Thursday, February 17, 2011

As the weekend gets nearer I'm thinking about what to do during this boring time of the week when people have no work to keep them occupied. Hoofddorp is not known throughout The Netherlands for it's exciting nightlife. It is in fact considered something of a boring town, to put it mildly. Leiden on the other hand is very well known for it's nightlife. The largest universities are there and everyone knows how the young people like to spend their spare time. To be perfectly honest, also the time they should spend studying. Round trip to Leiden on the train is just under 10 Euros. The only problem is that the last train from Leiden to Hoofddorp leaves Leiden Central shortly before midnight. Taxi is almost 100 Euros so that is basically out of the question. Maybe I take advantage of the fact that some of my most friendly coworkers live there. An interesting fact is that the Royal heirs of The Netherlands Crown traditionally go to a university in Leiden. And even more interesting is that his/her grades are to be kept secret for 50 years.

I just got my Netherlands Debetcard in the mail. Here one gets the Debetcard in the mail and then has to go to the bank to make it active. Sounds unusual but this is how it is done here. To be honest I must admit that if the card was being renewed, instead of being new, I could make it active with a phonecall. In Iceland this would be a big deal but in The Netherlands the banks, at least the branch in my building, are open late Friday evenings and on Saturdays too. In Iceland all banks close at 16:00 on weekdays and are closed during the weekends so it this method was used there I'd have to take time of work to go to the bank.

The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe. Iceland is the least densely populated country in Europe. So it seems that  I swing between the extremes in population.

My HR manager gave me the book "The Undutchables". A funny reading about the more unusal characteritics of the typical Dutchman. I've only read the first few pages but I've found this out. Abortion laws in The Netherlands are liberal yet there are fewer abortions than in most countries. Drugs are legal in The Nethelands yet there are fewer junkies than in most countries.

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