Due to snowmageddon part two dumping nearly a foot of fresh powder on the Midwest United States, my flight for Amsterdam left a day early. This meant I would get to spend an entire day in Amsterdam before I had to catch my flight to Moscow.
Not a bad trade-off for bad weather, right?
Now I could go on for forever about how wonderful Amsterdam is and how beautiful and charming the buildings are, but I noticed something a little better.
I noticed the people. Outwardly, 90 percent of the Hollanders were very attractive, and I fully plan on finding my future wife in Amsterdam. When not focusing on looks, however, I saw their general outlook on life shining through.
To define what I mean when I say “general outlook”: The Dutch are a very understanding type of people. They understand, for the most part, that people mean well with their intentions, and they don’t instantly cut someone down or treat others with horrible manners.
Now you will get beeped at if you cross the road when you’re not supposed to or yelled at by the odd mom wheeling her kids with her bicycle, but it’s a different type of yell. As someone who’s been to New York, Chicago, Atlanta and a few other major U.S. cities, I can assure you when the mom told me to get off the street she was pleasant about it. It wasn’t someone yelling a bunch of swear words and saying they’re going to beat you within an inch of your life. It was almost like, “Hmm, that wasn’t bad,” not, “I need to dip out before my parents get a call saying I’ve been found in a back alley.”
I also noticed how Hollanders deal with differences in opinions. There were three men who obviously had different views on what they should do with the rest of their time. During their argument, each one gave each other a moment to give his opinion, and then they decided on everyone’s best interest. If that were a group of Americans, they would have just yelled at each other and gone their separate ways. It’s no wonder Amsterdam’s policies are so well thought out and they get things done.
The U.S. should take heed of the Dutch way to handle business, and maybe we wouldn’t be arguing about stupid things like if two men should be allowed to marry or not. Maybe the U.S. could be spending more time figuring a way to feed starving kids or find ways to make us less dependent on oil.
Just food for thought.
BSU at the Games is a freelance news agency operated by 22 student journalists reporting from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games through an immersive-learning program at Ball State University.