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A quick and dirty tourist guide to The Netherlands

Posted in Auto, Eten & Drinken, Fantasie, Goud van oud, Nieuws, Persoonlijk with tags , , , , , , , , on mei 7, 2012 by vandraeckensteijn

Welcome to The Netherlands, or “Holland” as some of you prefer to call our little country. Most probably you are packed with brochures covering the things which are worth seeing. Of course you can visit those places, but be warned: like any other tourist information, those brochures cover the things you actually already know. Why not get rid of those rusty images of the Netherlands? Here’s the truth about us:

Drugs

We have plenty of that. In fact, we are notorious for our “coffeeshops”. Tourist attraction number 1 if you are into some sedative pleasure. Here’s the joke: the dutch are allowed to grow some cannabis for home use, are allowed to posess it for own use and we will not be arrested for buying it. It’s legalised. Legalisation is a good thing. But: new law prohibits tourists from buying it. We are all waiting for a new kind of ID which allows dutch citizens to buy the stuff in the place where we live. That’s because our local governments don’t want drugs tourism anymore. Because you obviously can’t handle shit. Anyway, there are plenty smartshops around, which sell mushrooms. Hell, you even might end up in the newspapers as a fat headline, when the firedepartment scrapes your debris from the pavement. Every year some tourists overdoing mushrooms and lsd take a free jump out of the hotelroom window, fully confident of their flying capabilities. Well, I guess it IS a rush, be it a short one. Be warned about the cannabis on offer: it is very strong, if you are not a regular user, it’s wise to use it with care.

Drugrunners

Now here’s another thing which will astound you. If you are considering coming to us by car and are planning to cross the southern border, you are in for some action in Limburg! The Limburgian drugdealers are so worried about you that they are more than happy to come to you instead of being visited. If you are followed by fast compact cars with tinted windows, you are in the luck! They will overtake you, make you stop and then they offer you their drugs for sale, whilst holding their gun point blank to your head. Now there’s an offer you can’t refuse! There you are, in your mpv, 70 years of age and you find yourself buying heroine or cocaine. Well, there is a first time for everything, hey! Just don’t get caught with it, because THOSE drugs are NOT legal. You’d better use it up all at once or ditch it somewhere.

Typical dutch

Tulips, cheese and wooden shoes. That’s us. Well, that’s what your brochure wants you to believe. We don’t wear wooden shoes anymore. Some farmers still do, but somehow we managed to get used to normal footwear. Tulips are our national pride. Tulips find their origin in the Arab world. Most dutch don’t know that. Alcohol, another thing. We have a proud history of making Jenever and beer. Like tulips, alcohol originates from the Arab world. As does the coffee we are so proud of. So, if it wasn’t for the Arabs, we would not have anything to brag about. Shameful that nowadays we are xenofobic and a vast group of dutch people would rather see some of our fellow citizens leave on the first plane out.

Dutch food and drinks

Did I mention cheese? Yes I did. Historically speaking, Alkmaar is our main cheese  city. We do have wonderful cheese. It doesn’t come cheap, but buy it and you are in for a treat. Unless you buy frozen food to prepare at home. Big chance you are presented with “analogue cheese”, as we call it. We are master in designerfood. We also like to fuck up food. The only reason why you can buy it and eat it, is because our health department can’t prove any relation between sudden death and the stuff we eat. Analogue cheese is an artificially made cheese, mainly consisting of grease.

We do not have fine cuisine. Typical dutch dishes are varieties of “stamppot”. How to explain stamppot.. well.. imagine a big bucket of cooked potatoes, cooked veggies and some chopped and fried bacon (with liquid fat and all). Now mash the shit by stamping on it. You can repeat this with any vegetable you like and voila, another stamppot created! Usually eaten with typical dutch smoked saucage, called “rookworst”, translated “smoke wurst”. Very nice and guaranteed to keep you going!

