Monday, 2 October 2000
The morning train to The Hague is full of chequered jackets. Cival servants wearing squares, browsing through papers and magazines of various ministries.

They are people from another world, where politics to matter, are even a guiding principle. These people tell each other proudly about the wondrous plans they work on, and how often they speak to their minister. Their dialogues are flooded with words such as 'policy', 'structure', 'debate' and especially 'well regulated'.

Especially the last words are typical for the Dutch culture (.../typicaldutch.html): 'well regulated'. The Dutch love rules. This people ought not to think, that's an exclusive right of politicians and civil servants. Normal folks are pre-programmed, like a bunch of stupid robots, just following rules. The Dutch are folks that love to be moderate, the grey mob is not only ruling. They set the standard and expect other people to adhere.

  • For a civil servant a chequered jackets is the summon of individualism, a collective protest against the blue tailormade suits of businessmen.
  • The Dutch food reflects the national character: grey and average. Ever tried to feed a Frenchman a 'frikandel'? A Dutchie does not know how to enjoy lunch. Look into their attaché cases and 10 against 1 that you'll find a bag of sandwiches, treasured as a set of crown jewels.
  • A Dutch works just 40 hours, or rather only 36. At 5 o-clock the mobs jam up at the parking, on their way to meat ball, potatoes and sprouts.
  • Dutch architecture is just plain boring, lacks any creativity. Square glass massive offices dominate the city centres, dull piles of square windows.
  • The Dutch rulism shows best in area planning. Every square centimetre of physical space is full, "well planned" to the very last and final square inch. Where would you find a highway with houses on top? Most humans would detest the idea, but the Dutch are very proud of such an efficient use of scarce space.
Creativity is almost forbidden by law in this country. To work for your own success is just allowed, but don't overdo it, as Dutch hate anything that's better than average. I feel restricted by the Dutch neuroses towards average. I miss the mental flexibility of the Irisch with their vast green space and the mystical vagueness of the misty hills around Bukit Fraser.

A few weeks to go. And Nut will break free, out of the Dutch straight jacket. O, how I long to the Pasar Malem in Kluang. I dream of travelling by train through the endless outback of Australia, fully enjoy to do absolutely nothing, just stare outside the window from the Indian Pacific, on my way to a Fosters www.fosterbeer.com in Perfect Perth (holiday-wa.net/prhpage.htm) and close the trip with a jungle walk in the tropical rain forest of Malaysia from Kuala Lipis http://www.tourism.gov.my/....

Hmm, sweet dreams indeed. Past week was yet another week with a new deadline. I lacked the time for this season's first Tai Chi lesson. It shouldn't get any worse. Work is getting to be an infringement of my private life.

Thursday evening my neighbour Toos called me at the office. My new mattress had arrived. Not a average one for this heavy weight, but an extra sturdy Pirelli. I could only enjoy that mattress in my dreams that night. Thursday to Friday night was devoted to work, meeting a new deadline. There is no reason I slow down because of Dutch office hours.

Friday morning I went home by taxi, exhausted and against the flow. The officialdom's rush hour was now even less part of in my world. Last weekend I spent most of the time sleeping, and enjoyed it. They grey Dutch moderate mob will probably disapprove, well too bad for them!

Till next week!

With special thanks to neighbour Toos where my new mattress was delivered.