Why it’s special to be Dutch – part 2


(Keep reading.)


I just walked past the lorry of Janssen again, literally around the corner. If I walk around the corner in the other direction, I also often run into them. Always makes me smile.

‘t komt goed.

I have on occasion yelled “Hee! Kaaskop!” at a guy in the van, instantly conveying that we’re fellow Dutch people. Cheese heads. Even though I am not literally a cheese head (blond and from the central part of the Netherlands). And even though there are all sorts of English-language sites that state that “kaaskop” means “stupid person”. It’s more or less the same as “yankee”, I suppose. Kaaskop.

(A funny coincidence is that “yankee” is also Dutch, as it comes from the first name “Jan-Kees”.)

Janssen is a family business that was started in 1985, with only one lorry. They now operate three cooled articulated lorries that provide potted plants and flowers to 140 florists all over the south of England.

With a Florimark Good Trade Practice (GTP) certificate! The certificate is given on the basis of among other things social (societal), environmental and quality requirement and also looks at the level of cooperation within the (product) chain and staff treatment, for example.

They even featured in a BBC documentary. (See below.) Not bad, eh?

Voelt grappig genoeg als “even een poepie laten ruiken” – an expression that probably explains everything about England versus the Netherlands, lol – want wij kaaskoppen zijn toch wel verdomd goed in een hoop dingen. We staan ook aan de wereldtop van waterbeheer en dat soort zaken, wat we recent – zij het op tragische wijze – weer eens hebben kunnen zien.

Would an English person ever understand why a Dutch person would express impressing others with their skills and accomplishments as “letting them smell a fart”?


Maybe this will finally be able to convey to some the locals why I often think that they’re behaving like silly Victorian drama queens straight out of some stuffy family drama on TV. See, the Dutch never get their knickers in a twist. Never.

As far as I know, only the English have this habit of getting terribly upset about things that aren’t important at all. (Think Mrs Bucket.) I do fully confess that it can sometimes be very confusing to a Dutch person living here, lol. (FIRE? WHAT FIRE, WHERE?!) It gets really complicated at times because I am ascribed similar properties, of course, likely even more so because of my age. But I am Dutch! And I was used to hanging out with young people!

It’s like a dance, isn’t it? LOL! Cultural differences. Never a dull moment. Duh!

Now how do you put roses flown across a distance of 4000 miles to the UK into a sustainability perspective? It’s multifaceted. Because those roses also support people. (That too, is multifaceted because human tribes that do not adhere to our consumerist standards may in reality be so much richer than people like you and me can imagine. GDP has become a measure of toxicity, hasn’t it?)

Personally, I’ve never been that much into roses. They’re a little too stuck-up for me. Too… too. Too… inauthentic? But some of them, agreed, are lovely. They’re probably not the roses you’ll find in palaces and at weddings. They’re simple and authentic. At least, that’s how they come across to me. I run into them on walks.

They’re simply there, like the lovely fragrances of the food that a person unknown to me but somewhere close to me is cooking right now that are wafting through the open window into my little office where I am typing this right now.

You can’t import that.

Ah, flowers!

Ah, what IS that great food that I am smelling that probably involves lots of potatoes? It smells SO GOOD and that smell, it’s free. It doesn’t cost me a penny to enjoy it.