Friday, March 18, 2005


It's so famous that Dutch people are very stingy. The term "go dutch" which means "paying by yourself" - when you're going out together with your friends- is the appraisal for the Dutch of being stingy.

When I visited the Netherlands, a Dutch colleague told me that even for a couple, each person have to pay their own meal if they go on a date; and would be better if the girl pays for the guy. Hmmmm I feel so lucky that I'm not a Dutch girl hehehe.

The Dutch university where I work has projects, in cooperation with Petra University, in which several Dutch students doing their internship, exchange or double degree. In my eyes, these Dutch students chose to come to Indonesia because this is such a nice cheap country. Where they can enjoy higher level life but cost them less than if they live in the Netherlands.

I know this one student. So handsome and outstanding. He rented a big house in Surabaya and pays a lot for that. I thought it's a usual thing, since he's a foreigner. But my colleague Tina was so surprised. Especially when she heard the explanation of this guy: "Well, I can enjoy better life: big house with several rooms; rather than what i have in Haarlem: tiny room with oh-so-tiny bathroom -at the same price".

I was wondering why Tina was so surprised, since his explanation DID make sense. Until today.....

There were 2 Dutch students came to Surabaya for one of our projects. They insisted to stay in the same room -the cheap one- so we thought that they were couple. In fact...they are not couple. They just stayed together at that small room with no AC (even my room is better and more expensive!!!) to be able to save money. In fact from Dutch government they get this quite big amount of money for their internship in Indonesia. I was surprised already.

Then we got an email. Several Dutch students will come again soon, so again they ask for the possibility to have CHEAP accomodation. I started to get used with their stingy habit....but this one student......he wrote this:

What about my accomodation? I think I want to stay at a very cheap accomodation. Could you please help me arrange it? I really want a CHEAP one...that's why I will bring a SLEEPING BAG from here..."

I was so speechless....

No comments: