Coffee culture in the Netherlands

Annuska_NL  I have been living on the Westcoast of Canada for more than a decade now and have gotten used to going to all kinds of cafes to drink coffee. I enjoyed going to @Starbucks and the @Cornerstone_cafe in Fernwood. When I arrived in the Netherlands a few months ago, I was surprised by the difference in coffee culture in @Victoria compared to the coffee culture in de #IJmond, the Netherlands. In my own experience the coffee drinking culture on the Westcoast of Canada started about 10 or 15 years ago, and at that time the Netherlands took a different turn. In #Canada many Starbucks popped up on many street corners in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada whereas in #The_Netherlands many citizens owned or rented their own homes and instead of spending money on going to a cafe to have a cup of coffee, the majority of the citizens decided to buy expensive speciality coffee making machines, like the one that my aunt has, which can make cappiccinos. So in my opinion the Canadian Westcoast coffee culture and the West European Dutch coffee drinking culture have developed in two different ways: in Canada they developed more coffee drinking places and in the Netherlands they developed less. #coffee #cafes #starbucks


Steel industry in the Netherlands 2018

Photograph is of the #Hoogovens, #Corus and #Tata_Steel terrein in the province North Holland (#NH) in the Netherlands (#NL). Photo taken early May 2018. The Dutch steel industry has been part of the Dutch North Holland municipalities called @IJmond for one century now. The steel factory started out as a factory to generate work for the unemployed in 1918. Most of the workers were Dutch men living in the province of North Holland. To me, the steel industry factories in 2018 look like the most terror-war like buildings I have ever seen in my lifetime. The dark smoke streaming up into the blue sky is like something I am only experienced in the visualizations of @Peter_Jackson in @Lord_of_the_Rings. Peter Jackson, the Australian director of Lord of the Rings books by #Tolkien, was able to really capture the evil of industry. As a romantic myself, I tend to look towards raw nature for inspiration not factory like contraption like this spaceship formed building. This building does have a purpose in the Western Society, however that does not mean that I need to like the looks of this horror show. To me the building symbolizes the working man, the #arbeider. As it is the arbeider who does all the work and who gets only his existence and his families existence out of it; where the owner of a company of this magnitude reeps many of the fruits as one. This to me, is an unfair division of labour. Throughout the years of working for an American company in Canada, I feel I have a good grasp of how American built companies in Europe operate through the chains of commands. This steel comapny in Holland was put into active use again through the financing received by the Marshal Plan after World War II. A lot of the business structures, redevelopement of the company and research and development departments were created with the finances of the American government through the Marshal Plan. So to me, that means that indirectly or directly (however one wants to see it) it is a American Business Model inside of Western Europe. The American Business Model means that the C.E.O.s increase their wealth while many of the workers wealthy does not increase much through out the years of their employment. This is a form of inequality. This inequality is bases of the American Model in almost all businesses, both inside of America and outside of America, namely capitalist West Europe. The steel factory with the smoke stacks with pollution coming out of them is about the crisis of humanity and the increasing of the inequality in the world of today. My intention with this picture and my text is to share with the world with the hope of change. Positive change. A change to include more equality. However the equation to generate a society with more equality is an equation too complex for me to figure out on my own. Maybe we can all do it together.

Dutch individual 2018


(Photograph of Haarlem Centrum, City Hall, North Holland, the Netherlands. April 2018.)

During the second world war in the Netherlands, the Germans came in and took over the country. The Netherlands as a country was lost to the Nazis in May of 1940. On May 4th 2018 the Dutch remember what happened in May 1940 by having many Memorial ceremonies all over the Netherlands. The above photograph is a picture of Haarlem Centrum City Hall in capital of the Dutch province called North Holland. It was the Canadians who came in and liberated the Dutch from the Second World War occupation from the Nazis. My own birth heritage is specifically connected to the Canadian liberation of the Dutch people from the Nazis, like all Dutch heritage is. Currently in 2018 in the Netherlands, and around Haarlem specifically, I sense that there is almost no sense of history left. However I feel lucky as an individual to have the awareness of my own past and my own culture. However while communicating with other Dutch citizens in the area of Haarlem Centrum and what is referred to as Gemeente IJmond, I feel a vaccuum in the historic theory. For example, when I communicate that my background is connected to Dutch and Canadian history through the goings-on in the Second World War Dutch history, many Dutch turn their heads and consider what I am saying to be old fashioned. However to me it is as relevant today for me as an individual as ever before. One of the components that the Canadians fought for was the right to freedom and the right to the freedom of expression. This component is what the Canadians bought the the Dutch in the Second World War by freeing the Dutch from the German Nazies. Freedom of expression in both Canada and in the Netherlands is a strong component of a healthy democracy. Freedom of expression is connected to journalism exposing stories about the corruption of government officials and it is also a component of the right to express views and thoughts on subjects that may or may not be censored. The liberty of the freedom of expression brings a balance into the Western world so that not one political leader has all the say in all political matters. In the Dutch system in 2018 many of the components of Freedom of Expression are very strong on the one hand; and very weak and on erosion on the other hand. So in my opinion, current day Dutch citizens need to continue to learn about their own history and how it is connected with Canada in order to understand that the fight in the Second World War was not in vain and that it will not reoccur.








