Saturday, September 4

Things I Know About Holland

244º 38' NET

Some of the things I know about Holland aka The Netherlands

· It is flat.
· It is wet.
· It is windy.
· It is gay.
· It is high.

And maybe the mad hat maker works for the queen, in any case someone at the Royal Hat Department is seriously deranged.

Now, let´s look at those points one at a time:

It is flat.
It is. No way around it. Part of it is under the sea level...which is of course a splendid place to be - if you are a fish. Yeah, sure the inhabitable part of the land is not under water (and not all the uninhabitable parts are either, though maybe they should be), but I'd feel better myself if I was not living 5 meters/15 feet under sea level. Everybody says "it's nothing to worry about, the dams are holding the water..." and I go thinking about all the other things which were not worthy of worrying and everything was OK ... until the moment when everything got fucked up. Like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez etc. etc.
I think that people too often think something is secure, just because it has to be, otherwise there will be chaos. Well, it does not work that way.

It is wet.
It is. No way around it. Sometimes when you go out, grab your bike and hit the road, you immediately want to go back in and take a shower all dressed up and get soaking wet in few seconds instead of having to get damper and damper until you'll drip.
Usually when it rains and wind¹ blows full against me, it feels like I'm living in a huge wind tunnel which has a leaking water pipe. It's not very fun.
¹see windy.

It is windy.
It is. No, NO way around it! It's like an entity. An entity with a bad temper.
I have noticed that it doesn't really matter which way you are actually going, you'll always have the wind against you. Bullshit, you think... well, try to be clever and make a 180 turn in a roundabout heading back where you were coming from and guess what...the freaking wind is still trying to get under your eyelids! God Dammit!!
I used to like wind, you know, it's nice to have a cooling breeze in a hot summer afternoon or pull out your kite and take it to the skies or what ever...well, bullshit! That's what I think now!

It is gay.
Now, this you can understand in two different ways. Let me tell you, with gay I don't mean "merry or cheerful" though a gay can very easily be gay...that would make him a gay-gay (there are cancan-girls and there are gaygay-boys...hmmmm). No, I'm talking about one's sexual inclinations.
Amsterdam is the gay capital of Europe. I'm not saying that, people are. San Francisco is of course the gay capital of the whole world...not because it's bigger, only because it's in the States. Everything which is "The Best of the World" comes automatically from the States, no matter if it really is best of anything.
Anyway, being gay in Holland is nothing out of the ordinary.

It is high.
This is a little contradictory to the first point, but again, I am not talking about some hills in the east. I'm talking dope.
Drugs are not a problem in Holland...that's because they legalized them...HAHA. Get rid of the problem, make it legal!! Great attitude! Well, I have to say, only the soft drugs are pot. That's marijuana, if someone didn't get it, not a poopie (that's a nice word for shit) pot.
Anyway, this makes smoking a joint not a problem in here. And boy, have all those mainly american and british tourists noticed that!

So, soft drugs are alright, hard ones are not and that's fine with me. However, I still see news about drugs being found on someone or more likely in someone, usually coming from the Dutch colonies at the Caribbean. Those dimwits...either there is still a percentage which passes through the security and makes the whole thing a business action thus profitable, or then they just are too stupid to be for real...I mean, to first swallow those drug balls and then make the 10 hour flight or whatever it takes and not have a shit along the way, only to get arrested and someone's fingers up your ass...what's that all about?! Maybe someone at the airport has nice and tender fingers which gives a tingly me.

Those were the points, but I'm not finished yet.

It's also freaking cold in here! That's right, C-O-L-D! As in My-Balls-Are-Getting-Blue kinda cold.

Let me refine this whole thing. When people hear for the first (and the second and the third and...) time that I came from Finland, they make A Statement:"Ah, it is very cold in Finland!" - well, it is so, true...DURING THE WINTER!! Details, who needs details...
I try to make it clear that in a country with 4 real seasons in a year it is supposed to be a cold period once a year, also called "winter". But somehow, people think there is only summer and winter in Finland, 6 months each. Bullshit!

