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11 Things The Dutch Do Better Than Americans

And it has nothing to do with weed.

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1. Biking

All the stereotypes about biking in the Netherlands are true. There are actually more bikes than residents in the country which is a testament to their love of cycling absolutely everywhere. America can learn something from the Dutch's wide bike lanes and traffic lights specific for bicycles. While I'd be terrified to bike through the streets of Manhattan or DC, biking in Amsterdam is a breeze.

2. Wednesdays are Half Days

The Dutch are all about the work/life balance. On Wednesdays most schools close at around noon, and many parents take a half day as well to be with their children. In fact, on average, Dutch adults work 29 hours per week. That's like a four day work week, every week!

3. Borrels

Borrel loosely translates to "to get drinks with friends or coworkers." The Dutch take this tradition very seriously and at around 5 or 6 every evening, most bars are packed with coworkers grabbing drinks and snacks together. The snacks are the best part, particularly bitterballen, which are round balls of delicious fried gravy.

4. No Homework

Randen Pearson

As if half days on Wednesdays aren't enough, schools in the Netherlands also don't give homework until high school. Even then, the policy is that family and extracurriculars always come before schoolwork. American students are incredibly stressed, and not having homework would probably take some pressure off of them.

5. College is Super Cheap

College in the US can cost upwards of $70,000, but in the Netherlands top tier universities cost around $2,000 per year. Life is pretty damn great for students in the Netherlands, that's for sure.

6. Grocery Stores Bake Bread Fresh Daily

If you walk into any grocery store in the morning you will smell mouthwatering fresh bread. Even budget stores like Jumbo or Albert Heijn bake their bread daily and sell sliced loaves for less than a euro. That's mere pocket change for fresh, delicious bread. Please, step it up, America.

7. Nothing is Sugarcoated

The Dutch are famous for their directness, which some people might view as rudeness, but I see it as a breath of fresh air. Americans tend to sugarcoat things and give backhanded compliments. I'd much rather be told flat out by a stranger that I have spinach in my teeth.

8. Kids are Very Independent

Dutch children often roam free with very little supervision from their parents. While this can be jarring for Americans who are used to helicopter parenting, it actually makes Dutch children much more mature.

9. They are Energy Efficient

Amsterdam is the second greenest city in the world. This probably has a lot to do with the number of bicycles, but the Dutch also take a lot of other small measures to green up their country. For example, escalators only move when someone is using them. This is such a small, yet brilliant way to conserve energy. Oh yeah, and don't forget about all those windmills.

10. Dogs Are Allowed Everywhere

Dogs seem to be allowed pretty much everywhere in the Netherlands. In my opinion this is a very, very good thing. You can find pups chilling in cafes or going shopping with their owners.

11. Coffee is Cheaper than Water

Coffee is ingrained in the Dutch culture. There are cafes on every corner and more coffee roasters than you can count. At most cafes buying coffee is cheaper than buying a water or another non-coffee drink. Plus, the quality of Dutch coffee is waaaaay higher than American coffee, just saying.

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