Amsterdam: outdoor book case


(Photograph taken April 2018 in Haarlem Centrum, North Holland, the Netherlands)

When I was in Amsterdam in December 2017 I walked around the Rijksmuseum, the biggest Amsterdam museum. I found a book case that had free books inside of it. I was interested in the books that was in the book case. One of the books was a book by Bertus Aafjes called “Ik ga naar Amerika.” It was a book from 1962. It was written in a very structured kind of Dutch language that I find very nice. I enjoy Dutch books from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. I find the Dutch language in these books is very calming to read. In 2018 I find the Amsterdam dialect to have almost have disappeared. About 14 years ago the Amsterdam dialect was strong and well. But in current day Amsterdam centrum there is such a mix of languages that sometimes it is even hard to hear any Dutch at all, and the sound of the Amsterdam street dialect, that was part of the Amsterdam culture 14 years ago, prior to the joining of the European Union has all but disappeared from the streets of Amsterdam centrum. That is too bad, because I like the rough Amsterdam dialect. It was like a splash in the water, or like a stone toss high into the air and cut throat into the river. It has gone now. Disappeared forever.

IJmond Noord, Noord Holland

04042018_04 IJmond Noord is een plaatsnaam voor de regio Wijk aan Zee, Beverwijk, Velsen, Heemskerk en Haarlem in de Nederlandse Provincie Noord Holland. Mijn vader komt uit de regio IJmond Noord. Maar mijn moeder komt uit Berkhout, in Westfriesland.

IJmond Noord heeft een economie dat is eigenlijk een digitaliseerde economie. Het is een heel moeilijke economie omdat alle systemen met elkaar verbonden zijn.

#Nederlandse_economie #IJmond_Noord #Digitalisatie

Sometimes searches lead no where


Photograph taken in March 2018 at the IJmuiden, North Holland, the Netherlands Museum. A ship symbol.

Sometimes in life, one can start to search for answers and for solutions. However sometimes the answers are different then the expected. When searching for answers in any kind of investigation, there is always a hope for a positive outcome, otherwise one would not start on the voyage. For example, many professionals like to contribute to the world the best way that they can. And many professionals really want to make a difference in the world, through more equality, justice and peace. However there are times when investigations lead no where.

A practical example is of a Mental Health and Addictions Practitioner who gets trained in the field and becomes a qualified Mental Health and Addictions Practitioner. Then the practitioner uses all the skills acquired in the field only to find out that the training was not a match with the practise. That the training was actually very modern and did not match the mentalities and attitudes of the Mental Health and Addictions field. Furthermore, the whole reason for wanting to become a Mental Health and Addictions Practitioner in the first place was to learn how to help people to get better. If, while being in the field, the practitioner finds out that many patients are chronically ill, and/or terminally ill and can never get better no matter how hard one tries and no matter how medically skilled the practitioner is. When some practitioners experience this first hand, they may decide to help patients that can get better and pay more attention to them, and let go of the terminally ill and chronic patients – providing them with lesser treatment (with the knowledge that they will not get better). This balance of medical treatment shows the human discrimination process. Namely, helping the half sick and discarding the terminally sick. So within the most holy of professions, the medical field, there is a lot of discrimination happening. One patient gets better care then the other. This is not a quality of equality.

So the point is, sometimes in life one can get educated in a field that one does not like to work in based on the fact that the field practises discriminatorily and does not provide a good balance of care for all of those in need.

What also can happen is that one can get trained in a field of interest, but that there turn out to be zero jobs available in that specific field of study. These are examples of components in life that are deadends.

Some people who reach a dead-end continue in that vein even though they know it is useless. They have the awareness that they are not contributing to equality, justice and peace but are part of a system which is not positive for the society. And at the same time, they fall into a denial about it because they do not have the courage to change it; or change themselves and they give up searching.

Others, however continue to try over and over again. Because the only way to gain success is to keep on trying to find something that works for them as an individual. Sometimes in life, it is only about the search. The search for equality, justice and peace and never settling for second best but always trying to keep on fighting for ideals in the world no matter what and keep on trying new paths. When those paths are dead-ends, choose another and then another and then another. Always.

Life is searching.

#Life #Hope #Search #Equality #Justice #Peace










Europe and then what?

0404201801Since about 2003 Europe has created an economic unity. That means that the economic Europe has been in existence for 15 years. Within 15 years Europe has become very tall and narrow like a space station instead of deeply rooted in the soil. The main theme of the economic Europe was finance. It is with finance that the nature infrastructure can be built, like the nice sand nature path with grass on both sides in this nature park. Also with more finance the government can spend more money on beauty like the silver steel public artwork you can see here in this picture from North Holland. The European Union has become increasingly powerful in finances. America has been protecting Europe for a long time, and under the wing of the Marshal Plan. Europe was often seen as a little sister by the United States of America, except in 2018 that connection seems to be breaking at the seams. Often relationships start to break at the seams when the person or country you are trying to help exceeds expectations and becomes better then the one that provided the opportunities to get better in the first place. #America #Europe #Balance #Politics #Transition