Oh dear. Seems like the world of fashion has launched another dud. Mind you, if “man bags” ever catch on in the UK or Ireland, this little gem could be a very sought after fashion accessory.
I’ve long held the view that the extortionate taxes I’ve been paying here in the Netherlands are not being used towards the greater good of the Dutch economy, but that of my fellow countrymen back home in Ireland.
I say this, because as a “DINKY” who earns a pretty decent salary, herself and I are net contributors to the Dutch economy rather than net beneficiaries. We do not benefit from the multitude of tax breaks families with children get, we do not benefit from the Dutch schooling system (mind you, given the majority of Dutch children I have come into contact with, I doubt the Dutch benefit from their schooling system either) and I am never ill enough to benefit from the “extra dental and health” insurance I have to pay each year, let alone get to break-even from the benefit I get from the Dutch quack doctors.
So, I can only assume that my taxes are being used to benefit my fellow Irishmen and women, especially when the Dutch are so keen of late about reminding me about “all that bailout money” they sent over the Ireland not so long ago. Amazingly, they always seem to wash over the fact though that the bailout of Irish banks was actually a protectionist move to prevent their own banks from collapsing after those banks put money down like an uncontrollable gambler, betting the house on new housing estates across the Emerald Isle.
But now we have Greece, whose economic growth seemed to defy all the odds with year over year increases in its GDP since the 1970’s. But the bit that I never understood is why since the early 1990’s the Greek government thought it was a good idea to spend more than they could generate. As any business or government will attest, generating cash is easier said than done, especially if your customers are based in Spain, France, Italy, Greece or Portugal, all of whom are complete fuckers when it comes to getting paid on time….or even at all. So when it comes to the average Greek taxpayer, those problems become compounded, because we all know how nicely padded with drachmas (and now euros) those Greek mattresses are when stuffed full of undeclared income.
We also all too aware that Greece should never have been allowed join the eurozone in the first place. But it’s been done, and to boot them out, some would say, will fuck it up for everyone else….in particular ze Germans and French who have so much to lose. So they see fit that everyone else should stump up the cash and bail them out. Here’s the next bit that I don’t understand.
Why should countries, such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, all of whom have smaller economies and lower standards of living comparatively to Greece, be forced to help out its wealthier neighbour? More to the point, why do we still feel the need to throw good money after bad, to a government who has not exactly been the most proactive in implementing good fiscal policies, unlike those of say Ireland or Spain, and who is no nearer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel……maybe it’s good that they haven’t because that light may end up being the lights of the oncoming train, ready to finish derailing it’s economy and government.
So the solution, in my mind is simple. I am a taxpayer, and my taxes are going to help out my fellow European citizens. But I am not exactly seeing the benefit from my end. So why don’t we do it like this.
Give everyone across Europe a free holiday to Greece! Instead of sending the money directly to the Greek government (who’ll only go and spend it on the wrong thing anyway) the governments of Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Britain, France and anyone else who wants to join in) pays for you and me to fly down to Greece on holiday. They can pay for their own national airlines to fly us down (that way ensuring full employment at home) and contribute towards our hotel bills and some spending money when we get down to Greece. Then the Greek economy would be buoyed up from all the cold hard cash we’d spend in the bars, restaurants, tours, boat rides, ferries, taxis and everything else one spends ones money on when abroad.
Greece still gets the cash infusion she so desperately needs, but the citizens from across Europe who have up until now not actually seen their taxes at work, get to reap the benefits of their taxes and get to experience true harmonious European economics at work, first hand! Everybody wins 🙂
Honey…..where did I put my passport?
After reading this article, I had one question. When did Dutch girls suddenly start wearing skirts?
Now that I ponder on it for a bit longer, I have now started to wonder is this only something they do when outside of the country? Why wasn’t she wearing the trousers/skirt combo they feel obliged to wearing when living here?
All I can say is…..INTERESTING
It’s true….no matter if your a Dutch male or female, you’ll end up looking like a clone of the person next to you. Even the 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants have even gotten into the act, albeit in their own cultural twist.
I first noticed how badly Dutch people dressed the first time I moved here, which was a little over 10 years ago now. Back then the style for women was a pair of denim jeans that were WAY too short. But as with typical Dutch “logic” there was a reason for the jeans being too short. It was to allow them to show off their hideous boots. Herself is a firm believer that I have a high heels fetish (boots are included), so maybe the fact that these boots were all horrible ankle boots with no heel whatsoever turned me off instantly to this fashion faux pas. The sad thing about Dutch fashion is the almost glacial pace at which it changes. In the US, UK, France or Italy, Christ, even Germany for that matter, fashion changes with the seasons. There’s a reason why there is a fashion week every Spring and every Autumn in these first four countries.
