Being Short in the Netherlands

The fact that the Dutch are ranked the tallest people in the world, according to several sources, says it all. I don’t consider myself short at 5’8 (average I guess), however, there are a few things that can be a bit of an obstacle. Here is a short list of things I have found so far that I usually deal with on a regular basis…

 1. The Height of Urinals in Bars/Restaurants – Really! It’s easy for a taller person to aim down than it is for a shorter person to aim up. I usually just take it in stride, stand on my tip-toes and hope for the best. It’s safe to say, or maybe not, that I now carry a retractable stepping stool around with me to such places. It makes life a little easier.

 2. Trying to Order a Drink in a Crowded Bar – Walking into a crowded bar can be a little overwhelming on its own, but trying to order a drink is even worse when you walk in and feel like a mouse lost among Giraffes. Of course, I just go with the flow and fight my way to the front (eventually). Although, when you’re 5’8 and standing between 6 foot something Dutchmen, you get that feeling of… “We’re gonna need a bigger boat (Jaws, 1975).”

 3. Trying to Look in Bathroom Mirrors – “Mirror, mirror on the wall… Never mind, who am I kidding.” I don’t actually have this problem myself, however my itty-bitty fiance who stands at an elegant 5’1 hasn’t looked in a mirror since we moved here. I actually had to buy her a table top mirror and a long door mirror in which she can do all the fun, normal things a woman would. “Mirror, mirror on the door” is more like it.

 4. Buying Pants – I don’t necessarily need new jeans/pants at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t browse. I haven’t been to too many clothing stores yet, but the pants in ones that I have been are very tall and long. Like I said I am 5’8 and unless I want to purchase stilts with my pants then I’m pretty much shit out of luck (pardon my French. I mean Dutch).

 As of right now these are the only obstacles I’ve come across, but I’m sure I will find more that remind me that I’m only 5’8. I don’t mind it by any means, though. I have Dutch friends that tower over me, but being some of the friendliest people, would never belittle me (no pun intended).

 In fact I had a Dutch friend over the other day for a few drinks and some BBQ and he got his head caught in the ceiling fan!

HA! Who’s the joke on now?


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