Recently, while cycling to my friend’s place for dinner on an ‘inter-period’ weekend, I lost my wallet. I must have put it in my pocket and it must have fallen out along the way. Now this is a great reason for panic and just the sort of thing nobody wants to happen to them, especially during a weekend.
That evening I searched for the wallet as thoroughly as I could, trying to recollect where I might have lost it. But I simply didn’t find it. The next morning, I went to the police station. They told me to wait for a few days as lost things tend to turn up at the city hall. I found this advice pretty odd since from where I come, a lost wallet is a hopeless situation. But I followed their advice.
To my surprise and great delight, a guy living on my block turned up at my door saying that my wallet was found with all its contents intact. The police did not have my phone number but had my address from the contents of the wallet and contacted him to relay the message to me. I thanked him for his kindness and called the police line but their office hours were over. Then another guy came to my door the very next day. He was the guy who had found my wallet and was asked by the police to return my wallet. Luck had never favoured me this much.
I am so grateful to all the people involved. I was certain that I had to go through a hell of a lot of effort to replace all the stuff I had lost with my wallet. But thanks to the coordinated effort of police and the wonderful people of Wageningen, I was spared all that trouble. If I liked this society and culture before this, now I admire it even more. I think this is an example of Dutch kindness.
Pranav Kulkarni, Masters’ student of Animal Science, from India
Do you have a nice anecdote about your experience of going Dutch? Send it in! Describe an encounter with Dutch culture in detail and comment on it briefly. 300 words max. Send it to email@example.com and earn twenty-five euro and Dutch candy.
NL: Eerlijke vinder
Pranav baalde als een stekker. Tijdens een vrij weekend was zijn portemonnee uit zijn zak gevallen terwijl hij naar een vriend fietste. Zijn zoektocht leverde niks op en de politie leek niet erg hulpvaardig. Die adviseerde de student om af te wachten of iemand zijn portemonnee naar het stadhuis zou brengen. Een lachwekkende suggestie, vond de Indiër. Wat schetste zijn verbazing toen twee dagen later een man voor zijn deur stond, mét portemonnee en complete inhoud. ‘Ik vond deze samenleving en haar cultuur al leuk, en nu bewonder ik die nog meer.’