Nieuws - 24 november 2011

The best Thanksgiving Gift

Yesterday I got the autograph of the Dutch Prime Minister in the book The UnDutchables; definitely this is the best Thanksgiving gift I've ever had.

Hopefully the handshake passed my good luck to Mr.Rutte and later to Mr. Obama as well since they will meet next Tuesday.
'Mark Rutte, the Dutch PM, will visit Wageningen tomorrow,' on Tuesday afternoon my colleague Romy told me this secret news. The University arranged some students to ask him questions in a fifteen minute's meeting. Fortunately I was not on the list: to be honest I don't go in for this kind of show, but my adventurous curiosity pushed and asked myself: 'what can I get from his visit?'
'Should I SMS some Dutch friends to demonstrate at Forum during his visit? Or make a flash mob for fun?' When racking my brains for a bright idea, I received a parcel from my friend Sarina in the U.S. 'Thank goodness! What a perfect time you arrive!' When unwrapping the package I couldn't help but yelling loudly in my corridor's kitchen: there was a book in it, The UnDutchables. Like a magic wand, this book shed light on the puzzle and solved all the questions in my mind.
It's a book written by two English native-speakers about their in-depth observation of the Dutch people and culture. Previously I read some excerpts online and quickly got fascinated with it. As a foreigner in the Netherlands I easily found the resonance in the book. I recommended it to my friend in the U.S. since I think it's the best way to share my life in Holland. Unexpectedly she shipped it to me as a gift and arrived at such a wonderful moment. The cover person of that book was the former Dutch PM Mr. Balkenende. Via the Internet, I found a head portrait of Mr. Rutte with a lovely grin and then grafted it to Mr. Balkenende's face on the book cover. I was crewing to myself over my masterpiece through the night, hardly got a quiet sleep.
The most important moment finally approached: with the help of Meira, a communication officer of WUR, I got the permission to talk to Mr. Rutte. He quickly noticed his picture on the cover and burst into laughter, even Mr. Dijkhuizen aside joined the laughing. Without hesitation he signed his autograph in my book and made a firm handshake with me. At that moment I felt all the limelight only cast on us, which somehow made me feel like a fish out of water (as I said I'm not a high-profile guy).
Anyway, I smoothly completed another impossible mission in the Neverland. Thanks Sarina, thanks Mr. Rutte, you two gave me the best gift for the Thanksgiving Day. It's so inspiring especially in these murky foggy days.

Video of the week: Mr. Prime Minister's visit to Wageningen (TV Gelderlander)