We sent 17 uncaptioned photos of Dutch things to BuzzFeed offices in the US, Australia, Scotland, and London and asked them to write down the first thing that came to their heads. Eighteen people replied. This is what they said:
1. Broodje Haring.
How do you feel about this?
Tabatha (London): I mean, it’s a picture of a beheaded fish that’s been covered in raw garlic and stuffed inside a school lunch–style bread roll. How do you think it makes me feel inside?
Flo (London): What the actual fuck is that. If you ate this sandwich on a hangover you would puke instantly. No, get it away.
Bryant (New York): Are there bones in that fish? How would this be OK to eat?
Tom (London): I feel intrigued and nauseated at the same time
Sophie (London): It makes me sad :( It looks like the most upsetting burger ever.
Hannah (London): Looking at this makes me feel angry and confused. Why would you ever want your burger to have a tail? Who came up with this monstrosity? Even looking at it gives me bad breath.
How does this image make you feel?
Matt (London): Looks like mini ovens from a doll’s house.
Jenna (Australia): Is this a fast-food vending machine? I AM HERE FOR IT.
Bryant (New York): If there’s mashed potato in that, I’m game.
Tabatha (London): If that’s a vending machine filled with deep fried cheese, I’m fully on board.
Hilary (London): Is that a battered and deep-fried corn on the cob? Or possibly a giant potato croquette? Either way, would definitely eat. Just the sight of those glowing golden lumps is making me hungry.
Hannah (London): This looks like the perfect on-the-go snack. Unless it’s something unexpectedly horrible. Like breaded fish heads.
Where are these people running to?
Matt (London): Running for a pint of Dutch Heineken?
Tabatha (London): Belgium?
Declan (London): Clogs sale?
Tom C (London): It’s a lifeguarding convention and they’ve seen someone drowning in the middle of Damrak.
Ellie: (London) Hopefully the sea, judging by the amount of swimming trunks I see here.
Hannah (London): These people are running away from the Netherlands because they’ve just been offered fish-tail burgers.
4. Queen Maxima.
Who is this woman?
Lynzy (London): The Queen.
Bryant (New York): The Dutch correspondent to Ralph Lauren.
Jenna (Australia): Is she the Dutch Blair Waldorf? Her style game is On. Point.
Hannah (London): This is the most powerful businessperson in the Netherlands. She made her fortune in the tulip trade.
Hilary (London): Given the red carpet I’d say she’s one of the most important people in the country, so either the Queen of Holland or an ex–Big Brother winner.
Tabatha (London): She’s Holland’s Kate Middleton.
5. Beschuit met muisjes.
What are we celebrating when we eat these?
Matt (London): Diabetes Day.
Lynzy (London): Easter.
Tom P (London): Tiny Blue And White Egg Day.
Bryant (New York): Flag Day I assume?
Declan (London): National Blue Balls Day!
Tabatha (London): FINLAND.
Hannah (London): The welfare state.
6. Gerard Joling.
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What does this man do for a living?
Tom C (London): Fucks everything. He’s the king of fucking everything, it says so.
Bryant (New York): Nothing. He’s your version of Kim K.
Sophie (London): He presents a TV show where people have makeovers and plastic surgery.
Rich: (London): Well you’d hope he was the prime minister or something. But probably the Dutch Simon Cowell.
Declan (London): Professional Dr Cox from Scrubs impersonator?
7. New Kids Turbo.
What’s this film about?
Matt (London): Mullets.
Ellie (London): Post-apocalyptic Vengaboys.
Tom P (London): Pirates from the 1980s.
Jamie (London): The band Queen could have been.
Jenna (Australia): This is about a ragtag gang of time travellers who have come to us from the ’80s to stop the zombie apocalypse they set in motion when they ate some bad Febo.
How do you feel about this?
Bryant (New York): It’s probably safe.
Jamie (London): How do these kids afford a rickshaw service?
Richard B (London): I think we should get rid of all our cars and do this instead.
Tabatha (London): Very envious of the children. Unless that’s not their mum. In which case, I’m scared for them.
Tom C (London): Actually this is brilliant and the Dutch and cycling are brilliant. God bless the Dutch and their clearly marked cycle paths and giant child-baskets.
Ellie (London): I feel excellent about this, and I feel like I would love to be placed in a box and have someone cycle me around.
