Dutch children visiting us

Jun 15th, 2000, 05:28 AM
  #1  
Bill
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Dutch children visiting us

OK; this isn't really a question about European travel. It's more a query for those of you who know Dutch culture.
We will be hosting two boys from the Rotterdam Boys' Choir for a week this summer when they do an American tour. (My own two sons are in a boys' choir that will be doing an exchange next summer - Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Italy!) Although I don't have specific personal information on our guests, we will have a younger boy (say, 10 or 11) and an older boy (maybe 14). The idea is that the older boys will have better English language skills.
So my question is, what do typical Dutch kids eat for breakfast? (My kids rot their teeth on god-awful sugar cereal.) How about bag-lunches? How about a souvenier of the US that they might like to take back? Do you know of any tapes for learning Dutch phrases? (I couldn't find any on Amazon.)
Thanks... and sorry about being off-topic.
 
Jun 15th, 2000, 06:39 AM
  #2  
Meg
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I think a typical Dutch breakfast includes bread, jam, cheese, ham - and it seems there are always boiled eggs on hand.

I think there is a Berlitz tape on the Dutch language. Maybe it's not Berlitz, but someone has one - we bought it but never used it. Check your local book store (Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, etc.) - bound to have something in Dutch.

What a great opportunity for your kids. Hope it all goes well.
 
Jun 15th, 2000, 07:07 AM
  #3  
Sjoerd
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Dutch breakfast typically includes bread, cheese, ham/sausage, jam/marmelade, peanut butter, sometimes boiled or fried egg, always a glass of milk, maybe tea. Cereals are fine too! Lunch: more of the same!
However, I would recommend that you just serve what you normally have for breakfast, after all they are visiting the USA and should learn something about your culture and habits.
Souvenirs? A T-shirt or sweater with a typical American picture or text will be nice.
Souvenirs
 
Jun 15th, 2000, 11:38 AM
  #4  
Al
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You might take your guests with you when you go to the supermarket. Let them choose what they like to eat, let them make their own sack lunches when they are away, and let them soak in some of America's do-it-yourself ways. We have found that children raised in other cultures often are given few choices -- other than take it or leave it. When two Japanese girls spent time with us, we discovered they had never been in a kitchen before. Their mothers would not allow it. We took them to the market, let them buy lunch stuff, and turned them loose. The first morning, we laid the sandwich makings out on the kitchen counter, told them to fix their own sandwiches, and came back 10 minutes later. We found that one was taking the tip of a knife and slowly "painting" one side of a piece of bread with Miracle Whip. No, no -- you do it this way, we said, with a swift move of the knife. Ah, so. In another 10 minutes, we returned. She was putting the lettuce on the sandwich very carefully, making "hospital corners" so as not to have lettuce overhang edges of the bread. Hmmm. In any case, involve the kids and do not wait on them.
 
Jun 15th, 2000, 12:39 PM
  #5  
donna
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Hi Bill= a few summers ago we had two sisters (15 and 17) from Barcelona stay as exchange students for two weeks. They reallly wanted to eat what we usually eat and they pretty much did try and eat everything we served (including take out Thai and Chinese) I bought the girls a coffee table type book of Boston as a souvenier so they could have photos and info on the places they visited. (Unfortunately for them, Barcelona is a swinging nighttime town and our town outside of Boston pretty much rolls up the sidewalks by 9:30pm!)
 
Jun 15th, 2000, 01:12 PM
  #6  
michele
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They aren't coming here to eat the typical Dutch breakfast -- they can get that at home! It might be fun for them to try different things Americans eat -- get one of those "Variety Pak" assortments of tiny boxes of different kinds of cereal and let them choose their own (hey, it's only for a week -- a few Froot Loops and Sugar Pops aren't going to kill them, right?), maybe take them out to a traditional "pancake house" another day, etc.

I think the idea of letting them help make their own sandwiches for bag lunches is a good idea -- buy an assortment of cold cuts like ham, turkey, cheese, etc. and let them build their own. Just try to get some decent bread or rolls; in my experience many Europeans are appalled by what passes for bread here (fluffy Wonder Bread and the like).

I think it's great that you're doing this! Any chance you could post a "visit report" to let us know how it went, their impressions, what they liked, disliked, etc.?
 
