I love to ask about “culture shock” from expats and if they experience any at their new country of living. It was always surprising to me, that nobody ever shared any “shocks” from living in Netherlands.
I accidentally gifted my wife SpaSense package on her birthday, that lead her to receive first Dutch culture shock. I found what seems to be a best Spa place around our city and happily bough packages for two of us.
To our surprise, once we arrived and went to the counter to check-in. Nice lady asked us immediately:
- Have you been here before?
- This is our first time
Then I should warn you, that you are required to go naked in the pool and all the saunas.
There was a minute of silence. I was for a second worried, that there might be a “sausage party” inside, but judging by all the people who queued in for a visit it was primary women inside. My wife was probably trying to find something polite to answer, but was lost for words, it’s completely inappropriate for the culture she’s coming from *
- (lady turns to my wife) Don’t worry, nobody going to stare at you, because everyone is naked.
- (I noticed, that my wife is scrambling for words) She’s a big girl, I think she can handle it.
And she indeed manage to handle it! It’s not a small feature for someone who was afraid to go out in bikini on beach just 5 years ago, most women in her country swim in plain clothes.
Sauna was indeed one of the best Saunas I’ve visited in a while. And my wife now has a funny story to share with her relatives about those crazy europeans.
I heard stories in the past, that if you see naked people on beaches in Europe - there is 90% chance that they are Dutch. I haven’t experienced this myself, it was more of “european legend” that I’ve heard from travellers. Probably it’s not common sight on beaches these days, because of prevailing mobile phones that everyone carry around. It turns out, that european legend is true, but venue changed :D