Throughout Dutch history there was no pressure on foreigners to learn Dutch, both officially (to live there), and in social interactions.
This means that many Dutch people have no problem speaking to you in English.
So I did finally make some good friends, several of which I was sad to have to say goodbye to.
But I'll take what I learned from this experience with me as I move on to other cultures.
When you think about this, I suppose it makes sense.There's a certain advantage to being organised in this way: it forces you to be more social and interact more than most of us in the western world do with TV nights in, hours wasting time online, and lack of coordination with those you want to see properly.