Happiness is a cigar called flirting – Day 4, part one

Dear humans,

For forth day flirting in The Netherlands, another strategy has been chosen. My friends and me have decided to go out, on the beach, to dance. The group consist mainly of girls and we bring one handsome Latin guy, so there is something for everybody’s taste.

At the place it is evident that women outnumber; they also dear to dance quite early in the evening. Guys stand, either alone, either with their better half’s or in the groups, discussing current political situation. Smoking machine is working hard to create smoking hot atmosphere, but not, nothing can replace a real stuff.

My friend Katie says: “It is gerontology here, don’t you think?”, which is kind-a true, we look underage. I did pick up 70-80-90’s music party after all, that could explain:

“.. You know I like my girls a little bit older
I just wanna use your love tonight…”

To add the music into the experience please visit:


You can not bit it, join it;  and soon we take our space, until any still available. Full heartedly, we try to copy all the fingers, elbow, hip movements; we see around us and could possible remember from our teens.

I’m close to DJ table, he passes by, gently laying his arms on my shoulder. I’m not sure was he flirting with me, or he was just worried that one of my elbows will end up in close proximity of his glasses. Well I’m a country girl, we do take our personal space seriously, and we do take plenty of it. He gets back to his place without making an eye contact, so I conclude it was me invading his personal space, not other way around.

I’m looking for a start up of my experiment, even if I do not feel like. I take all my responsibilities seriously, I just do not see any interesting man from here. It is smoky, I’m a small woman, the only guy I could possibly see is a few meters away, and is 2 meters lang. And there is one leaning on the door, with a beer belly. I’ve just concluded that we have common interests, when Maraya suggests that  we should  move away, to get some action. The room next to us, apparently, has more guys.

Well, next place is the sound horror, 2 types of music mixing with each other, and it is better to try techno department after all.

I’m from 70’s, and not a 90’s beach,  but hay, we had enough of naphthalene smell for the evening. (If you do not understand the latest, try google “old people, mothballs”).

Techno room is full of younger guys, so it looks like it will be possible to integrate. I see one, I wouldn’t really mind to make mine, and park.

Maraya is the biggest pervert in the group (that’s what she says), and she immediately suggest that it would best for a starter, to make some finger moves around the guy’s rear axle. I kind- a exercise the movement to see if I still have it in me, but of course I get mocked for my love for a big man: ” Do some apple picking instead, it is a techno party, and your hands will be just on the right height”.

She adds that she got her previous boy-friend, black stallion, by applying this technique. Some liquor, plus bet, was involved, and there were two big guys ready to do some old fashioned fighting to defend the honor of the lady.

I ask my Columbian friend Luis, would he back me up if I have to run, having the boy’s Dutch girlfriend after my back? He replies that he can not fight girls, his religion does not allow him to do that. Good catholic boys raising, that is it!

A whole brotherhood on the left spotted. All wearing the illuminative bracelets on different part of their bodies. They belong together, it is obvious. In their thirties-ch?! We could easy infiltrate and try to make some nice memories together.

Unfortunately, the way they stand is kind-a not inviting. One British client of mine, told me that  “circle of death” is a British description of Dutch people forming closed forms on the parties; with their bodies.

If you are in this country long enough, you must know this phenomena?

The Roman formation,  all body parts protected, no entrée – no matter which force you might be applying?

Voila, I give you The Tortoise!

roman tortise formationWhen laying siege to a fort, Romans used a formation called the tortoise. The soldiers in front and sides interlocked their shields. The soldiers in the back lines placed their shields over their heads to form a protective “shell” over top of the men. “It was so strong that (in training) a chariot could be driven over the top!” (Williams 2003, pg 28).

If not familiar, I will try to pass my, and only my (and half of The Great Britain), look on the things. Been only on a few Dutch parties and decided I have seen them all, so I do not know if this corresponds with other people’s experiences, but it might be a life saving.

There are you, the expat invited on a Dutch party for the first time. If you a lucky, you are bringing a friend along; or you are a colleague of the host, so over there, you might find people you know . 

The reasons that bring an average person on the party are as follow :

  • to celebrate with the host a happy something,
  • to hand over the present and
  • to meet new people.

So you enter, to find out that there is your host and bunch of his friends from primary school (one circle), secondary school (second circle), colleagues from the first job (third circle), colleagues from the second job (forth circle), friends from the sport club (fifth circle).. and you.

Well, do not worry upfront, you will be gently escorted to the right circle, if you happen to belong to the one.

If not, you will be presented to the one of the circles above, where you will find out that people involved, talk about the memories they share together, in Dutch, you happen to master een beetje of geen beetje (little bit or not at all).

Once in a while, you will be kindly asked what are you doing here, and some more questions in English, and the rest of your time, you can politely nod to everyone else.

You will find out also, that the turtle opens only when the host approaches. In that occasion, some old jokes gets to be thrown left and right, following the host leaving the direction of the next turtle. The formation closes.

If you try to push your way in to The Tortoise, please remember two things:

  •  a chariot could be driven over the top, no success,  
  • trying to mingle falls under breaking the unwritten rules of socializing in The Netherlands.

Have fun!

And I do not say that this is bad, it just falls under the cultural differences we all struggle with, by moving abroad.

Serbian parties, I use to attend, looked completely different.

You would get into someone’s house, to find out that the host is nowhere to be found.

That wouldn’t bother you very much, cause the chances you would know the host were not so huge anyhow. Most likely you were invited from your cousin’s girlfriend’s neighbor, who happens to know the host, cause he has sold him some books, and in that exchange found out, that the host is turning 20ti or 30ti something next weekend, and the full name and the address happened to be inside the book covers.

So, the handing over of the present wouldn’t happen and you would have the alcohol bottle or two to put on the kitchen counter.

The music would be too loud to communicate, but someone would notice if you  have a glass or not, and you would be nonverbally asked if you need some or some more alcohol to relax.

If in need to socialize, you would have to develop the habit of smoking, so you could join other chain smokers on the terrace, or in the garden, where all the verbal fun was going on. The rest of the house was used exclusively for dancing and drinking.

If you would need to be alone (or lonely), well good luck, hiding in the toilet wouldn’t work, cause it would be always someone there, vomiting. The bedroom of your hosts parents, wouldn’t work either, cause it would be occupied with some just hooked up couples, rolling in the nest of other people’s jackets.

If in need to hook up with your crash, it was enough to dance around him 3 rounds max and he would ask you if it is OK to bring you some drinks. Than you would go out to chain smoke and get to know each other better.

I never left any party not knowing at least 87% of the people present, the rest of 13% I usually didn’t want to know anyhow.

And by knowing each other, I mean:

  •  we would see each other in very delicate states of existence,
  • we wouldn’t usually discus it ever again, if we ever meet
  • if close friends involved, the joke about, would go on forever.

But that was than, I really do not know how are things back there any more. Probably changed.

Well I guess I need to have a break now, and in my next post you will found out how Serbian, Polish, Columbian and Dutch mafia has cracked “The Tortoise”.

This post is meant to amuse, not to offend any party involved, no matter how the party might be presented.

Please stay with me and feel free to share and comment!

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