Visiting Amsterdam in 2013, we found the native Dutch to be uniformly friendly and good-humored. I wrote about our visit to Amsterdam in the Power Line posts “Nazi chess,” “The Anne Frank Museum,” and “Impressions.”
The Dutch reminded me of Minnesotans. We wanted to blend in, but we were routinely greeted in English. I asked, how did you know I’m American? They just smiled.
We didn’t cover a large cross section, but we came across no Dutch citizen who spoke anything less than nearly perfect English. We spoke with a (Dutch, as it turned out) food vendor outside the Rijkmusuem who spoke perfect English with a New York accent. I asked him if he was from New York. He responded with a smile, “I get asked that a lot.” From our experience I concluded that the average Dutch citizen speaks better English than his American counterpart.
I was reminded of our visit to Amsterdam by the clip below from the satirical Dutch show Zondag Met Lubach (Sunday with Lubach), hosted by Arjen Lubach. The folks at ZML released a faux tourism advertisement on the premise that they were introducing the Netherlands to President Trump. They explain: “The whole world was watching for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States: Donald J. Trump. Because we realize it’s better for us to get along, we decided to introduce our tiny country to him. In a way that will probably appeal to him the most.” While it borrows several of the left-wing tropes deployed against Trump, the bit is actually somewhat humorous.