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OK, so I've been living in the Netherlands for almost 3 years and I find the locals are not open enough for making new friends. They mostly stick to their little friend circles. And the culture is a bit cold for me, lol. I liked London a lot more and life here is dull and depressing. I've always wanted to visit and live in Bratislava, Prague or Budapest, but I am afraid that I will be as lonely there as here. Are Hungarians and Slovaks friendly at all? And what about the Czech people? Do they accept Bulgarians?

I come from Bulgaria, so I am used to friendly people and I dislike isolation. Of course I am willing to learn a new language but even after learning Dutch it hasn't helped. I've never been the loner type before coming here. Don't get me wrong - despite being offended and insulted by many locals, I still met friendly people. And this experience helped me grow a thicker skin, so I guess my suffering was worth it. I just want to avoid having to undergo the same thing yet again.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Crazydre, chx, Zach Lipton, Karlson, JonathanReez Oct 24 '16 at 6:04

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • If you liked London, why not move back there? – Gayot Fow Oct 24 '16 at 2:57
  • Are Hungarians friendly at all? NO! And now get off my (Hungarian) lawn :P j/k The population of Hungary is 10M or so, Slovakia 5M or so now between that many people you will friendly and unfriendly ones both. – chx Oct 24 '16 at 2:57
  • Any answers to this question are almost certainly going to be opinion-based. – The Wandering Coder Oct 24 '16 at 2:58
  • @Gayot Fow, I am not cut out for Western cultures it seems, that's why I would never ever live for longer than a 2-week travel in a Western European country. The pace of life is crazy and I feel people are not spiritual enough. I would assume that traditions, rituals and family values are still somewhat more important in Central Europe. At least researches and articles claim that, not sure if it's true. – Maxim Oct 24 '16 at 3:04
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    The other factor I wanted to ask about is if you can speak Dutch or Hungarian. Social integration can be deeply hampered by lack of language skills. I have an former gf in Bulgaria and agree that it seems friendlier, but much of that is due to language. – Gayot Fow Oct 24 '16 at 3:12
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There probably are few questions that warrant more subjective responses than yours, here. :)

Or, in other words, it's all relative.

The Dutch, in their day-to-day life, are considered, by many, to be surprisingly rude. The Dutch will instead say that they're being honest, or straightforward, and will argue that society as a whole is better for it.

It's probably fair to say that, what goes for the Netherlands, in this context, also goes for the Scandinavian countries.

More Mediterranean cultures, considered more 'friendly' by some, on the other hand, tend to be more duplicitous in their verbal communications, which northerners would consider to be 'insincere', rude, and thus unfriendly.

So, what you consider friendly, others will consider the opposite.

Back to your question. Are Hungarians and Slovaks 'friendlier' than the Dutch. Given your metrics, probably. But, there's of course no easy answer.

The relation between Hungary and Slovakia itself has been strained from the very start (of Slovakia becoming its own country), but, Bulgaria has been an agreeable partner for both. With which I'm trying to hint at the probability that, between the two, there wouldn't be a meaningful difference for a Bulgarian.

Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, to some extent, have a history and culture that's closer than, say, Bulgaria and the Netherlands, so you're more likely to more easily integrate, though a language and cultural barrier will always exist.

But, from personal experience, the biggest indicator in adults, for being open to accepting outsiders in a personal circle, is age. Something to consider given your personal situation.

As requested, appeals to authority: I'm Iranian, grew up in Holland, lived in Belgium, studied in Hungary, have direct family in Germany, am married to someone of Mediterranean decent.

  • I actually find many Bulgarians too into other people's business, so too Mediterranean/Southern is also annoying. I call it "nosy behavior". If the Dutch are at one extreme, Bulgarians, Greeks, Italians and Spanish are on the other. But both come off as highly offensive to me. – Maxim Oct 24 '16 at 3:19
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    Would you be comfortable including your authorities in your answer? I think it could be elevated beyond its current state by doing so. Like are you a native there, or lived there for a long time, or married to one, etc etc. Give the readers here something to go on. – Gayot Fow Oct 24 '16 at 3:27
  • Not married, single. Never even been in Central Europe. – Maxim Oct 24 '16 at 4:01
  • Well I wrongly believed that being a university student abroad will result in lasting friendships or wonderful experiences. i am young and surrounded by young people, we are too young to be set in our ways. – Maxim Oct 24 '16 at 4:03
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    What this doesn't discuss is how hard it is to make real friends in the Netherlands, as an adult. It's extremely hard for the Dutch themselves too, after moving to a new city, say, and that's without cultural or language barriers. As an immigrant, it's your kids who will have a good chance of a normal group of friends, not you. – RemcoGerlich Oct 24 '16 at 7:17

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