And when I explain that the summer period actually feels warmer than the same period in Holland, most of them say "oh, really, how interesting" while thinking to themselves "well, spank me pink and call me Daisy, that's the biggest load of bullmanure I've heard in a long time!!" - it is still true. The average temperatures are about the same, but the climate, the climate...that makes the difference.
Last summer in Holland (2003) was supposed to be the most warmest ever in so and so many years or decades...well, I was still making holes in my T-shirts...with my nipples!

To make it Official, take a look at this:

Average Temperatures and Seasons.

As regards temperature, Finland is more favoured than most countries in the same latitudes. Consequently, the difference in temperature between Finland and other countries between 60° and 70° N ranges from 2-4° C in January and 12-14°C in July. The Great Lakes of America, for example, have exactly the same mean temperature for the coldest months as Finland does. In July southern Finland is as warm as England, Holland and Belgium.

Owing to the dry climate, it always feels warmer than the thermometer indicates around the year. During the summer there is less rain than in the countries mentioned. Southern Finland enjoys actual sunshine for more than half the period. At Midsummer the sun is about half way between the zenith and the horizon at noon, passing across southern Finland for 19-20 hours, but never setting for days on end in northern Finland.

Lake and sea temperatures: The water in the lakes is rather warm in summer because they are shallow and broken up. To some extent this also applies to the sea. Thus in July the temperature of the water in the larger lakes is from 18° to 20°C in southern Finland and from 16° to 18°C in the north, while the smaller lakes are even warmer. Around the inner islands and the lakes in southern Finland the water is as warm as on the northern coast of Spain, and around the outer islands and in the lakes of northern Finland the same as on the coasts of Cornwall, Kent and Holland.

Wind conditions at sea: The mean wind velocity in summer is about 12 knots (Beaufort 4) during the day and about 8-10 knots (Beaufort 3) at night. Winds stronger than 22 knots (Beaufort 6) occur in 5 per cent of the whole summer time. (For the sake of comparison, the corresponding frequency is to 7-11 per cent in the North Sea.) In autumn the frequency is close on 20 per cent.

Spring: March-May
Summer: June-August
Autumn: September-November
Winter: December-February!!!


That's all I have to say about this the moment at least.


Vector at Saturday, September 04, 2004

Comments 1


06 September, 2004 16:19 Blogger mightymerk said...

I have been in the Netherlands several times. I have been to Amsterdam not for its very liberal reasons, but mostly just to say I have been. I have been to Utrecht which I understand is a good place do to business in. I found Utrecht to contain a nice combination of strength and charm.

to address your points:

It is Flat -Yes tere is no denying this. I would also say that while travelling from Belgium to the Netherlands without looking at a single sign you know you are in the Netherlands by of the cattle/farms etc.

It is wet - Again, no denying that. It is to be expected consiering a majority of the landscapte (at least that I have seen) is at or below sea level. I take it with a grain of salt though. When dressed appropriately I can still enjoy the city.

It is windy - I can't honestly say I have experienced this yet. But I will be back in the Netherlands in October. Perhaps I will catch a mighty gust or two.

It is gay- I can't say I have run into a gay person yet (but I am sure that I have). I have noticed any overt 'gayness' for lack of a better word.

It is high- well of course. After my first visit to the Amsterdam it is clear to me that everybody is there not for the tulips, wooden shoes or great works of Dutch art. They are there for the pot and the red light district. Although I walked Amsterdam several times, 'seeing it all' I did not participate myself. I am too much of a Reagan kid. I do not pass judgement though.

I personally feel that the Netherlands is one of my top 5 favorite places to be. I can speak some German, so reading Dutch is possible (to some extent) but I would never embarass my self and try to speak some of it at this point. It has a much thicker sound then German and I would probably sound very foolish. In Amsterdam English is spoken everywhere, in fact it is the first language spoken at most shops. In Utrecht I have a little bit more of a challenge, but again, I have a friend which makes things easier.

Anyway, I enjoyed this post. You have a good sense of humor!!



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