Anyway, this trend slowly evolved into the “jeans AND a dress” ensemble. Yes indeed….should you be one of the few lucky ones to spot a Dutch girl showing off any bare leg flesh, then savour that moment. Because even to this very day, they will opt for either a pair of boring black leggings or something in a Day Glo fluorescent colour. But the “jeans AND a dress” style hung around for a while. I never understood this one…there seemed no logic (other than that of covering up their modest leg flesh) and it just looked liked they fell out of bed and couldn’t make up their mind what to wear, so decided “I’ll wear BOTH a dress AND my jeans at the same time”….maybe that was the Dutch logic at play?
So the glacial pace of women’s fashion has slowly ebbed towards the leggings and a skirt style. Herself is a big fan of high heels and a skirt/short shorts….and when you have the assets she has, you can understand why. However, I have never understood that with a nation who prides itself on having the “tallest women in the world” they either choose NOT to wear high heels OR show off their leggy assets. Instead they opt for flat ugly boots or flat boring court shoes, or worse yet….sneakers….and cover everything up. It’s like women’s lib took hold of the country and taught people to be ashamed of their figures or their bodies….hide it all up underneath some baggy non-descript top and a pair of jeans.
The men by the way are equally bad….no, in fact I would go so far as to say that they’re WORSE than their female counterparts.
Top of the agenda for every Dutch male is his hair. I honestly think that companies specialising in hair products must do bumper business here. There isn’t a single Dutch guy I have met or seen who has not got SOMETHING in his hair. As I mentioned in a previous post, Dutch men typically wear their hair long. And as is the way in Holland, the pace of change with both male and female hair styles is also glacial. So in order to keep their locks from flopping around and taking someone’s eye out, they’ll either slick it back completely with half a tub of Brylcreem into a hairstyle reminiscent of something in the movie “Grease” or, they’ll rub wax or God knows what else in it to have it hang round their ears like some kind of wet, greasy shaggy dog.
The added disadvantage that the Dutch male has to contend with is “Male Pattern Baldness”. It’s not uncommon for a Dutchie to start going bald and losing his prized locks from quite an early age. I’ve not yet figured out if this is purely a genetics thing, or if the copious amounts of hair product used have had a detrimental impact to this affliction…but I can’t believe that it helps.
Enough with the hair….the next thing to come across Homo Cloggus’ mind in the morning is what to wear, and more importantly what shoes to pair it with. Or rather, it’s the other way ’round. You see, it doesn’t matter if he chooses to go casual, smart casual or formal…he’ll almost always choose to wear his favourite pair of brown leather shoes. Unless of course it’s the weekend, in which case it’ll be a pair of some trendy branded sports shoe/sneaker.
Yes, the brown leather shoe is a staple in the Dutchman’s wardrobe. And what makes me laugh is that they’ll quite happily wear them with a dark suit, which, by the way will have a trouser leg length MUCH too short. So the resulting image is a pair of trousers that don’t fit them. But fear not, because Dutch “logic” has struck once again. It’s so Homo Cloggus can “show-off” his prized pair of brown brogues. I kid you not. In fact I will make a solemn guarantee. The next time you find yourself at the airport, look around, and when you find some tall, greasy long-haired, short legged trousered, brown shoe wearing bloke standing near you, go over and ask him if he’s Dutch!
When Homo Cloggus is feeling in a casual mood, you can usually find him wearing something utterly outrageous and more appropriate for the golf course than the office…yes indeed, it’s those famous RED TROUSERS. Every Dutchman has a pair hanging in his closet. I have to confess, I have never seen them in any of the clothing stores I shopped in, but then, I’ve never actually gone out looking for a pair. But my guess is that there must be a secret Red Trousers shop somewhere in the country where they all buy them.
Other staples of the Dutchman’s wardrobe are anything with the Ralph Lauren polo pony on it, or anything from either McGregor, Gaastra, Hilfiger or G-Star. In fact, so enamoured are the Dutch with the first two that their corporate websites have Dutch as the ONLY other foreign language choice!! There’s no other foreign language version of their websites. G-Star is a home grown brand. In fact, unlike their female counterparts, who are more comfortable looking like H&M clones, the Dutch male is all about the brand. It’s almost like a peacock, showing off his plumage, and emphasising to the Dutch women how big his bank balance is. But the savvier Dutchmen do their shopping in outlet malls in the U.S. where the same shit can be bought for half the price…but they’ll never admit that to the ladies
The fun part for any visitors wanting to spot a Dutchie is that despite the seasons changing, the fashion style never follows suit, so you can rest assured that no matter what the time of year, you’ll be able to spot them from miles away.