Monday, 29 November 2010

Monday in The Netherlands

The Dutch call it Mandag*, but I call it Sunday. I don’t think the term ‘Monday Blues’ or ‘Manic Monday’ are used that much in this side of the world. Do you know why? It is because most shops are closed on Monday and some opened late in the afternoon on this blue day. Now that you know why, it is even harder to process it and believe it. The idea was so peculiar to me the first time too. I remember vividly when I was taking my punctured bicycle to the bicycle specialist store only to find the word ‘gesloten*’ hanging on the glass door. Bam!!! It hit me. Frantically, I was shaking the glass door with hopes that it would open up for me. After a minute of futile attempts, the message on the glass door finally sank in.

In my country, we do things a little differently. First, shops are never closed on Monday and second; most vendors would open their shops at the break of dawn and close them in the middle of the night. Sometimes, in major cities around Malaysia, you can find restaurants including KFC and McDonald’s open for 24 hours. Unlike here, the shops and supermarkets would open until 17.00 p.m or 20.00 p.m mostly. The restaurants and the bars, on the other hand, would open until the middle of the night, maybe longer for the bars. There is even a national holiday called Whit Monday which falls on a Monday seven weeks after Easter Monday.

All I can say is, life is pretty slow here, except when you are on a bicycle or on your feet running to catch the train. However, the Dutch surely knows how to make full use of the little time they have. They are punctual and they are never consumed with their work. Thanks to the coffee breaks and lazy Mondays, we get to stop and smell the tulips.



P/S: This article is sent to a monthly magazine, Resource for the column Typical Dutch. It is my hope to get this published, Inshallah.

1 comment:

  1. You rajin baca buku dan majalah rupanya; mesti senang belajar Bahasa Belanda. Itu conclusion Syed.

    *Moga ada antara artikel yang Fatma kirim akan dipublish oleh pihak di sana. Insya-Allah, you'll find the way.


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