In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 18, 2007 / 2 Tamuz, 5767

My visit to Nether-Netherland

By Dave Barry

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here, as promised last week, is the second and final part of my report on the fact-finding mission I took to the Netherlands this summer to increase international understanding, a cause that as the great humanitarian Florence Nightingale so often pointed out as she toiled among the sick and wounded—is tax-deductible if you write about it.

My topic today is Amsterdam, which is the largest city in the Netherlands, unless it is not (somebody should look this up). Amsterdam, with its network of picturesque canals lined with rows of quaintly gabled townhouses, is one of the prettier cities in Europe; it's also one of the most compact, which means that you can set out from your hotel on foot and, within minutes, be struck by a bicyclist going 127 miles per hour (2,038 kilometers centigrade). This happens because Dutch people of all ages actually use their bicycles for transportation, unlike Americans, who, once they pass age 15, use their bicycles mainly as housing for spiders.

The streets of Amsterdam teem with whizzing bicycles, sometimes carrying two or even three people, who often are holding packages, smoking cigarettes, talking on cell phones, applying makeup and generally behaving very much like motorists on an American interstate highway, except that the Amsterdam cyclists go much faster. I'm not saying that a Dutch woman cyclist carrying two small children and a sack of groceries would win the Indianapolis 500, but she would definitely finish in the top five.

As a thoughtful concession to pedestrians, the Dutch cyclists all have little bells on their handlebars that make a cute cha-CHING sound, which serves as a friendly warning that you are about to die. As a tourist in Amsterdam, you quickly become conditioned to react to this sound. A fun prank would be to take a bicycle bell into a crowded Amsterdam cafe and ring it; all the tourists would immediately dive to the floor.

Of course, some of them might already be on the floor, because one very popular substance in the Netherlands is beer. The Dutch produce a lot of excellent beer, which natives and tourists alike consume in large quantities in a courageous and unselfish humanitarian effort to keep this low-lying country from flooding. And beer is not the only substance that people ingest over there. The Dutch have a very open-minded, live-and-let-live philosophy about what consenting adults should be allowed to do, such that certain parts of Amsterdam make Las Vegas look like West Point. You can see businesses openly selling sex, drugs and—most shocking of all, to Americans—french fries with MAYONNAISE.

Nevertheless, you feel perfectly safe in Amsterdam (except for the bicycles). In fact, one popular tourist activity is to go to the famous red-light district and take ganders at the extremely friendly women who sit in little street-level rooms behind display windows, kind of like cars at an auto dealership, but with less clothing. (Notice that I am tastefully refraining from making a headlights joke here.)

I was with a group of people (including, for the record, my wife) who decided to go see the red-light district. As we approached it, we were all looking around with great curiosity, trying to spot one of the friendly women; it was exactly like when you visit Yellowstone National Park and you know that there are bears somewhere because you keep seeing signs warning you about them, but you haven't actually SEEN a bear yet, so the tension keeps building up inside you.

And so when we came around a corner and suddenly found ourselves right next to an occupied display window, I—demonstrating the cool urbanity that certainly enhances the reputation of American tourists for suave sophistication—pointed and yelled, "There's one!" At the same instant, I walked into a metal traffic barrier, hitting it so hard that I thought I fractured my kneecap, although, of course, I did not seek medical treatment because I didn't want to have to explain to the medical personnel how I injured myself. This is exactly why health authorities say that if you're going to be messing around in a red-light district, you should ALWAYS wear protection, in the form of kneepads.

But other than that one incident, I had a terrific time on my trip, which incidentally—Internal Revenue Service, please note—included a brief side trip to Paris. The Netherlands is lovely and hospitable, and Amsterdam is a lively and fun city, full of things to do. In fact, I'll confess that, while I was there, I took advantage of the permissive laws and did something that—call me a wild counterculture explorer—I just had to try. I am referring to french fries with mayonnaise. My advice is: Just say no.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness

© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.