No unsollicited mail, goddammit
Well that’s what the picture says. In very faint black marker it says ‘niet vloeken’ (I swear it’s there), which means ‘don’t swear’. This is what happens when someone gets fed up and colourful. This person could just get a ‘nee-nee’ sticker, a sticker that says ‘no’ to unaddressed mail and ‘no’ to bulk mail, although it isn’t a guarantee.
The Dutch often say that Amsterdammers are rude. They are more uptight and stressed than the rest of the country, but the population is dense and to the dislike of some, too diverse, which is code for not particularly integrated. Amsterdam is a city of 730,000 inhabitants that has to create more polders in order to keep people in the area. It also gets 1.5 million tourists a year, literally congesting the city centre and making walking, biking or taking public transport downtown stressful during most of the year.
Move away? Sure, houses and flats are somewhat cheaper, but then your travel time goes up, no matter if you take the car or train. The traffic jams are really heavy and the trains are often delayed or cancelled. There are many companies that will not hire anyone who lives more than 10 km away from Amsterdam to save on having to pay travel expenses.
All the good stuff about Amsterdam we try and keep to ourselves. The centre provides all the entertainement, museums and cultural bits to keep people busy, while the locals have their parties and events in a sort of subspace only they know is there. This subspace takes time to find and eventually becomes the only thing you see after a while. The rest you have to try and inhibit, something I think the Japanese probably know a lot about.
October 11th, 2005 at 5:35 pm
Very true about stress while cycling in Amsterdam. I’d been to Enschede to pick up a bike that I’d bought on Ebay, and in order to get it onto the plane, had to take the pedals off. I’d tried with a small toolkit without success, so got off the train a Amsterdam Centraal & cycled to where I remembered there being a bike shop (from walking past it 10 years previously). The traffic was bad, and it was raining / hailing very heavily. Great fun. The shop put some oil on the pedals & I managed to remove them once I was back in the hotel room.
Now just why I’d fly to NL to buy a bike is another matter entirely…