On Nov. 23, 2005 I moved to The Hague from Washington, DC. This is my new Dutch life.


Two Days of Unemployment

So unemployment is so far treating me well. The house is clean. The laundry is put away. I ate a proper lunch. I finished my Dutch homework. Best of all, I get to hang out with our pal, F-, who drove over from Germany. F-'s been on this side of the pond enjoying World Cup festivities for the past two weeks. He heads to Budapest after the final. Our first DC visitor - woo hoo!

F- and I took the tram down to Scheveningen to take in the sights and sounds of the beach. Several parts Ocean City, MD, several more parts New Jersey and .000001 part Miami (wishful thinking), Scheveningen is THE vacation destination of the Netherlands. Though it wasn't all that crowded when we were down there today, on weekends there are more people than grains of sand.

The Dutch are sun worshippers. They seem to like nothing more than to cook themselves. Combine sunbathing with a society oblivious to the dangers of smoking, and you've got an awful lot of permanently pursed and leathery faces. Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam predicts an 80% increase in skin cancer patients in the Netherlands by 2015. Based on the abstract, that study seems to only look at environmental factors. But tanning beds are popular home appliances too.

What amazes me, however, is how much Europeans want to be naked. I know. I know. Classic. The American is shocked by topless beaches, but that's not quite it. I don't care if people want to bare all in public. What's surprising is how fried they let their sensitive bits get. Just thinking about a sunburn.... ugh!

Even more astonishing was the fully naked person lounging in a restaurant. I have to close my mind on that one - please, woman, not while I'm eating. Nudists are never seem to be the ones you want to see naked.



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