- customer service
- rudeness of the Dutch
- rotting food in supermarkets
- dog poo on the streets
- smoking culture
- the shortcomings of the health service
- inconsiderate cyclists
- Dutch food
- crazy driving and the 'give way to the right' driving rule
- lack of ability to form an orderly queue
- the search for public toilets
- noisy neighbours
I could go on with examples from expat fora. But I won't. You get the picture. Of course, some of these issues are not exclusively Dutch, but some are. The newbie poster asked if expat life is so terrible here, why don't people leave, and she likened the attack on Dutch life to moving to Egypt and then complaining about the heat. A multitude of answers to that of course, but what was interesting was a comment to the effect that had they moved to Egypt, they would have expected a hot sun beating down on them. When they moved to the Netherlands, they had not expected bad customer service, rude people, second rate supermarkets....
And that is indeed the point. No matter where you move from, if you are thinking of moving to the Netherlands, expect it to be different and be prepared to adapt, mostly in small ways. There is so much more to the Dutch culture than tulips, clogs and cheese. It is certainly not comparable to a Brit moving to Asia or Africa, but the culture, history and way of life is different to other Western European countries. Of course, there is also a lot in the Netherlands that is enriching and positive, and I can make an endless list of things wrong in the UK too.
Whichever country you choose to make home, you will need to adapt, accept and tolerate the things that makes your adopted home different - you can't change it; but isn't that what expat life is all about?