 😉😁 Love these updates […] Read MoreWow, those colours as the seasons change are magnificent 🧡💛🤎 I’m curious to know if you voted for the dog park? 😉😁 Love these updates btw Read Less

    • Tanya
      to Bronwynne

      26 October 2020 at 9:17 am

      The colours are gorgeous, and since I don't have a dog, I'm afraid to say I didn't :(

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