So I have been really remiss in posting in July. Been super busy between school work, entertaining the parents, and Frisbee. But here’s something for you. A few days ago I decided it was a nice day to drive to work. It takes about the same time as the train but the benefit is that you don’t have to depend on the notoriously unreliable Dutch train system in the summer. It gets a little hot and suddenly nothing works right on the train lines.

Anyway, I park. Go to work. Come back. And the car is still there. I am always a little disappointed when that happens. I get in the car, and there is a little note on the seat. It wasn’t there when I left. Someone has broken into my car and placed a square piece of paper on the driver’s seat.

I examine the paper. It is in Dutch, with many official looking logos on it. So it appears to be a notice from one of the many bureaucracies. I do my best to translate the few words I know, and here’s the understanding I came to: some representative of the local constabulary went around checking the cars in the car park and left me a note to tell me that I had left my doors unlocked and was being generally bad.

I deduced this from the fact that on the back of the note were various items with checkboxes that said “FOUT!” (which means ‘mistake’ or something like that), and the one that was checked off in blue pen had something about ‘deur’ (door) and ‘sluiten’ (locked, I think).

As I was driving back with my windows down (since my crappy car has no AC) and immersed in my thoughts (since my crappy car has no radio or music-playing device of any sort), I realized that my attitudes about the European lifestyle have mellowed since my arrival almost two years ago.

In my first months here, if that happened, I would have been indignant at the violation of my personal property (even by a duly appointed official of her majesty’s government), and I would have viewed the entire manufacture of such notes, and the position that was created to roam garages handing them out, as a total waste of resources and example of European socialist largesse.

But I have to admit, it did feel a bit good that someone was looking out for me, even in spite of my best attempts to ditch my crappy Justy.

I think the Dutch lifestyle is starting to rub off on me. Just a little.

Categories: Europe


Ann · July 28, 2006 at 3:37 pm

You’re not going to start eating herring now are you?


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