Sunday, January 23, 2011


Just to close my blogging chapters on Netherlands, I would conclude with a few memories of street conversations.

(Just after getting off the train to Leiden from Schipol Airport on the day of arrival, I ask a random fellow the system of bus)

Man: Bus No. 43 to Hotel Het Haagsche Schouwwege. The ticket can be bought from the driver, but if you buy a pass from the bookstore you will find it much cheaper.
Me: Thanks. I don't know where the bookstore is. Can you help me?
(A few minutes later, he returns to the place we were standing after seeing enough time for bus arrival with me after I have bought the pass from the bookstore with him)
Man:You see zones on this card. The driver would stamp at appropriate number of zones according to the destination.
Me: But I am new to this place. I don't know how many zones it should be between places. What if the driver misuses this fact?
Man (now serious): Listen. I may cheat you, all the people here may cheat you, but a Government official- never!

(*** Now wonder, if we can ever say that in India ***)

(At the World Cup finals public screening at Stadhuisplein, Rotterdam. A group of young guys are amazed to see a non-Dutch in the colors of orange and start chatting with me)

Bob: Oh, you are interning at the University. How old are you?
Me: I am 20 years old.
Bob:Wow, you look much younger. I thought you were 15.
Me:Nevermind, you must be the same age I suppose. 20-21 years.
Dude, I am 16.

(Although train travel is too expensive, there is a 40% discount card with 5 years validity in which you can take along with you, 2 people. This scene is from the Delft station, there were many similar incidents. I am yet to buy a ticket, haven't decided where to go exactly. I approach the hottest single girl in the station. )

Hey, which station are you going to?
Hot girl: Rotterdam Centraal Station.
Me: Hey, me too. But I don't have the discount card. Can I come along with you?
Hot girl:(thinks a bit) Yeah, sure.

(** The longest such journey was with a girl of my age from Utrecht to Den Haag Centraal- 1 hour. Damn, why didn't I take her number or email ID **)


pgm said...

Haha! Liked the hot girl one. Why DIDNT you get her no/email!!! Woulda saved us a fair bit of your arbit t...aap, i deem!

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

If I had asked for her number/ email, I suppose I wouldn't have been arbit t...... Didn't strike me then!! :(

The girl in the Rotterdam conversation was much hotter, by the way :)

Aayush said...

WOW! If whatever you've written actually happened, which I think it did, it is quite an extraordinary thing that the Dutch are so much different from us Indians. You've always talked about all the differences between Indians and the Dutch. I just wanna know if there are any similarities too.

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

Similarities- I would have loved to oblige you, but as said, it stands - this was my last post about Netherlands.
Would find some other way of compiling them, and letting them reach you. However, just to make a point-
I admit while exploring I was noting differences, and wasn't focusing on similarities (I did, but they didn't catch my eye for obvious reasons).

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