When I moved here almost 3 years ago I felt I slipped into Amsterdam so effortlessly that at times I wondered if I had lived here my entire life. I found the locals easy to understand and easy to deal with, I loved the sense of community that I felt all around me and I loved that women were completely liberated, independent and confident.
And recently this all made sense when I learnt a little about Hofstede and his Cultural Dimension Theory, Hofstede identified several values (dimensions) that differentiate a country's culture and society form another; Masculinity, Power Distance, Individualism, and Uncertainty Avoidance.
So I ranked my home culture(s) using a really cool cultural differentiation tool I found online, and this is what happened:
All the things I hated and loved about growing up as a Greek in Australia were either toned down or toned up in the Netherlands; annoying, stifling gender stereotypes and crazy emotional reactions, gone, replaced by a better sense of community.
In fact the only thing I really struggled with in the Netherlands compared to Australia was power distance differences that I picked up on here in the work force, kudos to my fellow Aussies on that one!