So before I got here I wasn’t much of a tea drinker, in fact I never drank tea or coffee. Not my thing really, but I came to realize that in order to make friends and to fit in socially I was going to have to suck it up and learn to like it. You see the Dutch take their coffee breaks or koffie pauze very seriously, and almost everything rotates around sitting down and sharing a cup of coffee or tea. For those at work it means that everyone stops what they are doing at 9 am and has a cup of something warm, usually accompanies by something small and sweet. If your invited to someones house, you should realize that this will almost certainly involve a warm beverage.
In my early months I was invited over to our neighbors house for drinks, when I asked how late I should be there she replies “around coffee time” So I went back home and asked my boyfriend what time is coffee time, and he replied 8:15 pm. (insert dumbfounded look on my face here) Is this some secret pass time that I was never made aware of? How are we to go by and have a drink if we are having coffee? Well I resigned myself to “having drinks” doesn’t mean the same thing in EVERY country and headed across the street for yet another cup of tea.
We started of chatting and getting to know each other, drank our tea and nibbled on some yummy pastry that I couldn’t identify. Then when the pleasantries were done, out came the snacks and the real drinks, beer and wine! Phew…I was beginning to wonder if people just drank tea all day and night.
Now remember, when you invite someone over to your home to visit, you better have everything you need for those toasty warm beverages and don’t forget to have something sweet on hand, because tea without pastries is just not done!