Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Pontevedra Pensés: 8.2.17

I'm now in Hilversum, with old friends from Jakarta and am about to go into the city centre to find if my new bank card will give me the cash I need, despite being rejected several times in a supermarket here last night.

Dutch trains have – for the non-Dutch – an odd 1st/2nd class arrangement. At least on the Sprinter train I took from Bloemendaal to Amsterdam. The 1st class section – blue seats – is in the middle of the coach and is book-ended by two 2nd class compartments - red seats - at each end of it. But there's no sign on the internal doors. So, ignoring all the people standing outside because of insufficient seats, I went and sat in the 1st class compartment. And then I saw – just about - a small number 1 in the top left-hand corner of the headboard at the end of the compartment and figured this was the explanation for all the empty seats where I was and all the people standing outside the doors. Discreet, these Dutch. I weighed up whether to stay and blague my way through any problems with an inspector but, when the train stopped at an interim station, I seized the chance to grab a vacated seat in the 2nd class bit. No such arrangement on the intercity train from Amsterdam to Hilversum - destined for Berlin - where entire coaches were 2nd class. 

For some reason I'm dipping into Le Morte d'Arthur on my Kindle. The chapter I started with this morning is entitled How the Eleven Kings with their Host Fought against Arthur and his host and many great feats of the war. 'Host' in this case meaning many people. This is merely an endless recitation of limbs being hacked off and named knights and their horses being felled. Interesting, it ain't. Worse, it's followed by chapters entitled:-
Yet of the Same Battle[sic]
Yet more of the Same Battle
Yet More of the Same Battle and how it was ended by Merlin.
All but the last of these is nothing but the same endless gore-fest as the first. One suspects that readers at the time of its publication were not only very into this sort of thing but also had a high boredom threshold. At least the next chapter concerns itself with King Arthur sleeping with his sister, begetting her a child and then having some regrets. And concern about divine anger and likely retribution. As you would. Especially back then.

Yesterday, I went with my friends to the Romanovs (uncheap) exhibition in Amsterdam's Hermitage Museum. Being now of a sceptical Spanish disposition, I couldn't bring myself to believe the last exhibit really was one of the bayonets used to stab the princesses who didn't die because their jewel-encrusted corsets stopped the rifle bullets. I mean . . . have they done DNA tests on the blood remains - if there are any - on the weapon?

Anyway, I'm again short of time, so here is a link to 3 very funny videos about Dutch meetings.

Finally . . .  One of the many, many Trump cartoons I could've selected. Some say it won't be possible but I believe our only hope is to mock the man until his emotional stability causes him to blow up and break down. Or persuades someone to top him:-



Perry said...

The Dutch are honest & they view those who cheat with disdain. That is why Holland is far richer than Spain. As they believe that their culture is being ruined by too many cheaters from other lands, it's likely that they'll elect Gert Wilders & he'll be another legitimately elected leader with whom, I guess, you'll be at odds.

So many people who clamour about human rights, baulk at recognising the other side of the argument, human responsibilities! Both France & Germany also look to be moving towards addressing those consequences that mass immigrations from less advanced, antisocial societies, have brought in their wake. Right thinking people are tired of being shafted by the unelected elites & are about to metaphorically snap on a pair of rubber gloves & perform a few swift rectal examinations; terminate with extreme prejudice is the correct expression I believe?

Colin Davies said...

I don't know enought about Gert Wilders to say how much I'd agree with him or not. But I certainly didn't meet anyone in Holland this week who thought he'd be involved in the next coalition. But who knows?

Yes, I agree that rights have reciprocal duties. It's been long recognised that this has been lost sight of by the Me, Me generation. For whom the previous generation must take the blame, of course. Too permissive by half. Though not in my house . . .

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