If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


9 APRIL 2017

Spring comes to Delft anyway

DELFT - The Dutch elections are over; it seemed quick compared to the other elections happening in Europe, a mercy. Delft voted over 80% and went heavily for D66 which is strong on education issues. The process of forming a coalition is underway, and a new government is likely by summer.

Mr. Rutte will continue as Prime Minister; he has experience in politics, Europe and keeping Holland between the white stripes and out of the ditch. No one here shows much worry about him nor does anyone seem particularly bothered that the UK is leaving Europe. Life here is not unreasonable, within what most Dutch view as reasonable, and people go about their business, to which some could respond what else can they do?


This is a photo of Harmenkoklaan, two streets over from mine. It has Prunus trees which blossom pink in Spring, about the time the light comes earlier and stays longer. In a few weeks, the street will be in full display, but anticipation is half the enjoyment.

Everyone can tweet or blog whatever comes into their heads anytime or all the time, almost as if shouting it out is more important than thinking it out. In my opinion, that is simply noise, and I do not have to listen to it. It is a serious decision to not listen; am I missing something very important that will effect me?

When I am listening, I hear propaganda or what sounds like it. Look at the adjectives in the speeches and headlines: misguided, unhinged, terrible and so forth. A reader has to remove the emotionally-toned words from a sentence to have an idea of what is being stated.

The images supplied with shrill (emotionally-toned word) headlines are often misleading (ditto). They are meant to emphasize a point of view.

We have news of the world outside the low lands, but it is coming too fast and too complex for most folks. America is inexplicable to Dutch although they enjoy going there for vacation: big cars, big land and big entertainment.

I am among the many who have no idea what is happening in the US, and I have the sense that if I went back, I would not recognize the place or people. It has been 10 years now since I moved to Holland, and I have not been back in that time.

That makes me an expatriate American - a man who has 'gone native'. Except for last year, I have not taken much notice of events in the US, and 2016 was enough to last me for some time to come. No news is OK by me.

By that I mean how can anyone take in all the news: from a fire in a Detroit housing project all the way to famine in Sudan. Really it is just too much and is constant. It happens, the world knows - at least what media reports of it.

A recent news photo of Mr. Putin inspecting a Russian honor guard is an example. The image made the soldiers taller (and brawny) and Putin puny. I googled and found the original which had them at their actual height; the news photo was altered.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen