Several first impressions that hit me like a bus several weeks after arriving. My point of reference when Canada is mentioned is really in fact Toronto, the only place I have lived in Canada. If things are different in your part of Canada, I would love to hear about it!
1. Breast Pump Water Bottles. The footed caps on these Dutch Dopper bottles was something to scratch my head for when I first arrived. Especially when spotted sticking out on the side of a backpack. Perhaps favoured for it’s convenience, you can take it apart and use it as a cup too. Its popularity seems comparable to the North America SIG water bottle. Is there a reason why they look so representative of breastpumps? When my current water bottle breaks I would like to try out one of the Dopper bottles.
2. It’s not hipster to bring your own cloth bag/used plastic bag for shopping.
Everyone for the most part brings their own bag (tote, canvas, reused plastic, bike basket). I love that about here. Diminishing plastic waste is something that has been growing in Toronto in the last few years. Though most stores now still continue give bags, some paper based, consumers for the most part don’t really need to think about bringing their own. Stores in Toronto charge $ 0.05 per plastic bag, a price that I didn’t like paying but sometimes I paid for it when I didn’t go prepared. I was shocked to encounter grocery stores in the Netherlands that sell plastic bags for € 0.10 – €0.20 (3 to 4 times more expensive than Canada $..!!). Always have a cloth bag handy (a must when shopping without a car).
3. The Dutch are Efficient. The one word I would use to describe the Dutch for most of their approaches and systems (some systems are a little “too efficient” and overly tedious for my habitualized North American approach. Maybe for for another post). Efficiency also means efficient technology. Here are some examples of the Dutch efficiency I encountered: Continue reading