Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lessons Learned

We have officially been living in Nijmegen for a little over two months now, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of what we have learned in this time.

Lessons Learned:
1. Get a hair cut before coming to Europe. The cheapest cut I found was for 22 euros or a little over 30 dollars. Needless to say, we may not be getting haircuts for a long time.

2. Cash is king -- credit cards, checks, etc., these things are useless. Only Dutch cards work here. Apparently it is a completely different numbering system. Of course, you can still use your debit card to withdraw money from the ATM.

3. Shops close at 6:00. They will lock you in. Yes, I am speaking from personal experience.

4. Grocery stores will claim to be open 7 days a week, not completely true. They are open everyday, but not at the same hours, not opening until 4:00 pm on Sundays.

5. On Mondays, most stores/businesses do not open until noon. I don't know why.

6. Just because you have directions, that does not mean they are the correct directions.

7. Know the address of where you are staying.

8. Find out where to get and dispose of essential items (food and trashbags).

9. Be friendly and patient. Getting angry further frustrates your intended goal.

10. When you do get angry, forgive yourself and move on.

11. For people from North Carolina or surrounding areas, it is cold. Warm clothes are essential.

12. Eating a good meal in, is always cheaper than eating out.

13. Drink plenty of water. It seems obvious, but it can be easy to forget and if you do, it is the quickest way to start feeling bad. For us, coming from the Caribbean and N.C. (where we would sweat and naturally want water), this cold climate just makes it difficult to remember.

14. The days are shorter. No, it is not just because we are nearing winter. Rather, because we are so much farther north, the light reaches us less, so sunrise is later and sunset is earlier.

15. A bike is a must. If you are spending any extended amount of time in the Netherlands, you will need a bike for getting around. Otherwise, you will be walking because buses do not go everywhere you may want to go and not everything you need will be within reasonable walking distance.

Until next time,


  1. Well, I certainly did not expect the cheapest haircut to be 30 bucks. Nor did I think I would get locked in a bicycle shop...

  2. If it can go will with you!!

  3. I got linked here by Phil's blog and you don't know but I'm a Dutch housemate of his. And I know a hairdresser for 12,50 on wednesdays (students only).'s+HaarBoetiek/vermelding/

  4. Thanks Miriam! We appreciate the help! :)


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