October 31, 2006 2:08:15 PM CET
Yes, it is safe to walk, bike or take the bus/train here.
They do have crime but it's nothing like what they have in the States.
That Bus Driver admonishing you WAS odd. How can anyone know if you live here or are on vacation?
You will need to learn Dutch though - which will take a lot of committment on your behalf. If your hubby is here for work it is not required that he or yourself learn Dutch - but you will have such a hard time functioning if you try to just 'get by' in English.
Yes, lots of Dutch people speak English but unless you stay in the expat communities ... you will have a hard time without Dutch. Make no mistake about this.
Lot's of Americans/Brits etc only speak English and the Dutch will nod their heads but ... they won't have a lot of respect for you - because they think you are just being lazy.
It's like Mexicans that come over the US border that never learn English, live in their own little Spanish speaking areas and are always frustrated etc.. You would be thinking 'Hey, speak English .. geesh you aren't in Mexico anymoore!'.
See what I mean? So your highest priority now and when you move here is to learn Dutch.
Btw - moving to Europe is a huge adjustment. HUGE. It will be much harder than it seems from visiting or reading about it.
It 'looks' like the States ... but culturally it's very different.
I came here for work 6 years ago and liked it - so I stayed but ummmm I would say the average American, Canadian (all the new world countries)etc ... have a hard time here and just have to return after a while.
It's all about how you 'see' things and your appreciation of another culture. Mostly .. it's about how to handle difficult situations.