Declan (London): I’d like to be ferried about in one.
Flo (London): Cool. Those kids look chill.
How do you win this game?
Ellie (London): This is a game? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Tom C (London): Fit three Grolsch bottles into your colon and you win 50 euros.
Flo (London): You suck up the beer through your anus, you disgusting people.
Bryant (New York): Who ever makes the most bubbles in the bottle? It looks like farting is a huge component.
10. Spuiten en Slikken.
What happens on this show?
Jenna (Australia): Blonde people sit around drinking ~blonde~ wine and talking about how great it is to be blonde?
Tabatha (London): These three hosts audition members of the Dutch public to be the fourth piece in their Abba tribute band.
Flo (London): Awkward threesomes?
Ellie (London): I really hope it’s something to do with the Eurovision song contest. Like, they take it really seriously and review all the acts.
11. Van Persie’s “The Flying Dutchman”.
What’s happening here?
Hannah (London): ONLY THE BEST HEADER IN FOOTBALL HISTORY.
Tabatha (London): This guy lost a peeing competition and peed on the judge’s hand. As a punishment, he was thrown across the pitch.
Hilary (Scotland): Ah, everyone remembers where they were when Dutch footballers finally learned how to float in midair. A seminal moment.
Sophie (London): A man is playing football badly.
Richard B (London): Robin van Persie is scoring the best goal of the 2014 World Cup and if you disagree you’re wrong.
Rich (London): RvP being an absolute boss like always.
12. The Passion.
What are these guys singing about?
Ellie (London): Is this Orange Is the New Black: The Musical?
Matt (London): The global economic situation.
Tom P (London): Sex.
Tom C (London): Wiping food out of each other’s beards and why that is a fun thing to do.
Rich (London): Windmills.
Sophie (London): The fact that they are happy because they just got out of prison.
13. Bassie en Adriaan.
What are these men famous for?
Bryant (New York): Not being funny.
Matt (London): Terrifying children on an industrial scale.
Tom P (London): All the murders they did.
Tom C (London): Being a clown and a clown’s carer.
Sophie (London): They are the Netherlands’ most famous clowns.
Hilary (Scotland): Terrifying children, haunting nightmares and Scottish cultural appropriation.
What’s on this plate?
Ellie (London): Is it like, sweet potato and bacon? Or carrots? Both? Whatever it is, I want to eat it.
Matt (London): Sweet potato and kidney beans.
Hilary (London): Sweet potato, and knowing you guys probably fish, onions, and terrifying blue balls too.
Tom P (London): Just fucking mashed carrots.
Declan (London): Ew…carrots?
What’s on this plate?
Matt (London): Cream and battered oysters.
Bryant (New York): I see lemon, cream, powdered sugar ,and some kind of dumpling.
Tom C (London): Fritterschrkicher mijt limmoncreeeme. Famous Dutch dish.
Flo (London): Very good things. I can see carbs, I can see sugar, I can see butter, I can see whipped cream, and some fruit so it counts as a salad. All good.
Richard B (London): It’s probably some sort of apple-based dessert right?
Hannah (London): Probably fish tails.
Ellie (London): POFFERTJES AKA THE MOST GLORIOUS GODDAMN DELICACY ON THE PLANET.
Does this bring up any emotions for you?
Ellie (London): No emotions. None whatsoever.
Tom C (London): Mainly paranoia.
Declan (London): I think I scraped this off my stale bread this morning.
Tabatha (London): This looks like broccoli that was left in the fridge for waaaaay too long.
Hilary (Scotland): Is this drugs? Or just really mouldy brocolli? The only emotion I’m feeling right now is “confused”
Bryant (New York): LOL.
17. Zuivelmerk Melkunie advert.
And lastly, what is this man saying?
Lynzy (London): PLEASE DRINK MILK WITH ME.
Bryant (New York): The best milk comes from a goat.
Ellie B (London): There’s no use crying over this milk I just spilled.
Rich (London): Something about custard. Or windmills.
Flo (London): My milkshake brings all the girls to the yard.
Tabatha (London): I started shaving one side of my head before it was cool.
Hilary (London): I used to be very rich and famous but now I’m in a milk advert and that makes me incredibly depressed.
Richard (London): Drink milk and you’ll turn into Van Gogh.
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