HOLANDIJA – THE NETHERLANDS – NEDERLAND

 

Cvece u svim bojama-The flowers in all colours
Cvece u svim bojama-The flowers in all colours
Ekoloska poruka-An eco message

Ekoloska poruka-An eco message

Gauda, Gradska kuca-The Gouda City Hall

Gauda, Gradska kuca-The Gouda City Hall

Kanal u Lajdenu-A canal in Leiden

Kanal u Lajdenu-A canal in Leiden

Kraljevska palata na Dam skveru u Amsterdamu-The Royal Palace in the Dam Square in Amsterdam

Kraljevska palata na Dam skveru u Amsterdamu-The Royal Palace in the Dam Square in Amsterdam

Razne poslastice-Various sweets

Razne poslastice-Various sweets

Replika broda Batavia-Ship replica of the Batavia

Replika broda Batavia-Ship replica of the Batavia

Vetrenjace u selu Kinderdijk-View of windmills at Kinderdijk

Vetrenjace u selu Kinderdijk-View of windmills at Kinderdijk

Zemlja lala, sireva, kanala, klompi,vetrenjača, ali i zemlja Brojgela, Van Goga, Van Dajka, Rembranta, Vermera. Roman Devojka sa bisernom minđušom otvara mi vrata prošlih vremena u kojima su živeli i stvarali ti slikari, otvara se drugačija Holandija koja je odavno osvajala svetska mora, ali i “krala” zemlju od svog mora. Prvi istraživači i osvajači udaljenih krajeva planete bili su, uz Portugalce, i Holanđani. Ovaj sposoban narod još u ta davna vremena počeo je svojom obalom da ulazi u more i tako proširuje obradive površine. Holanđani su veoma posebni i razlikuju se od naroda kojima su okruženi.

Jedan od mojih omiljenih Holanđana, skoro da bih ga nazvao i “letećim”, toliko je vremena provodio u avionima, zove se Theo van der Rijk, tako tipičnog imena za svoju zemlju. Kao predstavnik kompanija za priozvodnju silikonskih implantata sigurno je više putovao nego ja, a sretali smo se na skoro svim kongresima plastične hirurgije u svetu. To je jedini čovek koga poznajem, koji je bežao od cunami talasa na Tajlandu i završio na vrhu palme čvrsto se držeci za nju. Krupan, okruglog crvenog lica, sa brčićima, nasmejan i vedar, otvorenog duha i sa neskrivenim osećanjem zakasnelog straha, uvek bi veselo pričao o tom svom nesvakidašnjem doživljaju.

Amsterdam je glavni grad, ali je kao mala velika metropola takođe najpoznatije i sigurno najzanimljivije mesto u ovoj zemlji. Tipična arhitektura malih zgrada od cigle u raznim bojama, smeštenih duž brojnih kanala, čini ga veoma posebnim. Zbog toga je dobio naziv Venecija severa, tako karakterističan za mnoga mesta na svetu koja se nalaze na vodi i dodaju svom nazivu venecijansku odrednicu. Šetajući odavno, kao student, duž tih kanala, bio sam oduševljen lepotom kuća, ali i tada, kao i danas, za evropske uslove malo nesvakidašnjim i slobodnijim načinom ponašanja ovog naroda. Sa svojim školskim drugom i kasnije kumom Nebojšom Lalićem, sa kojim sam tada bezbrižno krstario evropskim prestonicama, uživao sam u opojnom mirisu maruhuane koji se slobodno širio iz barova, dok smo veselo komentarisali Kvart crvenih fenjera, kao i slobodno (ne)obučene devojke u izlozima. U to vreme za nas, studente sa Istoka, to je bilo nešto vrlo neobično.

Upoznavali smo unutrašnjost Holandije i male gradove od kojih nam je Harlem bio najzanimljiviji. Na centralnom gradskom trgu, koji se naziva Grote Markt, nalazi se gradska kuća iz XIV veka, iz koje nedeljom pre podne polaze svadbene kočije sa mladencima. Harlem je najvažniji centar trgovine lalama, a poznat je i termin tulipomania kada je, početkom XVII veka, cena pupoljka tog cveta dostizala cenu deset puta veću od godišnje plate dobrog zanatlije. Bio je to jedan od prvih primera ekonomske spekulacije u svetu.

Hag predstavlja bolnu tačku svetskih diktatora i nepravednih ratnika. Moj prijatelj Čeda Radojković trenutno je ambasador Srbije u Holandiji, a njegova supruga Jelena, poznati beogradski borac za ljudska prava, stalno me elektronskom poštom obaveštava o događajima u Haškom tribunalu.

Ako ni po čemu drugom, Hag nam je, nažalost, zbog toga, postao veoma blizak.

Jun 2012.
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The country of tulips, cheese, canals, clogs, windmills, but also of Brueghel, Van Gogh, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. The novel ‘A Girl with a Pearl Earring’ opens the door to times gone when these artists lived and created their art; a different Holland appears that has already conquered foreign seas, but also ‘stolen’ land from its own sea. The first explorers and conquerors, apart from the Portuguese were the Dutch. These entrepreneurial people have long ago started to reclaim the land from the sea, thus enhancing the surface of the soil that could be cultivated. The Dutch are people apart and are quite different to the peoples that surround them.

One of my favorite Dutch people, I would even go as far as to call him a ‘flying Dutchman’, as he certainly spent so much time on aeroplanes, was  Theo van der Rijk, a name quite typical of his homeland. As a representative of a company producing silicone implants, he must have travelled more than me, and we kept meeting at almost all congresses of plastic surgeons around the world. He is the only man that I know who ran away from the tsunami in Thailand and ended up on top of a palm tree, hanging on to it for dear life. He was of large build, with a round, red face, with  a mustache, smiling, cheerful and open-minded and with an unconcealed feeling of delayed fear, he would always recount his unusual adventure in an animated way.

Amsterdam is the capital, but as a small and at the same time big metropolis, it is certainly the most interesting place in this country. A typical architecture of narrow buildings made of multicolored bricks, situated on the side of numerous canals, makes it a unique place. That is why it has been called the Northern Venice, like many other cities on water that have been bestowed the Venetian link. As a student, as much as today, I was delighted, walking by the canals, with the beauty of the houses as well as the unconventional  behavior of these people. During our carefree student days, my school friend and later my best man, Nebojša Lalić, and myself enjoyed traveling through various European cities; in Amsterdam we enjoyed the heady smell of marijuana freely wafting from the bars, while we commented on the Red Light District and scantily clad girls in shop windows. At the time, this was something quite unusual for us, as students from the East of Europe.

We explored the countryside in Holland as well the small towns and we found Haarlem the most interesting of them all. On the main square, called the Grote Markt, you can find the City Hall from the 14th century from where wedding carriages leave on a Sunday morning. Haarlem is the most important center of tulip trade, and it is known that in the early 17th century  tulipomania broke out, the price of a tulip bud reaching the level of ten annual salaries of a craftsman at the time. This was one of the first examples of the economic bubble in the world.

The Hague is a sore point for every dictator or those fighting on the wrong side. My friend, Čeda Radojković, is currently the Serbian Ambassador in the Netherlands and his wife Jelena, a known Belgrade human rights activist, keeps me constantly up-to-date by email about the happenings at the Hague Tribunal.

If for no other reason, we got to know the Hague very well because of the Tribunal, unfortunately.

June 2012

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