So I am having a great inward chuckle at the Dutch today. A friend went to a bar last night and when I asked how it was, he said "It was great. Especially because we could smoke inside."
"Whaaaat?" I thought, since there is a smoking ban, right? Yes, but as Andre told me, "they have a piggy bank on the bar that all smokers have to put a euro in." What for? "To save up for the fine."
That is so Dutch, I can't even believe it. Americans would raise the drink prices, or just suck it up and pay the fine, or most likely, not let anyone smoke at all and piss and moan about how they will go out of business. Dutch people have socialism so ingrained in their culture that they figure hey, we're all in it together. Pitch in for the fine. We're all at fault, we'll all pay for it.
And they're SO FUCKING PRAGMATIC. Our neighbor - and coincidentally, Dre's belle du jour last night - was recently part of a marketing focus group. At the end of the group, they could bring in their old Senseo coffee makers and receive a brand new one for free.
Well, this neighbor had a Senseo that was fairly newish, so she thought it over, called her brother, and made a deal. She'd bring him HER current Senseo in exchange for his OLD one, which she would trade in for the new one for herself. That way, everyone was happy. Like Austin Power's dad would say, "only a bloody Dutchman."
Honestly, that level of thought just blows me away. I'll bet her brother brags to everyone who drinks coffee at his house about his "new" coffeemaker.
I can think of a thousand examples of this kind of judicious thinking on the part of the Dutch. I wonder if they're ancestrally related to the Scottish?