All that’s spice can’t be nice

21st April 2019 0 By Nandini

‘It gets especially out of hand in the evenings when at 10 pm at night, a bus arrives on the street and twenty people stand outside it, including children talking and laughing loudly carrying bags of rice. It’s not New Delhi on the Amstel’! For a (Dutch) resident of Westwijk in Amstelveen, this strange behaviour on the part of their Indian neighbours adds up to a form of harassment. The detail of ‘rice-carrying’ in the complaint especially catches my attention. It’s almost as if the complainant has already begun to smell what’s coming.

A distressed Amstelveense Indian resident in turn writes to ‘Shallowman of Amsterdam’ (good to know that agony uncles exist alongside agony aunts) asking for help against his Dutch neighbour who cannot bear the smell of (his) home food.

‘We moved to an apartment in Amstelveen and unfortunately got an old Dutch lady as our neighbor. She has trouble with people coming from other countries and staying over here. Hence, at minimum chance, she keeps on writing abusive letters about how “nasty and disturbing” our native (Indian) cooking smell is, and asks us to “leave her land”. Every time she sees us, she starts shouting abusive words. Even the other neighbours living in this apartment find her letters abusive and discriminatory, but she never stops. My wife and me are really tired of bearing this abuse and disturbance every alternate day. If you know any good legal service or complaint cell who can resolve this once and for all, that would be really helpful’!

And this ‘old Dutch lady’ is not the only one getting abusive. Complaints of the smell of spice, which lingers on in corridors is making some (otherwise) nice Dutch people feel not so nice. And they want an end to those busloads with their bags of rice!

It appears that in the land of the blowing wind there’s no fresh solution to this rather peculiar phenomenon. But who was it that recently told me of Mr. Daan Rosegaarde (of Dutch origin) who has designed a vacuum cleaner to suck the smog out of Peking? Maybe there’s a job awaiting him back home in Amstelveen.

Because ahem, looks like those rice-carrying folks are only increasing in number. Because ahem, we, in the Netherlands need these ‘knowledge migrants’ to work in ICT, Financial and other such-like industries on the border between Amsterdam and Amstelveen. Lekker goedkoop.

And they have their rice and eat it too.

  1. Links: ‘We live in Amstelveen and not India on the Amstel’

2. Link to ‘Shallowman in Amsterdam’ site