|By the time I finished this posting, this crane was dismantled and gone.|
The Dutch are very practical people One example of this trait is on their mailboxes. You place a sticker on your mailbox to indicate whether you want advertising circulars and the local newspaper (both are free). The sticker says either Ja (pronounced Yah) and Ja, Nee (pronounced Neigh) and Nee, Ja and Nee or Nee and Ja to indicate your preference on each item. As you can see from the photo, we are Nee and Nee people. Our paper recycling bin never seems to fill up which is great. It's like a spam filter for your mailbox!
|Note the address...this is not our mailbox. It's our neighbor's which is much better looking.|
One thing the mailbox does not filter is envelopes with the dreaded "purple stripe". These letters always mean that you owe money to the government, usually due to speeding tickets. Holland has fully embraced cameras to catch speeders and despite being known as a tolerant society, their tolerance doesn't extend to giving some grace around the speed limit. 50 kmh means 50 kmh. In over 30 years of driving in the US I had one speeding ticket. I just received my third ticket in six months of living in Holland. All of the overages put together probably add up to 15 kmh. Unfortunately, they also add up to about 120 euro. Luckily these types of tickets don't impact car insurance rates.
|Speeding Ticket #3|
Given the lack of land, many of the Dutch homes are three stories. With limited square footage in the home, the stairways between each floor tend to be very narrow, be very steep and always have a tight 180 degree curve. It's no wonder that the Dutch word for stairs is "trap". This stair design makes it difficult to move any substantial furniture to the second and third floors. I came across this solution on my way into town one day --a hydraulic elevator for moving items in through the windows. It reminds me of the elevator we used when I was a kid to put hay bales into the barn. Hopefully, these movers are a little gentler than we were.
|The moving platform is at the top of the elevator.|
On a final note, I have started my career as a subsitute teacher at the local American School. When I signed up, I had to indicate which classes I'd be comfortable subbing.....math, science: no problem.....English, history: okay as long as there's a lesson plan......PE: okay as long as I don't have to participate .....band/chorus: no way. So far things have gone fine. I was able to teach Geometry and Economics well (at least according to me). Luckily in Senior Calculus the assignment was to complete a problem set on their own in class. And the teacher left an answer key. I remember doing calculus so I knew the terminology, but teaching it would have been a different story.