June 20, 2010
Okay, I am currently in HOLLAND, home of MY MOM AND DAD. One of the greatest things about having family in Holland is how when you tell other Americans where you’re going, they’re all “Danish cheeses are the best!” or “Belgium! I love your saunas.” or “Finland is so lovely this time of year.” – like all of Western Europe that isn’t Germany just fades into this area you have basically-pleasant feelings about. (I don’t take this the wrong way. Geography is hard.)
ANYWAY, HOLLAND. It’s pretty good. As a for-instance, I’ve already tried to feed Husband Guy french fries with mayonnaise, but he refused. He doesn’t know what he’s missing! I am a person who is very mayo-averse, but I’m telling you, on fries, it’s… different.
Plus, near my parents’ house, there’s the local (tiny) red-light district. My awesome mom said, as we were going for a walk around the neighborhood (which is a very nice place with many families and professionals and cats wandering around, and coffee places – it’s not even full of hipsters or a place you can describe as “gentrifying”) “I just want to warn you, the red light district is-”
“OH,” Husband Guy said.
Yes! Right there! In front of you! LADIES SITTING IN THE WINDOWS! IN THEIR UNDERGARMENTS! THEIR AFFECTIONS FOR HIRE!
I am European enough to feel that this is a fine way to handle such things, but also American enough to go “I KNOW!!!!! THEY ARE SITTING IN THE WINDOW IN THEIR UNDERPANTS AND I SUPPOSE WHEN THEY HAVE GENTLEMEN CALLERS THERE IS A MOMENT OF AWKWARDNESS AS THE GENTLEMAN IS ALL “I AM CASUALLY WALKING DOWN THE STREET OH WAIT NOW I’M DIVING INTO THIS MINI-BROTHEL!!! PHEW I HOPE NOBODY SPOTTED ME.”
Holland is generally so excellent that while we were strolling the cobblestone streets next to the river, admiring the picturesque river barges, Husband Guy said “So… what are the dark sides of Holland? Does it have any?”
And I thought about it for a while, and then luckily some kids on brommers roared by.
Brommers are mopeds. Like so:
So there’s that.
Also of course it’s the soccer World Cup right now, and the Dutch are soccer-obsessed (fine) and have totally bought into the vuvzela craze:
It took me days to figure out that I wasn’t hearing someone practice the trumpet really badly. It’s Quite Terrible.
But that’s about all I can think of. Mopeds, and annoying noises (which is really just one problem served up two different ways.)