Step into any Dutch persons home and you will be sure to find one particular household oddity: the Birthday Calendar (de verjaardagskalender). And where, do you ask, would one find such an odd item? Well, in the most logical place — the toilet of course!
A Dutch person must never forget another Dutch person’s birthday. Doing so constitutes a major sin in the Lowlands. Dutch people can happily consult their handy birthday calendar while quietly sitting alone, going about their business on their porcelain throne.
And of course, the calendar is not just any kind of calendar, it’s sole purpose is for the recording of birthdays. Plus, it’s a perpetual calendar (sans dates or years) forsaking the need to purchase or update one every year. Ah –efficient and thrifty!
As tempting as it may seem, it is very important to note that it is never ever appropriate to record one’s own name and birth date onto another Dutch person’s calendar. Doing so would be considered a serious offense (and definitely a “no” on the Stuff Dutch People Like list). Can’t seem to find your B-day entry? Well, the official relationship-ranking is in and turns out you’re just not as close as you thought you were!
Feeling a tad cheeky? Or simply looking for the perfect payback? While visiting a Dutch persons house, ask to use the toilet and covertly erase a few entries from the beloved calendar. This action alone is sure to throw the Dutch person in question’s life into complete chaos! Dat mag niet!