So... As I write this I'm sitting on a train, opposite me is a well dressed kid of around 18. You know what I just saw him doing? He licked his finger and wiped some dirt off his trainers, he then licked the same finger again without so much as wiping it and used it to clean another bit of dirt off the same trainer. That could have been dog **** on his trainer. Gross-out.
A while ago I saw a well dressed Dutch woman eating a sandwich on a train. She took it out of the packet and put it directly on the train table with nothing between the bread and the dirty table. You can bet that table has never been cleaned. She picked it up, took a bite, and put it back down and repeated until the sandwich was gone. 5 or so bites. Gross-out.
A few months ago I saw a professional looking Dutch woman take a contact lens out of her eye in the middle of a busy train and put it in her mouth. Then she spat it out and put it back in her eye. Like saliva is clean enough to clense something that spends hours in close contact with her eyeball. I felt quite sick. Gross-out.
Over a year ago I was driving in Delft and stopped at a red light. I looked into my rear view mirror and what did I see? The driver behind he was picking his nose. Gross I thought. Then he ate what he just dug out of his nose. I was almost too nauseous to pull away when the light changed. Gross-out.
Last story. I keep seeing Dutches leaving the mens room without washing their hands. At my work and at schiphol airport I've seen this. Imagine all the things these dirty people are touching with their filty hands. Gross-out.
What is wrong with these people? Don't they have any concept of cleanliness? Don't they know what bacteria are? They remind me of the retarded kid at my school who used to eat stones.
I read recently (not in Dutch media even) that the temperature of the water is actually irrelevant; it's the soap and agitation that counts.
If was coming down with more colds and flus, I think I'd be p*ssed off...but I get less and they are less severe. I'm guessing the more moderate climate (for me) has a lot more to do with it.
I mean, I see a lot of stuff that bugs me, but, beyond some weird adversion to gloves when preparing food, I don't find people any less sanitary here than what I'm used to.
As my nana used to say, "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die." Maybe a wee bit of "yuk" is necessary to build up natural immunities?
And is it really that better in other countries? http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/04/idUS24893+04-Jun-2011+BW20110604 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7253872/Britains-dirty-bedrooms-some-people-wash-their-sheets-three-times-a-year.html
Can't live in more than one country at a time, pepe!
See, the flaw on one side of the argument is in saying something is "typically Dutch" which isn't necessarily so from my experience. But the flaw on the other side is in saying "it's the same elsewhere" which still doesn't make it right.
I would argue, well, we shouldn't excuse something as just "human nature" or "Dutch" or "British". If anything, it's this universal apathetic attitude that conforming to others' poor standards is good enough. And it isn't.
Another thing. As I got on a train today I stood by the doors because it's busy and I don't expect a seat, the door closed. I'm in a fairly spacious area in a moving train with good air flow with no-one closer than 2 meters to me. All I could smell was bad breath, and I mean advanced dental decay here, not a forgot to brush smell. It smells like death but no-one else seems to notice it. Everyone near me looks well dressed like they are on their way to work but the smell is overwhelming. I had to move. I'm not sure who that smell came from but whoever it was must have had some nasty dental pain to tell them there was a problem. Don't they have dentists here? Or are people too tight to go see them?
A major reason MANY people don't get the dental treatment they need is dental phobia, which is far more common than many realise. There is very very little offered in this country for people who have a genuine phobia or severe anxiety about the dentist, and what is offered is at a very high price.
Also from what I've seen of several Dutch dentists (been in the room while my bf had work done on 4 occasions) they would terrify the bejesus out of me even more than the ones back in the UK. They are butchers and have noooo manner with scared patients, they are snappish, lecturing, rushed, rough and intolerant. My bf has a ton of work not done because of fear.
So before you judge that person and think they're disgusting and lazy? Consider that there's a good chance they're just absolutely terrified and 100x more miserable than you are.
An interesting point. Someone said above there are lot of people with cold and cough here . I agree. But then I also agree to CW's experience, since I moved here I get less occurances of cold every year. Could that be explained? I also have been in many countries, but the number of people I see down with cold here is noticeably higher. Is it because of overcrowding?? Then do I get less of it because I have acquired better immunity moving around the world??