Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Mayor of Zandvoort

I'm receiving a lot of mail from the Mayor of Zandvoort these days. He's trying to collect some money my wife owes the municipality. The problem is that he's trying to collect the money from me (3500 miles away in a different country with an ocean between) rather than from her (2 miles away from his office in the same province of Holland).

Contributing to this absurdity is the fact that my wife has the precise money he is seeking, whereas I do not.

This sort of approach to a problem is typical of the way the Dutch go about things, and further evidence of why practically nothing constructive is ever accomplished in the Netherlands. I will try to organize the correspondence and post it here, because it is quite amusing. Don't hold your breath though, because this is a pretty low priority for me at this time.

Incidentally, the last thing I remember about Zandvoort was watching the mayoral elections (perhaps it was this mayor who is writing to me). The two candidates were sparring in the center of town, and when I say "sparring," I mean sparring! The husband of the losing candidate rushed up to the podium with expletive-laden shouts of "The only reason you won is because you ripped down my wife's signs!" and then he proceeded to pummel the new mayor with his fists.

Very exciting!

That's the state of politics in uncivilized countries such as the Netherlands.


I'm Worried said...

First of all.. Sorry for my poor Englsih.

I've read a few of Your entry's.
It seems to mee that You only know the colors Black and White.
No shades of Grey in Your mind / view.
I pitty You for that.

And what a blog-name; AntiDutch.

I'm curious how long this comment will stay on your blog...

Chris (Bytehoven) said...

Dear Worried,

Your comment will stay there as long as this blog exists.

Regarding "Black and White" vs. Grey: Discussing certain things requires black and white, for example, one is either alive or not, a woman is either pregnant or not, a color is either primary or not, a musical note is either in tune or not. I can think of thousands of examples.

Conversely, some things have grey areas: When I take a boat from New York to the U.K., the moment the boat leaves the port, I'm in a light grey area. I suppose halfway across would be pure grey, and the closer the boat comes to the U.K. (and thus to the Netherlands), the darker that grey becomes. There are many things that allow for a "shades of grey" interpretation, perhaps as many that REQUIRE a "black and white" interpretation.

What's important is the ability to tell the difference. This, I'm an expert at, while apparently (judging from your comment) you struggle with making such a distinction.