Dutch Raspberry

April 17, 2008 -

John Heald

Before I say what I am about to say I must tell you I love Holland and I will tell you why later.

However, before I tell what I like I have to balance that out with the dislikes.
Firstly, the language which is as confusing as why someone hasn’t given Simon Cowell the good news with a five iron yet.

In Dutch the A is pronounced I and the E pronounced A and don’t get me started on the J.

Then there are the words which require half a ton of phlegm in your mouth just to say it……I asked directions from a Dutch Guide today and my hair is now full of his spittle.

Then there is breakfast which is as important to the Dutch as not making a complete ass of herself is important to Paris Hilton. Therefore breakfast is as boring as an RCI Cruise Director.

For example, my choices were bread, three kinds of cheese and some cold ham……..where was the eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal, fruit…….even some Herring would have been nice. Instead of breakfast the Dutch have what is called Elef or Elevensees as we say in the UK. This is a snack consisting of a cream cake or sausage roll with coffee and this keeps you going until lunch.

There are many things I love about this place though. The people are friendly although they always say what they mean and never, ever exert themselves with expression. If you here a Dutch person use the word OK it is used on the same level as we would use fantastic or great. This can be quite disconcerting especially when fishing for compliments. When I first met Heidi I remember asking her a very personal question to which she answered “OK”………..I did not feel like a man for days until she explained “OK” meant I was a Stud.

This morning we have already visited the Rijksmuseum museum and saw the amazing collection of art and of course this includes the works of Rembrandt and his Night Watch painting. This was followed by a trip to the Van Gogh museum and this includes his Sunflower painting which is the one everyone wants to see.

We have set up tours to both museums although you can take our shuttle bus into town. However, my advice is to take a tour. This is because we have pre-paid entrance to all these locations which means no standing in line which can and will in season take up to an hour.

Time to go. I will be writing lots of mini blogs from the raspberry thingy today as we are traveling again…..hope you are ok with this.

Just before we get of the bus lets talk about smoking. Denmark, Germany, Finland and Holland now have smoking bans…….Holland’s starts in June except in the “coffee houses” which is something I will talk about later. So on this trip you will find its just St. Petersburg that allows smoking in all public places and judging from what I saw they would rather welcome Stalin back than be told “Nyet Smoking”
Ok, we are now at Ann Frank’s House…….I will write soon

John and Heidi

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.