Monday, 11 December 2000
I'm done with work for the moment. Today I'll board the plane, and get away from my current project and all the French there.

This grumpy bear has an urgent need for some solitude and sunshine, get away from all the hassle and all cultural differences.


The Dutchman


The Frenchman

The Dutch welcomes each and every visitor with a coffee. The Frenchman shakes hand with everybody, being visitor or not, even the colleagues that he has seen the previous day.
A Dutch won't take a decision on his own. He'll discuss it with the rest of his group first. The Frenchman takes a decision himself, and will welcome better alternatives later.
Birthday parties are the perfect time for a Dutch to grump and complain. But, he is quite satisfied nevertheless with his country so close to the polar circle. Favourite subjects to complain about are: The weather, the work, the partner, boss and colleagues. The rate of happiness is proportional to the level of detail of the complaints. The tinier the details, the happier the Dutch. Is complaining continuously about everything, with a extensive vocabulary. The rate of happiness is inversely proportional to the MTBP (mean time between Putains!). Only when the MTBP gets below 45 seconds, there is really something seriously wrong.
Is proud of his country, but hides it behind self mocking and self critisism. Sees his country from an international perspective. Speaks at least 2 foreign languages. Is proud of his country, his Latin dialect and especially his fermented grape juice. Fails to see that the French are a small minority in the European Union, Europe and the rest of the world. Speaks French and expects the rest of the world to speak it as well. Will try to speak English, but only if there is no other option.
A deal is a deal. The Dutch experiences a late arrival as an insulting show of carelessness. Time is made of rubber. There is always time for l'exception Francaise.
Wears anything, as long as it's comfortable. The Dutchman pay more attention to efficiency than to looks. Will bring a lunch box from home. A lunch outside is a kroket bun and a chips in peanut sauce. Wears quality clothes and is proud of it. Goes out for lunch and takes his time to enjoy it. Eats in the company canteen if really busy.
Is a social drinker. Goes to a bar to chit chat and dance a bit. Will go and look for some fresh air when really drunk, if need be a taxi window will suffice. Drinks to get drunk. The stronger the liqueur, the better. Starts, when tipsy, to sing French drinking songs. Throws up on the bar when really drunk, and is amazed to be bounced out.
I'll escape these new cultural differences for the moment. Off I go to old familiar ones, in Malaysia! I don't know where I'll end up. And I couldn't care less. As long as the sun shines the destination is irrelevant to me.

And putain, should I venture into a clouded territory, I'll go elsewhere immediately. A wanderer is always on the move, yet never lost.

Till next week!