This drives us crazy.
It is also a strength of the Netherlands. There are many rules to make sure that this country runs like the metaphorical oiled machine and if there is a problem they fix it. Sounds wonderful we admit that.
However.. there are so many rules. It is overwelming. There are rules for rules and they are for other rules and we haven’t talked about the exceptions yet. It is so much and it is everywhere and it is all the time.
If there is a problem, no matter how small they try to fix it. Which often goes together with more rules, exceptions and in the end new problems.
For example (and this are just recent examples). We have lots of cycle paths which is great and necessary for the large amount of bicycles we have in the Netherlands. However there is someone who complained about cyclists who cycle faster than others. Which led to the newest plan: make two different cycling paths…. We wonder…: why? Is it too hard to watch out for each other and just share the good cycling path that is already there?
Or another example (and this stings because it sucks everytime we see it) there is this road when you enter Hilversum from the side of Amsterdam. It used to be a beautiful road with beautiful magistic trees. Truely a high class entrance for our town. For some reason they chopped them all down. It looked like a failed haircut, but that wasn’t the weirdest part. Now they planted new young trees which just looks pathetic and especially compared to those wonderful old big trees which used to be there.
Last example to make our point. Melanie recently graduated in psychology which is great and it is finally time to work and make some money. Here comes the problem. When you are a psychologist with a scientific education you are not done yet. There is a postacademic education (18.000 euro!! and there are only a few spots per year) that is needed to get contracts with health insurers. Sounds like a real and decent quality check right? However for all other professions like nursing, dental hygienists, dentists, physical therapy and even doctors there is no postacademic education needed. The rules are twisted and it leads to unnecessary costs, frustration and a whole bunch of motivated psychologists who are ready and willing to help people, but are held back because of this law.
In South Africa, well there are a lot less rules and it is alot less structured. Somehow thoses people live there lives just fine. It feels liberating to not have to think of every useless rule every second of the day. Secretely we are curious if we are ever going to miss the Dutch well defined structure, guess we just have to experience and see 😉
Wiebe & Melanie