I was raised as an uptight Canadian gal. Maybe I lived under the illusion that I was an easy-going, laid-back, no frills, no problem type of person, but it took one trip to Amsterdam, twenty-five years ago, to prove me wrong. The Dutch epitomize the word casual, in all senses of the word: sexually, politically, religiously, and socially.
I remember looking out of my friend, Jules’ window, all those years ago onto a playground across the way. There were children playing in the sandbox, women sitting on park benches chatting the day away, and a businessman urinating on a tree… Double take… yes, a businessman, with attaché case peeing in public.
Now I have seen my fair share of drunks urinating in public in the wee hours of the morning, but never a well-suited fellow in broad daylight. According to Jules, public peeing was seen as a socially acceptable behavior; so much so, it was proving a health issue. So, instead of banning public peeing… voilà…
(Original source of the photo)
Note the fellow’s easy-going, laid-back, no frills, no problem stance. Note the lack of water and soap. The Dutch must be casual about personal hygiene as well.