• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Lucie de Nooij | NIKHEF | The Netherlands

View Blog | Read Bio

The new employee

After six months of working at the Nikhef, the people who are paying me, invited me for their introduction day. “An informative and relaxed afternoon. You will find out the benefits of your contract, meet other new employees and lunch is served. Your attendance is compulsory, please let us know if you will be there.” I think the last sentence of this paragraph is an excellent introduction to the Dutch mindset.

In Holland we have different kinds of forbiddeness. Most things are legal: biking, eating, normal things. Some things are illegal: please refer to the Dutch law for an extended list of illegal actions. But there is also a third category: things that are illegal, but allowed. This would include the use and owning of cannabis, prostitution and riding a bike on the wrong side of the street. It is now easy to spot a tourist in Amsterdam’s city center: they wait at the sign “do not cross”. To the Dutch such a sign only indicates: “please pay extra attention when crossing here.”

This makes the rather paradoxical statement that you have to be there AND announce your attendance a little less confusing. To me “obligatory” is as binding as “informative”. If you ever visit the Netherlands, don’t take us to seriously, we don’t do that either 🙂

Share