Friday, October 2, 2009

The Netherlands and the USA:

The Netherlands isn't perfect–but it is beautiful, and certainly more organized in its built environment than the USA. That's one thing a Dutch friend told me the other day–that the USA is so intriguing because it's not organized (which Europeans associate with freedom)–whereas everything in the Netherlands is organized and planned down to the last detail. Graphic design for bus and tram time tables, the arts in all forms–even the locations that tell you where to put your trash on the curb. (I actually received a map showing where I was allowed to put trash in my neighborhood, and where the containers are located, all perfectly branded in a little booklet that came in my mailbox, that fits in perfectly with the city of Amsterdam's branding scheme: aka, red with three X's, which was designed by Amsterdam based design studio Thonik (and you can read more about Amsterdam's branding here)). I can now see all this organization through Dutch eyes, after living here for two years. At first, the Netherlands just looks like a land of perfect to the first time American visitor. Which I have written about here. And this is, ironically enough, why I'm a europhile. The continent is efficient, travel is easy, and most everything is in order, at least in the Netherlands. And I love that. Friends are great. And so are kind words from them that brighten your day, just a bit more.