Monday, April 7, 2008

Only in Amsterdam

I don't know how many of you know of the Dutch politician, Geert Wilder, who has created a highly controversial video about HIS view of the Koran and Islam. Needless to say, it has caused a great upheaval in the Middle East, along with the majority of the Dutch population emphasizing that the video only expresses his viewpoint, and not the viewpoint of the country as a whole. So, when I was walking to work the other day, I saw this picture posted in the window of a container home (yes, sea containers turned into apartments) which made me stop and smile. On a "cigarette" warning label (couldn't be more Dutch) it states: "Extremist: brings you and the society severe damage". [translation brought to you by Annelies... thanks girl!]

In other "only in Amsterdam" news, I have come up with a list of things that I find quite perplexing, intriguing, interesting, and oddly funny.
People here are experts at holding an umbrella in the rain while riding their bikes.
Another multi-tasking ability they have here is smoking while playing soccer.
We are now in the final months of people being able to smoke in restaurants (there is no smoking/non-smoking section) people smoke wherever they sit. Thankfully, all that will stop in July.
The "f-bomb" is dropped on the radio and tv commercials... numerous times, any time of the day. WHY?
All shops close at 6pm, besides grocery stores which close between 8 or 9pm.
There is a HUGE Brasilian population here (I've met/heard multiple Brasilians daily since last Friday).
The only sitcoms that are played on TV are "The Nanny, Joey, Dharma and Greg" and the like,... nothing I'm interested in watching, that's for sure. OH... and we must not forget, "the A team".
The majority of people's home furnishings are from Ikea.
You need to pay 20 cents per grocery bag to put your groceries in. (Which is why there was a stock of grocery bags under my kitchen sink).


ReL said...

That is a great sign. And I find it hilarious that they can hold an umbrella on a bike and smoke while playing soccar. On the plus side, at least you could use some of your portugese language skills while you're there.

Marci said...

Smoking and playing soccer that is great! As far as the tv goes, give Dharma and Greg a chance they are really funny! Does netflix deliver in Amsterdam?