Some thoughts from my train ride home…
I live in a country known for tulips, clogs and weed.
The reality is obviously different.
“We are a blunt people,” but heaven forbid you talk directly.
Past disasters has forced cooperation, but present comfort avoids confrontation.
Maybe just take a vacation?
The farmers pollute land and water to export cheap meat.
The politicians argue over coalition agreements down to the last detail, but then ignore the elephant standing in the Tweede Kamer.
Festivals are joyous but don’t slip in the slush of smashed drink cups.
Drugs are legal — not. The mafia kills. Parties are great. Love your dealer.
Education separates the promising and the workers. Elite fraternities plan insider trades; the poor get ahead, turning internships into jobs.
Cars are everywhere, but we love bikes.
The Dutch are totally green — unless it costs extra.
The handelskultuur puts profits over people, with exceptions for gay marriage and vegan junk food.
Welcome refugees, but not too many. There’s a housing crisis. Romanian farm workers are fair game for exploitation.
It’s obvious that politics has a problem with responsibility, when Rutte is on his fourth, Wilders preens for foreign donors, and Thierry echoes his collaborator ancestors.
Nederland has fought the sea for centuries, but most citizens are ignorant of the battles to come.
Gehackte? Yes! and cheap.
Sure the Belgians are disorganized, but are they hypocrites?
I’d rather live here — especially since the weather is better than in California — but I wonder if shared spaces will replace parking places.
God made the Earth and the Dutch made the Nederland, but who will act if everyone is on “burn out”?