Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dutch Logic

The Dutch Nationals in Tolmin, Slovenia, have started. We had a special day today. In the morning it looked like it was going to be a true racing day, but at 11 o'clock it already was obvious that there was not much lift on our task area. I missed the first start gate and was low on the second as well. I landed at the first turn point, only 16 km out. But it seems that a lot of people, including very good pilots, landed out today…
Anyway, my car was on the landing place and I decided to try to hitchhike back to it, because nobody of our team was in goal (and because I deserved the punishment). I left the glider in the field, took my harness and started walking. After 20 minutes, the official retrieve van passed me, empty and driving in the direction I needed to go to. Ideal! Ok, I did not pay for retrieve, but I said they could throw me out any time they wanted to. Any distance I could make towards Tolmin was just nice.
International experience tells you this:
  • the Mexicans would drive by with a van that's going to break down in a few km, with 14 gliders on the roof and 10 pilots in the completely filled van. And they'd be insulted if you turned down their offer.
  • the Japanese immediately call the team leader who gives you within a few seconds a clear answer on whether you can drive along a bit or not
  • the Austrians would already be drunk and wouldn't even notice that you're not an Austrian
  • the Belgians would take you as far as they could. If the bus would really fill up, they'd say "sorry dude, but we'll have to drop you off here. Here's a few beers, do we need to call anyone for you?"
Dutch logic works differently. There seem to be fundamental cultural and behavioral differences. For the Dutchies, organization is important. Rules are clear rules. Nobody on the retrieve van. Not even without a glider and if you're saying yourself that they're free to throw you off at any time. I could only stand there flabbergasted and had to laugh about it :-)


  1. Or how to spoil a friendly ambience ... It's a pitty. What could have been a winwin situation, is now the opposite. What was there to loose by giving you a ride ? They even could have asked some contribution. ... Narrow minded, if you ask me.
    Jan L (yes ... from Belgium)

  2. been there, done that, already several years ago ... . Typical Dutch, rule is rule.
    Jan H

  3. I suggest you just go for the dutch title and don't share any belgian beer anymore with them