Blue eyed boys meeting brown eyed girls

After years and years of being considered (by the Average Italian Guy) a classical example of a “not that pretty (i.e., quite ugly), but smart and fun” kind of girl, I moved to Holland, where, well, things are… different.
Okay, it’s not that – as soon as I got off the plane in Schiphol for the first time – the magical Dutch air transformed me in a tall, blond, hot supermodel. It would also be untrue if I said that, at the moment, I’m surrounded by bunches of admiring ADMs (Average Dutch Males). It’s not even that in Italy guys were never interested in me at all.
It’s a fact, tho, that Italian girls with my kind of physical features (short, fleshy, brunette, brown eyes) raise more interest among Dutch guys than among Italian ones.
All this “romantic” (honestly, most of the time it’s anything but romantic) interest towards me used to be quite puzzling, as in Italy it’d always been all a: “I’ve never met this friend of yours, Alice… how is she?”, “Hmm… simpatica*!”, then you arrive in Holland and… wow, guys actually find you attractive! Or at least they are like: “Not my type, but can’t say she’s ugly”. You can imagine I was kinda: wait, what happened? How is this possible?
So – since my life is empty and boring – I started thinking about it and eventually got to the conclusion that there are two main reasons why Italians girls like me are sorta popular among ADMs:
a. “Typical” Italian girls are like an exotic species, here where the average Dutch girl is tall, blonde, has blue eyes and doesn’t know how to dress properly.
Those brown eyes that in Italy have always been considered common and ordinary, suddenly become special, charming and magnetic. Being short means being cute, when you’re the first girl ever who has to stand on her toes in order to kiss this ADM. Plus, you are Italian, so you surely can cook, have a passionate temperament, are a naturally loving and caring person and I could go on for hours with other stereotypes we all know aren’t always true, but whatever.
b. Dutch guys, in general, seem to me to be less superficial than Italian ones.
Obviously there are exceptions, but only in Italy it happened to me to hear, quite often, bullshit like: “Nah, I’d never go out with that girl: she is too fat/skinny, has less boobs than me, has such a big nose…”.
My Italian male friends can be very mean when talking about girls, even if other girls (i.e. my friends and I) are around. Here in Holland it has never occurred to me to hear stuff like that. Yeah, sure, also here guys like to point out what they don’t like about a specific girl, but in a less rude and categorical way: “Hmm, she’s not really my type, she’s too skinny in my opinion” or “I don’t think she is ugly, but she definitely uses too much make-up for my taste” and things like these.
Of course, I’m not saying that Dutch guys can’t be superficial (probably they say horrible things when no girls are around) or that all the Italian ones are, but – for what I’ve experienced – ADMs seem to be not exclusively focused on the physical appearance, are usually more keen in finding positive aspects in girls they are not interested in and are surely more aware of the fact that, if you don’t like a specific girl, that doesn’t mean nobody can find her attractive (typical Italian guy’s way of thinking: I don’t like that girl. That girl is ugly. Universal Statement. End of the story).

