Friday, December 9, 2011

Volendam - Kitsch souvenirs, Cocaine and the Paling Sound

If you are looking for a very typical Dutch fishing village you can visit within a couple of hours then Volendam is a must see. You can also combine it with a boat trip to Marken.

It seems the population of Volendam form a quite closed community of hard working people - and are pretty expressive cocaine users as well. It made national news a while ago. Sad.
Volendam is packed with tourists during the weekends. Souvenir shops with lots of kitsch souvenirs galore ! It is also possible to have yourself portraited in a very old fashioned way. This woman is going to be transformed into a typical Dutch woman. Okay, not a modern Dutch woman but one with those folklorical clothes, pointy lace hat in an over loaded background. I always wanted to have pics of my kids like Volendam fisheman and cheese girl in order to send some to my parents - but my son refuses it fiercely. My little girl accepted it, with clogs, tulips, cheese and everything else.
By the way, would you like to check how the client above got the looks of  a traditional Volendammer ? Have a look below:
Kitsch Pretty good !
At these souvenir shops annex photo shop you can find on the glass windows a lot of famous Dutch people dressed and protrayed like that: singers, actors, TV hosts and even Brazilian football players !

My little girl bravely decided to go with me to the back of the shop where lots and lots of clothes and accessories were. We were helped by an experienced photographer/salesperson and in two minutes my daughter was completely ready for the shots. She posed for the pics and within two minutes we were out of the shop - however,  we should wait a couple of hours to have the pics printed and in our hands. Then we decided meanwhile to jump into a boat packed with tourists an visit Marken.
At the end of the afternoon we picked up my little girl's photo and decided to pay a visit to a bar with the kids and the rest of the family before driving back home for dinner.

Some tourists were departing back to Amsterdam and the locals were arriving at the bar annex restaurant. Many locals were arriving to drink (and already get stoned ?) and asking for extra stools. I could see the bar owner was rather concerned in arranging chairs for the loyal clients than for the tourists. I have heard the youth of Volendam are avid consummers of cocaine (50% to 80% porcent of all youngsters below 25 years old consumme cocaine everyweekend. The police says the youth  in this village thinks sniffing cocaine is a "normal thing". Source: here. ) Anyway... There was a screen above the bar with typical scenes from Volendam and the back ground  music was... Well, palingsound !! It's is weekend, you live in Holland Volendam and what else could you ask for ? Beer, cocaine and paling sound,of course ! (Nee, niet voor mij. Dankje. )
I love "paling". Paling the fish, not the sound (it is "eel" and juicy & delish delicious, not euwh !)  
The fishing village of Volendam is also the birth place of many famous dark haired Dutch singers (The Cats, Jan Smit, Simon and Nick and many others) and their typical Dutch style of pop music. It is called "The Paling Sound". It seems the artists themselves do not see it as a negative label (Duh! The Dutch are always 100% proud of their produce).  Check more about the paling sound on the video below. Nick and Simon traveled with a very tall Dutch model to Florence and sing "Rosanne". Why they hired a Dutch beauty for the video and not an Italian one I have no idea. Anyway, the paling sound... Best irritant en idioot melodie  - but the Dutch cannot get enough of it. My little daughter and I guess all the kids at her school love singing Rosanne. This video has over 7 million views. Not bad for a country with a population of 16 million !


Invader_Stu said...

I've been there a few times. It's a nice place.

Anonymous said...

Esses caipiras cheiram hein ?