Sunday, March 25, 2012

Keukenhof. The Feast of Nature. And Mockery

We went to the Keukenhof exhibition yesterday, one day after the official opening. What an inspired choice! The weather was excellent (sunny and around 20 degrees), not crowded at all, and Colin had the adventure of his life. I will not get into details about what Keukenhof means, you can find it all here.

I just hope that God doesn't plan to redecorate the Garden of Eden too often, for he'll surely call for the Keukenhof's artists. In short, it's a must for everyone, at least once in a lifetime we ought to see the beauty in its entire splendour.

But, as you all know, a prophet hath no honour in his own country. While thousands of people spend a lot of time and energy to come over to see the event, men, women, children, the Dutch men think differently. I would like to emphasise here the gender of the people, as the women have their senses by them and they can hardly wait to pay a visit to that blessed place.

Men, on the other hand, see any show of interest in visiting the flower place as a sign of weakness. Either you're a man tight to your wife's apron, or you're accompanying your girlfriend to show her what a sensitive fellow you are - and you'll pay for that later. And these are the mild ones. For some other men, things are even clearer. If you're a man and want to see Kuekenhof, you must be gay, faggot, poof. If you have a wife and kids, it's just a screen for the society. If you have a girlfriend - yeah, right, has anyone seen her so far?, if you have a wife and a girlfriend, you certainly are gay and try to suppress that but you'd better come out, as we know your deepest secret anyway.

It happened to me last year, around this time. OK, I deserved it in a sense, as I planned to take the Friday off and I wasn't shy letting my colleagues know that. A few good times a day. From Monday till Thursday. I kept telling them that the forecast looked great and I'd be having a marvellous Friday among the flowers. Their retaliation was sharp and up to my annoyance. They even started up a bet on how long it would take me to come out. The furthest date was Christmas.

Anyway, on Thursday evening we realised that Colin was too little for a two hour trip and he'd probably not appreciate the flowers beauty properly. And we'd be too busy with feeding him and so and we'd not be able to sense the fragrance of the daffodils entirely. Thus, we decided on the spot to go to my wife's sister, in Brussels. We'd go there, stay over night, closer to us, more relaxed, see the nieces, perfect combination.

We had a great weekend. Of course, on Friday morning I got an SMS from one of my colleagues who asked me how Keukenhof was. I replied immediately that we didn't go there but to Brussels instead. He he, their solid theory was ruined. I was curios if they shifted my coming out deadline to Easter at least.

Monday morning, first hour, I met a colleague at the coffee machine:

"So, how was your weekend?", he asked me with a smug smile

"I didn't go to Keukenhof, I went to Brussels instead"

"I know, we all saw the SMS", he added and burst into a kind of a pubescent giggling.

Later on, another colleague asked me more than meaningfully about my weekend. He knew of course that I'd been to Brussels, which was no secret actually, but he too couldn't help giggling.

How odd, I thought, what the fuck is so funny about my weekend? Never mind, I'll find out later. A few minutes later, my desk colleague came in, took a coffee, and started to hit the keyboard.'

"So", I began the conversation, "did you have a nice weekend?"

"Oh, great. I went to Brussels with a bunch of friends of mine. The gay parade was held there this year!"


  1. Remember this story, the gay parade was nice :p
    I don't know why Keukenhof has such a bad reputation, since the first words you learn in dutch is "neuken in de keuken"

  2. I suspect the greatest fuss was primarily created by my day off :))
    As for the neuken in de keuken, is that an universal survival-on-the-street phrase they teach the foreigners? As I remember that as one of the first Dutch words I learned. And remembered :D.
    Another one was wijn na bier geeft plezier, bier na wijn geeft venijn :)