Now, I wanna warn all the Italian-looking girls out there interested in Dutchies: the fact that ADMs would probably find you pretty doesn’t make hooking up with them an easy task.
In the Netherlands there’s kind of an actual equality of sexes: that means girls are as much active as guys are, when it comes to flirting and all that stuff. So, when in a club or a bar in Holland, don’t expect to receive the same kind of attention you are used to in Italy or in other southern European countries: ADMs seldom start flirting and – when they do – they aren’t really the best in it. They try, sometimes, but not with brilliant results.
Here are some examples of approaching techniques used by ADMs with me or other Italian (better: Italian looking) friends of mine:
– the overused method of making fun of your height. Classic. It occurred to me and friends of mine several times. Imagine this scene: you, Italian girl, are in a club; an ADM starts “dancing” next to you and eventually finds the courage to make eye contact: his blue drunken eyes stuck into yours, a hesitant smile on his face, then… he raises a hand, puts it parallel to the ground (some 120 centimetres from it or so) and starts moving it a few times from right to left and vice versa, eloquently informing you that you are short. You know, just in case you’ve never noticed it before. After this, the guy expects you to thank him for having given you this life-changing information in order to start an actual conversation. Of course, you actually just throw him a sarcastic look and move somewhere else.
– sometimes you are naive: the guy uses the lame, sad strategy of pointing out you are short, but still you start talking with him (he must be really cute, then!). After a first failed conversational attempt in Dutch, he realizes you are a foreigner. Even better: he finds out you are Italian. Now, Italian people who are reading this, do I seriously have to continue? Be prepared for a list of mispronounced Italian words, mostly referring to food, accompanied by annoying random gesticulation.
– while drinking a beer with a friend after a gig, I noticed that a nearby ADM was showing some interest towards me. Still overexcited by the great performance of one of my favourite bands, I wasn’t really paying attention to him, who was instead expecting a move from my side; a move that obviously didn’t come. This creative ADM decided to be brave and started walking in my direction, stopping halfway to collect something from the floor. A few moments later he was right in front of me, showing a badge and saying, with all the seriousness his drunkenness allowed him: “Hello, I’m from the press and I’d like to know your opinion about tonight’s concert”. Original way of approaching a girl, I have to admit that. Unfortunately, the comments his fellows and he made about my friend and me (in Dutch, thinking we couldn’t understand) weren’t so original. Neither so funny.
– Dutch are direct (have I ever said that?), so sometimes even their pick-up lines are: “Hey, my friend here is turning nineteen tonight! Would you like to celebrate with him, privately?!”. Nineteen? For God’s sake, I could be his mother!
– I was partying one night, as we old ladies still like to do once per month or so, when an ADM approached my friend and me, handing us a coaster with a phone number, a “Call me!” and a quite typical Dutch male name written on it. Accepting this valuable present, I asked him who was it intended for. “Both of you”, he happily replied. “Well, she has a boyfriend”, I told him, referring to my friend. “Then it’s only for you”, he said in all innocence. Gosh, the lad definitely knows how to make a girl feel special!

* Italian adjective meaning “nice, pleasant, fun, likeable”


The ADM: Average Dutch Male, part two

Warning: what follows was written in a moment of huge intolerance toward the ADM, therefore it contains a high level of bitterness and free malice. Don’t hate me for this and just have a laugh: I’m only kidding! Even because, if I didn’t laugh about it, I’d have my good reasons for crying, believe me. In the end, Dutch guys, ik hou van jullie, a bit. And I’ll concede it: maybe somewhere out there, there’s a Dutch guy who actually isn’t an asshole.

