Monday, January 17, 2011

Things I like about the not so nice

A friend once commented on my blog, "well one thing is for sure, you don't like the Dutch". Well, I guess that is true, as a people and society I don't like them, but 'like' is not a word that can be applied to the Dutch. Infact it is a word they generally dislike, it is too vague, too emotive, baseless.

For sure I like loads of Dutch people, and I never let my observations and experience of living in their society carry over to the 'individual'. I approach all with a fresh look, a new embrace. So what do I like about the Dutch.

Well for one I like the fact that it is a less chauvinistic country than many, I love meeting strong liberal and independent women who have broken free from the chains of men. In Ireland women have a power that is derived from the importance of motherhood in the family group. But here it extends further, they can be something for themselves, not just as mothers.

I love the fact that gay couples walk hand-in-hand in the streets with a certain confidence and knowing. I like the fact that the police play it by the book, it doesn't get personal, it's just about rules and fines. You broke 'em, you pay 'em.

I like the fact that things work well, I don't mean their bureaucratically driven systems wrapped in excessive intellectualization (que dictionary: An unconscious means of protecting oneself from the emotional stress and anxiety associated with confronting painful personal fears or problems by excessive reasoning). I mean things like their doors and windows in new buildings, little wonders of well thought engineering that bring a smile to the face.

I like the birthday party thing, the behavior at such parties merits a 5 year thesis in psychology. But the idea that people gather every year to celebrate the birthday of every family member or close friend is remarkable. A brief time allotted in the agenda for the celebration of the individual.

I like the fact that the Dutch place importance and relevance on things other than their work. I like the fact they don't stick to rigid guidelines and norms of dress code at social events, even if they look like shit - which they do especially when they follow the guidelines! I like the fact that they often immerse themselves in foreign cultures and languages if only to escape their grey world. I like the fact that they are responsible and reliable. Pragmatically looking for solutions to improve their sodden plot. Those are some of the things I do like about the 'not so nice' Dutch.


Wandering_One said...
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Wandering_One said...

Haha thats a fair assessment and critique of the 'The Not So Nice.'

I have been to the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Norway and I must say that I find some similarities in the people's attitudes there.

Must be a Germanic thing...