Skip to main content


Holland is a province, namely North Holland. The correct term all school boys are taught is The Netherlands, but it should be called Bikeland. The Dutch would like to think they invented the bicycle, which they did not, it was a German invention. But ownership is a big thing in Holland, if they like something or do it frequently they really own it. It is a material society, more so than most. In Ireland it's all about the land you own, in England your castle, in Holland it's about the things you do, and if you do them a lot - it must be Dutch!

I remember a Dutchman telling me with that arrogant pride that they excel at, "We Dutch have a unique love of cycling." I replied, "that this was because it was a flat country." "Oh", he responded, "I never thought of that." This is not an isolated case, most Dutch haven't connected the fact that the country is flat with their abundant use of the bike. Autistic in intelligence is a term regularly applied by the outside observer. What they do own, and what is very Dutch are the bizarre alternatives and inventions they develop when adapting the bike. A 3-wheeler, a motor engine, an attachment to carry a briefcase or your entire family of blond blue eyed children.

Since the 1900's the Dutch have been adapting and adding features to the bicycle in crazy inventor like fashion. An object in Holland is something that can be tinkered with, improved, modified, made better. Unfortunately this is also applied to people, an individual is something to be experimented on, engineered and altered, as is society as a whole. It has the frightening tone of a doctor in a concentration camp about it. Don't get me wrong, their skills of engineering are worthy and inspiring and it has created a country with an impressive infrastructure, but sadly it has also created a society with people who are permanently experimented on, tinkered with and as a result don't really know who they are anymore, they do however, know how to ride a bike.

Comments said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeanette said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular posts from this blog


Some of you may notice that I have deleted a few posts. These in general where some of my more contentious writings with regard to my frustrations being a 'outsider' in the Netherlands. As with most things in life one needs to review and reassess at various stages. Some of these postings generated a healthy amount of comment, but this perhaps is just indicative of how people can more easily relate to critical editorial. The world press is full of such editorial writings. We read such articles on global politics whilst nodding internally in agreement, confirming our belief that we some how understand the complexities of human suffering better than those who actually live in such situations on a daily and all too real bases.

I've decided that should I post a critical comment, then I should always accompany it with a positive one because in reality that is how things are.

In addition, as a man who has worked in advertising for many years I'm all too aware of my 'brand…

What to do on Sunday's

Fr. Leo Nedersticht, now that's a good Dutch name. Whilst busy with preparations for my marriage some ten years ago, I hastily called around looking for a Catholic priest to give a blessing at my civil ceremony. This was met with distain by my first contact, promptly being told by the cleric, "we don't do that sort of thing". An alternative phone number was privided and I was informed, "you need to call Fr. Leo".

"That's the man for me", I thought. A priest with a reputation, I liked him even before we'd met in person. And, he lived up to his reputation. It was a fantastic ceremony with blessings given by both himself and a Buddhist friend, with an equally charismatic civil servant putting on a crowd cheering performance as if not to be outdone by the traditionalists.

We lost contact over the years, as happens, but returned home from vacation to hear his warm voice on the answer machine. He came for lunch a couple of weeks ago, we enjoyed…

Dutch politics

Elections surface in the swamp. Only the cloggies can vote. People who wish to keep their original nationality and live here due to work or relationship with a Dutch partner have no right to vote in national elections. Most Dutch think this is perfectly 'normal' and are completely ignorant of the fact that Dutch people CAN vote in Britain or Ireland. When I inform Irish or British friends of this, they are genuinely amazed that a European country can even be allowed to flaunt such blatant discrimination.

The government has been busy pushing forward a non-dual citizen policy. Meaning, I can't be both Irish and Dutch. Realizing that the regulation would also effect Dutch people who live abroad, they're hastily pushing forward legislation that says if you are Dutch you CAN have dual-citizenship, but if you're a foreign national living in Holland you must choose to be one or the other. Confused. Don't be, its simple, the Dutch don't like foreigners so if every…