Take a random ADM, the first beanpole with gel-covered hair and brown shoes you bump into. Done? Good. Put him in front of a lekker biertje and a portion of kaassoufflé. Done? Splendid. Now make the decisive question: what makes of a Dutch a Dutch and not – dunno – a German? (Talking, for no reason, about Germany and its inhabitants in front of a Dutch is – and forever will be – one of my favourite hobbies).
Once the question is made, don’t expect any original answer, since the ADM can be distinguished in two categories:
   Type A: he’ll say that what makes of a Dutch a real Dutch is being open-minded, tolerant, a bit cold, kind of tight-fisted, but – most of all – very, very direct. He’ll then admit that he has all these characteristics.
   Type B: he’ll tell you how the Dutch like to appear (to themselves and the rest of the world) as tolerant and open-minded people, when – in fact – they are totally the opposite; he’ll add then all the characteristics listed by type A and conclude with a coup de théâtre: you – how lucky! – are in front of the only existent example of non-Dutch Dutch, i.e. a Dutch guy in which directness is the only survived typical Dutch aspect, when for the rest he is open-minded, generous and has a warm personality, not so common for a Northern person.
Warning: ADM of type B are commonly more Dutch than those of type A.
Let’s focus now on the most distinguishing aspect of an ADM: the directness. As it was said, it doesn’t matter if an ADM considers himself as a typical or an atypical Dutch, he’ll always describe himself as “direct”. Trust me, if you’ll ever have the chance to engage with Dutch people, this adjective will torment you and you’ll quite often find yourself asking where exactly does directness end and rudeness begin.
Dutch directness, especially in the romantic field, matches very well with the typical lack of sensitivity and tact of these cold, Northern individuals: almost incapable of feeling affection or sympathy, they rarely appear to an external eye as cute and nice teddy bears, but more often as heartless, grouchy individuals.
Some examples of Dutch directness (or “asshole-ness”?):
– “Well, your ass is kinda big!”. I’m aware of that, there’s no need for you to make me notice that, especially as nobody asked for your opinion (yep, I’m not one of those women that ask “Do you think I’m fat?” to get an evident lie as an answer). “But I’m direct!”.
– When, in the middle of a “love nest game”, you sweetly point out a moment of distraction on his side: “Yeah, sorry, it’s that I was thinking about this project I’ve been working on, you know, there’s a detail that…”. The answer for your consequent, understandable anger is – of course: “But I’m direct!”.
– “Your beer was two euro sixty. You gave me two fifty, so you still owe me ten cents” … “What? I’m direct!” (And stingy. And don’t talk about the fact that here in Holland equality of the sexes is a real thing, differently than in Italy).

Be careful, tho, there’s one occasion when the ADM isn’t direct: when he’s explicitly asked to be direct.
Date a Dutch guy for a while, be honest and open with him, let him appreciate this aspect of yours (and all the more typical Italian ones), start to admire his directness, sure that it’s an unchangeable – and all in all appreciable – aspect of his personality and let it slowly cook for a few months. Well, now it’s time to ask a feedback about what you’re living: so, do we seriously like each other? Are we dating exclusively? Isn’t it only mere lust? Let him answer: yes/yes/of course not.
It’s at this point that… puff! The magic happens: the disappearance of the Dutch.
Put in front of this juicy opportunity to show that directness he’s so proud of (i.e. giving you a clear and explicit “I’m no longer interested in you”/“I’m going back to my ex”/“I’ve finally found the courage to confess my feelings to Daan”), the ADM becomes shy, prefers to be modest, hiding behind an inexplicable silence. After all, “we’ve been dating only for three months, if I just stop paying attention to her, she won’t even notice I’ve disappeared”.

Il MOM (Maschio Olandese Medio), parte seconda

Attenzione: quanto segue è stato scritto in un momento di folle intolleranza nei confronti del MOM; di conseguenza, esso contiene un alto contenuto di acidità e cattiveria gratuita. Non me ne vogliate e fatevi una risata: si scherza! Anche perché – se non ridessi di tutto ciò – avrei i miei buoni motivi per piangere, credetemi. In fondo in fondo, Olandesi, un po’ ik hou van jullie. E, dai, ve lo concedo, forse da qualche parte là fuori esiste un Olandese che non sia stronzo.

