Nieuws - 6 april 2010

Dutch mountains


From my early lessons in geography I had learned that Holland was a flat country and lay below sea level.

Typical Dutch
During my early days here a Dutch friend was telling me about Wageningen and what a special place it is, what with the surrender of the Germans at the 5 Mei Plein. Then she went on to say that we have a mountain near Wageningen as well. I was very surprised to hear about it and showed an interest in visiting it.
The next week we went to see the mountain. I was very excited about going for a climb and was fully prepared for a bit of hiking. And then we were there. The conversation went something like this:

Her: Here we are.
Me: (looking around) Where?
Her: This is it.
Me: (chuckling and thinking she was playing a joke on me) This is what?
Her: The mountain. We are standing at the top.

I looked down to my feet, fully expecting to find the word 'Mountain' carved in the ground and to find myself the victim of a practical joke, but alas..... She was serious.
Then she sensed my dumbfoundedness and said 'I know it's not much but this is our mountain'. And I was like, 'This is not even a hill. How can you call it a mountain?'
Even now I often hear about this mountain which sounds to me like some sort of urban legend. You see, I come from Pakistan which is home to over a 100 peaks above 7000 meters and probably the same number above 6000 meters. So my perception of a mountain is very different. The Dutch apparently don't want to believe the obvious: Holland is a flat country and there are no mountains in Wageningen.    
Haider Ali Javed, PhD Environmental Policy