Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Bishop that likes little children and Frau mit Schnurrbart

Today was the day that St. Nicholas, a.k.a. Sinterklaas, f.k.a. The Bishop of Mira, arrived on the Amsterdam Dam square. Sinterklaas is well known as the children's biggest friend. Now many Bishops nowadays are well known to be very friendly to little boys but this Bishop has another wonderful feature: He exploits black servants who crawl down your chimney to enter your house. Anyway, I won't go that way today. I too lie to my son about his existence and hope he'll forgive me when he's old enough to know it was all about mall marketing to sel us useless stuff.

We arrived in time, I bought myself a Hazelnut Latte and my son a hot chocolate. He managed to get in front at the fence and stood first in row. I tried to get as much children in front of me but couldn't avoid to let an entire Mediterranian looking family in front of me while I wasn't paying attention. No problem, "let them integrate into our culture" I thought, they might enjoy this charade.

This family (their children in particular) was very annoying. They yelled to everyone and started bullying my son. He got pushed and tried to find eye-contact with me. From a distance I told him to stay put and that he would be allright. Now he is only six but rather tall for his age so he started pushing back telling his 10 y.o. neighbour that he should loose weight because he didn't fit in between. I didn't like it but so far no reason to get upset. Hey, " that's just what children do", I thought. That's when this ugly woman started intimidating my son. Pulling his jacket and telling him to get lost. "Lady, leave him alone and mind your own business", I yelled at the woman twice. She didn't comply.

She continued pushing and pulling his jacket. My son got upset and started crying. And I got furious, man did I loose it for a moment. I elbowed myself to the front and told her that I warned her twice and that if she would ever lay a hand on my son again "I will kick your husbands ugly ass because I don't hit women, not even women with a moustache like yours". Then I turned towards her husband and told him to "tell her I am blood serious" looking him straight into the eyes with the most vicious look I had in years. Problem solved..

Now I do not approve of my behaviour and it sure isn't the Buddhist way I would normally prefer but this is just a little example of the problems we face daily in our Dutch big cities. We have been tolerating too much and now we've all grown apart. Young Morrocan pupils terrorize teachers and even terrorize entire neighbourhoods. People no longer dare to stand up against their violence and their parents have lost them in between cultural differences.

The CEO of Blackberry told me last week that the little Canadian town where he grew up welcomed a dozen Dutch families after WWII. They immigrated to Canada to start anew. Every year, with Dutch liberation day in sight, they would plant a couple of hundred tulips on the town square to remember the victims of war, to celebrate the liberation of the Netherlands and to thank their Canadian neighbours for their warmth and hospitality. They were grateful, very grateful. That's how they are seen by their Canadian neighbours, the grateful Dutch neighbours. Last year, many Canadian towns celebrated the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in a way that we in the Netherlands even didn't do.

And that's just the way it works to my opinion. You earn your respect in a new country through gratefullness, not through agression, repression and violence.

I rest my case..