Snacks. We are big at snacks. Our meat industry is the best icon of dutch cheapness. Every snack you buy at a snackbar contains “separator meat”. Here’s how they do it: after the meat factory used every normal piece of meat, there are only bones with scrap left. These bones are put in a giant centrifuge to separate the last pieces of meat from it. At the end of the separation line, a thick, grey bulk of goo is coming out. That’s the meat which will be used in making our fine “frikandel”, “kroket” and “steamed meatball”. Now there is actually nothing wrong with it. It tastes good! Some German snackbars near the border sell our frikandel because of the many dutch customers visiting them. In some cases there is a general health warning written in German posted on the wall, to inform Germans about the poor quality of ingredients in the rod of meat we are so proud of. Picky people, those Germans 😦

You might want to experience “eating out of the wall”. That’s typical dutch too and very efficient when you are in a hurry. Imagine a wall with little glass doors. Behind every door lies a deepfried snack, waiting for a hungry stomag. They are kept warm in their cosey compartments. You flick a € 2,- coin in a slot and jerk the handle on a door of choice. Instant fulfillment! Now keep in mind that some of those snacks were waiting for hours until you came along. So, they are not crispy anymore and if you are lucky, luke warm. If you are sober, that might be disappointing. But: if you are pissed with booze and totally out of control, nothing will satisfy your hunger more than a piece of fat, salty, luke warm meat which won’t burn your mouth. Did I tell you we are a rather efficient nation? Now you know!

The dutch are very adaptive when it comes to food. In fact, we don’t mind at all buying contaminated food. 90% of the raw chicken on sale contains the germ salmonella. Deadly when you are infected with it when your body’s resistance is low. Elderly people and little kids could actually die from raw chicken. Hell, it is contagious to a level that you have to desinfect your kitchen and kitchentools.

When you order a beer, do not mistake the glass of beer we serve you for a sample. It actually is what you get for that many euro’s. Getting drunk means you have pay up.

We do have good tasting beer however. And our coffee is great too! Unless you are in a joint where they serve Senseo. Then again, Senseo comes closest to the surrogate coffee they made during World War 2. So historically speaking, you are in for a treat.

The Germans

Speaking of World War 2, when you visit Holland in summer, you will notice many Germans on the road. Every year they invade us again, some sort of reenactment. BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen with black and white numberplates. Behind their cars they tow big caravans. On their way to the dutch coast. That’s where they dig holes. On the beach, on the lookout for English tourists coming in by boat, I guess. It is inevitably in their nature to defend Europe from any British invasion. We should be thankful for that. Be aware that when your neighbour on any camping is German, you have to respect borders. They are somewhat territorial in their claims to the piece of soil they rented for their caravan.

On the road

We do not know how to drive. Period. On dutch highways, it’s survival of the fittest. Expect us to overtake you on every possible side and you are good. Prepare yourself for a shock when you visit the toilet in a gas station. Hell on earth! Not as bad as the toilets found on French highways, but they come close. BP has the cleanest ones, just so you know. We have no patience with lost tourists in cars. Stay cool. We will not run you over, we just honk the horn at you and gently extend a middle finger when you are searching for a place to park. No harm done there.

Instead of spending your money on a live show in Amsterdam, just watch us being fucked over and over at the gas station. Our petrol prices are criminally high and 75% of what you pay for a gallon slips directly into the greedy pocket of our government.

We let that happen. Dutch people are like lemmings. We let them push us over the cliff and die smiling. Alcohol, tobacco, petrol… prices rocketed skyhigh because of taxes.

Sex industry

Speaking of taxes.. Did you know that prostitution is illegal in most dutch cities but is silently tolerated? To make things even better: the prostitutes have to pay taxes!!! Yes! That’s us! The Netherlands in all it’s glory. We forbid prostitution and on the fly we let the people working in that business pay taxes. Now, how’s that for efficiency?

Our heritage

You know the dutch invented slavery, do you? Once we were a proud people of colonists, that’s how we got those nice tobaccoes, spices, coffee and tea. Unfortunately, in the Golden Age, those goods were harvested by slaves. We are not proud of it and seriously, we would rather not be reminded of that black page in our history. You won’t find any museum on the subject either. But: we did keep slavery alive, just to stay in touch with the past. Walk into any Aldi Supermarket and you will see people working for minimum wages but being pushed to the brink of what still is decent. And you can shop on the fly too! Much cheaper than visiting a museum and your groceries are affordable too. Then again, everything you buy there is German.

If you are still with me, then you are prepared enough to visit us. I did not mention our dogshit problems on pavements. I did not mention our crappy public transport. There should be something left to discover, right?

Have a nice stay.

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