Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Culture Shock: #5

I haven't done one of these for quite some time so thought I would do one now!

The first thing that has been really hard to get used to is how nosy everyone is here! Honestly, I am a pretty nosy person but sometimes I feel these people step a bit over the line.
Example 1:

See this beautiful red hair color?! I took her to get this done as a back to school treat. We get to the salon and the stylist, who was recommended to us by a friend, immediately wants to know "why" she wants to get her hair colored red? What?! Does any woman need a "why" for coloring her hair?! My daughter being ever graceful just says simply because she wants something different...ya know, being a teenager and all they like to experiment...he then suggests she get caramel color highlights because he thinks that will look better. She turns to me with a very distraught face, I leaned down and let her know that if he didn't want or couldn't do the red we could go and find someone who would/could. He even said to me as he was trying to talk her into the caramel highlights, "Well, if this were my daughter I would not let her dye her hair red", I responded "Well, thank goodness she isn't your daughter then." He finally relented and did the red and it looks amazing, but what was the deal with him giving his opinion on the matter...I get that he can and should give an opinion about the shade and counseling on weather or not we would need to lighten the hair first, but no he went straight to the criticizing stage and it was shocking.

Example 2: 
It is a nice 68F outside, not raining, sun shining...we walk to get groceries I'm wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and runners, kiddo is wearing basically the same. As we walk into the grocery store someone on a patio jumps in front of us to ask us if we are what?! No dude, it is 68 degrees outside, not cold. Finish shopping, walk home someone else stops us to ask for directions, once we gave them to him we start to walk off but he calls after us and he says, "I don't mean to be forward, but aren't you cold?" Uh, no, no, not cold. Why do you people even care?! I could see if I was standing in the rain, in a bathing suit on the side of the road shivering but I am enjoying a nice walk in the sun fully dressed on a nice summer day!

People are nice enough, I just find it interesting that people are so bothered by and feel the need to give unnecessary advice on such trivial matters.
In example one I was paying someone to give her what she my opinion, unless you cannot do what I ask then I don't need your opinion on the matter. I know what is best for my child and what I am willing to allow her to do. It is just hair, not like i am allowing her to tattoo her entire scalp red!
In example two I told my daughter next time someone asks if I am cold, whether I am or not, I am going to say "yes" just to see what they would do. Think they'd give me a jacket or a lecture? haha

No one has been "rude" per se, and I don't really let these things bother me, but I think this is definitely a cultural thing as it isn't the first time incidents like this have happened. It just makes me wonder what gets into people and why they think they can be so forward to a total stranger? Not to mention it is really creepy when you jump in front of someone and command their attention to ask if they are cold. Just weird peeps, just weird. 

I will say though, living with people this outspoken I have really learned to speak up and be heard. I always tend to be a bit timid in giving my opinion, I am more reserved than most that way, but when someone gives me their opinion now I've learned to tell them, I see your point, but I view it differently and give my opinion because sometimes it means getting what I want to getting what they want to give me.

Weather....odd or not?

This has been our weather has only changed slightly since I took this photo...we've had a few more days in the high 50's...that is only a little weird I mean it is August after all...where are the dog days of summer?! Guess I'd have to go to the Mediterranean for that?! But, that is not the weird part I have talked to several locals and here are the things I've heard about the weather:
"Oh, Amsterdam's crazy weather is back"
"Oh, this weather is unusual is usually isn't this wet"
"Oh, wait until winter you'll be sorry then it is wet, snowy, and overall sucks"
"Winter is great, usually very mild"
Ok, what?! People, you supposedly are from far as I understand your predictions should be somewhat similar! I know weather is unpredictable but everyone is constantly contradicting each other. Those four statements are from four different people, all total strangers that I chit-chat with while out running errands. I know if you ask me and other people I'd grew up with what the weather is like where we are from in Jacksonville and we'd probably all say the same thing!
So, Amsterdamians get it together...what exactly is the weather like "usually"?! If it really is unpredictable then adopt the motto of Kansans: "Don't like the weather? Wait 5 minutes!"

I will say though the early fall this one time around is kind of nice. I would like to ask for one more heat wave, but I won't hold my breath. 
Surprise treat!
So, now that I have ranted a bit, I promise that won't happen again...I got a surprise treat and is just one reason why I LOVE living here! We went to the Pure Market  a couple of weeks ago, it was a super cool place with really unique products. There were even some American and New Zealand expats selling there...which was a fantastic surprise. Well, as I'm walking by the American Baking Company I see this gem:

Oh yes folks that is a glorious, gorgeous Nanaimo bar! This is half of it because I ate half before I remembered to take a picture. It was a true Nanaimo bar too...fantastic recipe. Delicious and I go to talk with some other Americans & a few Canadians who were in line also. I hope they are back at the next one as I am needing a fix. It was such a nice surprise to find a little bit of "home" (by that I mean North America) so far away!

So, tell me have you encountered some insanely nosy people in your life? How did you deal with it?

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