Prendete un MOM qualsiasi, il primo spilungone dal capello ingellato e le scarpe marroni che vi capita a tiro. Fatto? Bene. Mettetelo davanti a una lekker biertje e a un paio di kaassoufflé. Fatto anche questo? Splendido. Ora fategli la fatidica domanda: cosa fa di un Olandese un Olandese e non – che ne so – un Tedesco? (Nominare, senza motivo, la Germania e i suoi abitanti davanti a un Dutch è e rimarrà sempre uno dei miei passatempi preferiti).
Fatta la domanda, non aspettatevi una risposta ricca di originalità, giacché i MOM si distinguono fondamentalmente in due categorie:
Tipo A: risponderà che a rendere un Olandese tale sono l’apertura mentale, la tolleranza, un filino di freddezza, una certa dose di tirchiaggine, ma – soprattutto – la schiettezza. Ammetterà poi di possedere tutte le sopraccitate caratteristiche.
Tipo B: vi svelerà che gli Olandesi amano apparire (a sé stessi e al resto del mondo) come aperti alle differenze e tolleranti, quando essenzialmente sono tutto il contrario; aggiungerà poi le restanti caratteristiche citate dal tipo A e concluderà con un colpo di scena: voi, fortunelli, vi trovate davanti all’unico esemplare esistente di Olandese-non-olandese, nel quale, infatti, il solo aspetto tipico sopravvissuto è la schiettezza, mentre per il resto egli è open-minded, generoso e dotato di un carattere caliente difficilmente riscontrabile in un nordico.
Avvertenza: il MOM di tipo B è normalmente più olandese del tipo A.
Concentriamoci però ora sull’aspetto forse più caratteristico del MOM: la schiettezza. Come si è visto, che si ritenga tipico o atipico, il MOM – sempre e comunque – ama definirsi “diretto”. Credetemi, se mai vi capiterà di relazionarvi col popolo olandese, questo aggettivo vi darà il tormento e vi troverete spesso a domandarvi dove esattamente finisca la schiettezza e cominci invece la maleducazione.
La schiettezza neerlandese, soprattutto in campo romantico, ben si accompagna con l’altrettanto tipica mancanza di sensibilità e di tatto di questi freddi nordici individui: quasi totalmente incapaci di provare tenerezza o compassione, di rado appaiono all’occhio esterno come teneri cuccioloni coccolosi, ma più frequentemente come degli spigolosi individui senza cuore.
Alcuni esempi di schiettezza (o stronzaggine?) olandese:
– “Certo che hai il sedere proprio grosso!”. Ne sono consapevole, non c’è bisogno che tu me lo faccia notare, soprattutto visto che nessuno ha chiesto il tuo parere (già, non appartengo a quella categoria di donne che domandano “Mi trovi grassa?” per ottenere, in risposta, una evidente menzogna). “Eh, ma io sono diretto”.
– Quando, con dolcezza, riprendi un suo attimo di distrazione durante un gioco d’alcova: “Sì, scusa, è che stavo pensando al progetto cui sto lavorando in questo periodo, sai c’è un dettaglio che…”. La risposta alla tua conseguente, comprensibile incazzatura è, ovviamente: “Eh, ma io sono diretto”.
– “La tua birra costava due euro e sessanta. Mi hai dato due e cinquanta, quindi mi devi ancora dieci centesimi” … “Che c’è? Sono diretto!” (E tirchio. E non provare a tirare fuori la storia che qui in Olanda, a differenza che in Italia, la parità dei sessi è in vigore a tutti gli effetti).

Attenzione, però. Vi è un’unica occasione in cui l’Olandese non è diretto: quando gli si chiede esplicitamente di esserlo.
Uscite un po’ di volte con un Olandese, siate oneste ed aperte con lui, lasciate che apprezzi questo vostro aspetto (insieme a quelli più tipicamente italiani), cominciate a vostra volta ad apprezzarne la schiettezza, certe ormai che essa sia un aspetto immodificabile – e tutto sommato apprezzabile – della sua personalità e fate cuocere a fuoco lento per qualche mese. Bene, è ora il momento di richiedere un feedback su quanto state vivendo: ma quindi ci piacciamo sul serio? Ma quindi ci vediamo in modo esclusivo? Ma quindi non è solo mera lussuria? Lasciate che a tutto ciò egli risponda sì/sì/certo che no.
È a questo punto che… puff! avviene la magia: la sparizione dell’Olandese.
Dinnanzi a questa ghiotta opportunità di sfoggiare quella directness di cui tanto si vanta (cioè propinandovi un chiaro ed esplicito “Non mi interessi più”/“Torno con la mia ex”/“Ho finalmente trovato il coraggio di dichiararmi a Daan”), il MOM si intimidisce, preferisce fare il modesto, trincerandosi dietro a un inesplicabile silenzio. Perché, tanto, “ci frequentavamo solo da tre mesi: se non la cago più, non si accorgerà nemmeno che sono sparito”.

