Experiences in the Netherlands in Retrospect
Pöö pöö hyvät ystävät. Netherlands was a great place to live despite what some of my peers thought. I loved the superior bicycle lanes, the rich and alternating architecture and canals, and the friendly people I met whereever I found myself. I got used to seeing ducks floating in the canals in the heart of the city, swans knocking cars in the parking space, cats roaming the streets, geese conquering the roundabout, cows and sheep grazing freely in the countryside, and horse poop. The Dutch are closely knit with animals.
I tried weed and I did not actually like it that much. In the parties that I seldom joined, I found it fun but in my free time not that much. Since I am not a creative artist like my neighbor, who would every day find himself in a creative pursuit enhanced and stimulated by weed, I did not think it would help me in my academic literature search or bodybuilding. For that I needed a clear mind. Indeed, my neighbor in his nonchalant manner saw me as a person who “digs raw reality”. Fantastic thought I thought.
There was heated debate about making weed legal in Finland few weeks ago. Having experimented and experienced weed at first hand, I do not think it is anywhere near as bad as they claim. I think alcohol is much worse. But I digress and this is a topic of its own, so let's get back to the story.
So I brought my neighbor and another very good friend coffee from my home. Presidentti coffee. They did not like it, because in their words it lacked that “umpfh”. Indeed, there is no denying that the coffee in the Netherlands is much stronger and also better tasting than in Finland.
But three low key things annoyed me. First, there were not single ice cream cones available in any grocery store. This was super annoying in the hot summer days when I just wanted to buy one ice cream cone and not the whole package.
Second, the grocery store baskets have two handles. In Finland we have one and it works so much better. This must be one of those patent things that obstruct innovation. Talk about bad user experience that could be easily fixed.
Third, I was astonished to the fact that Dutch grocery stores hide kilogram price very well in the small print and put it behind the plastic bevel where you cannot see it clearly. Some meat products with varying weight do not even show the kilogram price in the price tag. This means that the customer is not able to compare the product to others and make rational decisions.
But what I really missed during my stay at the Netherlands was nordic sauna and rye bread, and sweet winter glogg in the cold winter days. Not that I ate rye bread or drink glogg that much before Netherlands, but sauna would have been great. Somebody should definitely bring nordic saunas to the Netherlands.