Journal
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Week 1 in the Netherlands – Welcome to Feeling Like a Midget!

IMG_1602At my cousin’s place in the countryside

So far I have experienced the following things here in Noord-Holland:
– Getting used to the sun setting around 9pm instead or at 7pm
– “Korea” North or South?” (it was a very, very old man)
– Met a hardcore fan/heavy smoker of ze greens/seen an escort advert on the subway
– Been on a boat trip with my uncle demonstrating of how the sluis works
– Successfully pronouncing sluis
– Understanding tiny bits of Dutch that sound just like English and thinking “Aha! I understood! One Word! Of your conversation!”
– Learning to use the words mooi, lekker, and gezellig timely
– Having an internal debate between saying “Holland” and “The Netherlands” and eventually going “Meh, everybody in Noord-Holland says Holland, so meh”, Googling it, and then finding angry comments from Southerners
– People accepting I can be the cousin of a completely Dutch person and not asking any further questions or having puzzled looks
– Seen a “Smoke Your Weed Outside” sign
– Had a conversation in English with 60+ Dutch citizens

And these are my “shorter people problems” so far:
– Not being able to put my whole or part of my foot down when sitting in a chair
– Went to a Dutch club and been surrounded by super tall men who also all have moustaches and beards and thus intimidating to those used to the 173cm, no-facial-hair average Korean men
– Felt like a midget with my cousin who is 180cm in heels
– Retrieved a cup or mug from the second shelf on the cupboard with much tiptoeing and effort
– Tiptoeing in general to reach things (keys, shower head, food, looking at pictures), not always succeeding
– Having to pull the car seat way up front

And these things have not yet happened:
– “Hey, meisje” (whistle)
– “You’re Korean?” “Oppan Gangnam Style!”

These are things I anticipate will happen:
– Going to the grocery store/shop and having to ask someone to reach something
– Meet someone who is ten years younger but also 10+cm taller than me

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Internationally lost since 2000, Emily was born in Seoul, raised in India, and has been living and studying in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands since 2014. A translator and interpreter by profession, she enjoys talking and debating just about anything.

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