The ADM: Average Dutch Male, part one

English translation of my previous post: Il MOM: Maschio Olandese Medio, parte prima

For those who know me or in case someone is interested: after a short period in Scotland, I came back to the Netherlands. Being back here means becoming anxious every time I have to cross a bike path during rush hours, of course, but also eating bitterballen again and seeing that disgusting peanut butter be put on every kind of food.
Unfortunately, being back in Holland means especially starting again to deal with him, the Average Dutch Male (ADM).
It’s been a while since I left Italy and – even when I was there – I never actually cared a lot about the Netherlands and its inhabitants; I think, though, that in my Country they have quite a positive idea of the ADM: supertall, superblond, supersmiling, during summer they crowd Italian beaches/hills/mountains/lakes and make conquests. Basically, a bunch of supercool guys.
Someone has to say the Truth, now.
First of all it has to be said that here, when it comes to men (and women), every taste can be easily satisfied: there’s a high percentage of Surinamese people (Javanese, Creoles and so on) and of other different ethnic groups and nationalities (inevitable Italians included, in case you’d inexplicably miss them). In my opinion, multiculturalism is a positive aspect, but the ADM is the superblond stereotype that all of you have in mind, so I’m gonna talk about that.
How can an ADM be physically recognised? From the height, you’d probably say. Uhm, yes and no. The ADM is definitely tall, really tall. My ears have heard 1.85 metres tall ADM say, in all seriousness, that yes, they know it, they are short, there’s no need to poke fun on them about that. If you hear an ADM saying something like this, my advice is to resort to a good old facepalm (you decide on which face put your palm and how hard).
Anyway, okay, the ADM is tall, but that’s not his main typical aspect. No, you can tell an ADM from other nationalities male exemplars only by observing his extremities: (a) hair and (b) shoes.
(a) The blond-ish ADM’s hair is covered with a thick layer of gel, combed back with a sharp lateral line and very visible marks left by the comb. Horrible, but very useful when the strong Dutch wind blows: while everyone’s hair flutters about (covering the visual with a high risk of being hit by a crazy cyclist), the ADM’s mane, intrepid, resists on the top, prideful in all its unsightliness.
(b) Set: you, young Italian girl, are in Holland, let’s say for a holiday; you’ve spotted a cute Dutchie sat opposite to you on the train to Hoek van Holland and you decide to chat up him (oh, honey… good luck with that!). He’s quite an handsome ADM, isn’t he? That pale face, that lovely Dutch nose, those blue eyes and those long long legs. Well, now, listen to me: don’t get to the end of those legs. Don’t do it, I say! Stop! Okay, go on, do as you like, but then don’t blame me. No need to be so horrified, I warned you! And don’t rub your eyes: you can perfectly see. Yes, those are brown shoes. Horrible, pointed, brown shoes. With a never-ending point, to be precise. They’ll tell you that cognac shoes are very stylish, combined with a blue suit. You’ll hold back (or not) a horrified look and you’ll ask yourself: how the hell can they go up and down these impossible Dutch stairs wearing two catamarans on their feet? Mysteries.
So, these are the only two certainties in my life, at the moment: that, doesn’t matter if it’s long or short, curly or straight, the Dutch hair is always covered with gel and that – at 8 a.m. of every working day – public transportation in the Netherlands is invaded by brown shoes. All this stuff scares me, but also gives me a sense of serenity and certainty.

If what you’ve just read was vaguely interesting and you would like to know more about the ADM, stay tuned: a second part is coming soon and it’s gonna be about the (nonexistent) ADM’s emotional sphere!