I noticed a new topic in the Expat Blog Hop and decided now it is my time to make a contribution. When it came apparent that I would move to the Netherlands, I started googling for information. I was happy to find several expat blogs describing the adventures of relocating to the Netherlands - besides information it also proved that people have survived here without going completely crazy :) One of the blogs I stumbled on also had a weekly topic for other blog writer's called the Expat Blog Hop. I decided that on some beautiful day I will also start participating, and now that day is finally here, although rather rainy and grey.
The topic for this week is to describe an object in your new expat country, that you now use daily but before had no idea such a wonder even existed. It wasn't too difficult to identify this, it is of course my magical refillable dishwashing brush! Yes.. I like things to be clean and tidy around the house :) To get to the essence of this magical device there are two paths
Path 1 - Crazy dutch dishwashing people!
I was few weeks ago in a place with relatively many Finnish women who live in the Netherlands. As it happened, I ended up helping in doing the dishes after we were ending the gathering. I did the dishwashing according to the hygienic and following the health standards like any good, well-raised and overly hygienic Finn would do: first wet the item you are washing, then apply soap, rinse the soap, dry the thing and voila, you are ready. One of the Finnish women commented that if we would have Dutch people here, they would be upset by the amount of water we are wasting, which led us to an interesting discussion. I learned, that apparently the step called "rinsing-the-unhealthy-and-toxic-soap-from-the-thing-you-are-eating-your-food-from" -step is not an universal step in the art of washing dishes. There are people who - believe it or not - actually dry the item immediately after applying the soap.
After I got home I confronted the Dutch and asked him to give a detailed process explaation on the dishwashing topic, without giving a hint first why I am asking this. When he got to the point where he mentioned that after applying the soap, he gets a towel and dry the item and put it on to the shelf I thought, these people have really lost it. Like, where were they when the information of rinsing potentially toxic dishwashing stuff from the plates, cutlery and glasses was given! And no, the drying with a towel is not enough. I felt a great sense of starting my own personal crusade on enlightening Dutch people from the hazardous toxics that all the dishwashing soap must consist of. I also made it clear, what is now the standard of handwashing dishes in this house. This of course provided an easy escape to the Dutch for not doing any dishes anymore - but hey, at least we are not dying of terrible dishwasher soap cancer! And luckily we have a dishwasher also :)
Path 2 - Smart dutch dishwashing people!
One of the most brilliant things since sliced bread is this - refillable dish brush! I was asked to bring some of those "fillable dish brushes" to Finland once, and after doing some binary search (which included e.g flying to Finland with two refillable barbeque grill iron wire things) I found the right one from Albert Heijn.
I got some more orders from Finland for this, and I think the local AH cashier's must've thought, that the girl has some severe pile of dishes to wash when I bought 10+ dishwasher brushes when shopping there, although in two consecutive days. Of course I didn't dare to empty the shelves in one go.. :)