As I am still able to speak and understand the Dutch language I noticed quite a few interesting things during my Easter-time visit to family. Reading the ‘Telegraaf’ newspaper quickly disbanded any notice that everything was peace and tranquility insofar the European Union was concerned. Questions about money, the power of Brussels, the inability to form a government in Holland, due to the PVV - Geert Wilders’ party being the second largest in the last election but not wanted to be part of the government (stupid, what does democracy mean again?). Just as an aside the Dutch Labour party was seventh! Frankly there are loads of problems, demonstrations amongst other happenings. The Dutch press highlighted the recent Turkish referendum in which ‘Nedturks’ (Turks working and living in Holland) voted overwhelmingly to allow the Turkish president to acquire more powers. You might ask if these ‘Nedturks’ feel so strongly why did they leave in the first place? An argument that concerns every single immigrant to a different country from their birth. As a British subject born in a different country I had to make that choice as well. If you are in the UK, you speak English (or as well as Welsh if in Wales), you abide by its rules, policies and regulations. So, I abandoned my clogs (still wear ‘m in the garden, very useful), I started to dream in English and learned some interesting but socially inept words. I came to like the food although I still am searching for ‘maatjes’ (salted raw herrings), pickled ‘leverworst’ (liver sausage) and proper ‘patat met mayonaise’ (chips with mayo).
Although I have to say I am not sure the preponderance of ‘patat’ made from extruded potato porridge is such a good idea. The facts are still the same, when moving to another country you are leaving behind your old life. It is a simple as that. This is not about religion or faith. In western countries you can have any faith or religion you want, there is plenty of choice. But get this understanding through that others have different views. As you will expect that they will understand yours. One more interesting observation made in Holland – they apparently have a new political party – the National Herring Party. (De Nationale Haring Partij), now why didn’t I think of this before? We could have the Welsh National Laverbread Party, in Scotland the National Whiskey Drinkers Party or even the Admirers of Redheads Party (Yep, Nicola looks good enough to eat!). Not sure what we could do in England – perhaps the National Porkpie Party? I’ll get my coat...
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