Friday, December 22, 2006

Attention attention!

Still nothing has changed here. Time stands still in Alkmaar. That doesn't mean that I'm bored. I'm trying to combine appointments an plan a lot of them during the day. And it took me a lot of time to arrange a new passport. They have such strict regulations for a passport that I had to come back four times because there's something wrong. The last time they send me back to the photographer because on my passport photo a piece of hair was too close to my eyes.

Holland is rules and regulations land. It is the same in Germany, but the difference is: if I only had the notion of falling into a whirlpool of obligatory registration forms in Germany, I just didn't do anything anymore. I just did all the basic things that the Miami Ad School forced me to do and for the rest I gave German burocracy the middle finger.

But I can't do that in Holland. A passport is actually something I'm going to need a lot these coming years so I wasted a lot of time sticking to the rules of civil servants who look at my forms while drinking coffee behind a desk.

There are also good things about Holland. Did I mention before that everything in this small country looks like a themepark? Everything has bright colors: the tiny houses, the grass, the trains, the uniforms of the police. It's a big contrast with the functional grey you see in Germany. And the inside of a supermarket looks like a themepark with all the lights, decorations and colorful packages.

What also struck me is that everybody here seems to be dying to get attention. It could be something typical of Alkmaar, but the modesty of German people is hard to find here. If people here don't get attention they will scream for it like little birds squeaking for a worm. Which is kind of sad. But at least it gives complete losers the chance to look like they are somebody.

The advantage of the attention drawing people that you don't need theatre anymore. The theatre is on the street. For example: three guys of at least two metres each sit on a barstool in the pub and sing a Dutch song so hard that you couldn't even hear the normal music. Or there was this guy on wooden shoes (if you think wooden shoes are normal in Holland, they're not). He screamed through a mobile phone about some deal that didn't go through. Everybody within a range of 30 metres could hear him swearing. I'll end with the biggest live theatre I've seen this week. There was a junkie woman walking on the street with a bicycle. The bike was locked on the back, but she held the back part up, so she could walk with it. In the meanwhile she screamed: "In broad can just steal a bicycle!".


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