Jun 15th, 2000, 01:27 PM
  #7  
Maira
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Bill, I had German friends over last March (they lived very closed to the Dutch border) and they specifically wanted for breakfast our usual fare, not what they were used to. I got Nutella, jams, cheeses and they actually wanted pancakes w/maple syrup, scrambled eggs, western omelettes, sausages etc. It was hilarious!! Been from New York, I made this delicious bread pudding with apples for breakfast and it was a hit! Point is food is such a fun part of a culture that you should actually be looking at it as an enhancement to the cultural experience you are going to be providing.
 
Jun 16th, 2000, 07:26 AM
  #8  
lindi
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If I went to the Netherlands for an exchange, I DEFINITELY would want to eat what they usually do.
Once, we had a guest from China, and made him rice as a side-dish. His reaction: oh, not rice again! Everybody is serving me rice because I'm from China! I'm starting to get sick of it! Ok, not exact words, he was very polite.
 
Jun 16th, 2000, 09:27 AM
  #9  
Miriam
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Just don't serve them your nasty American bread!!! I'm from Germany and the worst thing about the American food is the bread! I've been an exchange student for a year (in NJ) and I still can't handle the bread!
 
Jun 16th, 2000, 12:02 PM
  #10  
Paul
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Re:Miriam,
That's really funny! (for me -- not you I'm sure). Sorry to hear the sorry state of affairs Joisey bakeries are in though. One cure for you I suggest is to come to San Francisco and see if that tweaks your opinion of US bread.
 
Jun 16th, 2000, 03:42 PM
  #11  
Bill
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OK, let's see if I have this straight... typical American food, EXCEPT for the bread <grin>
We live in Baltimore, so this time of year a "typical" dinner might be steamed crabs, their shells covered in gloppy spices. I don't think we should subject impressionable young boys to crab guts right off the bat <another grin>
 
Jun 16th, 2000, 05:18 PM
  #12  
Meg
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Maybe the so
lution, Bill, is to buy some of their breakfast foods - at least enough for the first few days and offer a mixed buffet - some of our stuff, some of theirs and let them decide. This will give them an opportunity to try what they want - or seek shelter in the comfort of something familiar - especially with kids. Offer them the chance to go to the grocery with you if they are interested and pick out what they like. That way, nobody is put on the spot.
 
Jul 2nd, 2000, 04:07 PM
  #13  
Bill
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Just wanted to report back on our visit by two choirboys from the Rotterdam Boys Choir. Turned out that we got two of the choir's older boys - 15 and 22. When we heard their ages, we were disappointed, thinking that it wouldn't be as good an experience for our 10-year-old son. Well, they were GREAT! Their week-long visit reinforced my already-strong impression that the Dutch are some of the nicest, most "real" people in the world. Jacques and Peter were warm and friendly, they liked and appreciated anything we gave them to eat (or at least acted as if they did!), and serenaded us with music at the drop of a hat. I've never met a 15-year-old who was more polite, outgoing, and "in love with life" than Jacques! Both boys were great with my younger son, teaching him Dutch words (and tongue-twisters!), inviting him to go with them on the choir's trip to an amusement park, and being genuinely interested in what he had to say. It's too bad that my older son was away this week. He missed out on a great experience. As I anticipated, both boys spoke incredibly good English. Additionally, both were America-philes and seemed to really enjoy their experience in this country.
Favorite foods: granola cereal with milk, deli-style hot dogs (for breakfast!), sliced turkey and mayo sandwiches, spagetti and meat sauce, and ANYTHING for dessert.
 
Jul 3rd, 2000, 08:11 AM
  #14  
nancy
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Glad you all had a wonderful time!!!!
Nancy
 
Jul 3rd, 2000, 02:13 PM
  #15  
Maira
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It is such a classy detail to post on the outcome of the visit! Thanks for sharing.
 
Jul 3rd, 2000, 03:36 PM
  #16  
elvira
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Dank u wel! I loved the report!

What, no cold pizza for breakfast?
 
Jul 3rd, 2000, 06:55 PM
  #17  
Bill
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Woops! I neglected to mention a few more "gourmet" American foods that were favorites of the 15-year-old: definitely Jello (unavailable in Holland, apparently because of unhealthy foodcoloring), Koolaid (same deal, I think), and Ranch Dressing on salad.
 

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