Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Netherlands from Above (A Holanda Vista de Cima)

A new programme in the Dutch telly has been aired every Tuesday since the beginning of December 2011: Nederland van boven, with awesome godviews. It is divided into several themes (commerce, water, free time, nature,  underground, residencial areas, dangerous areas...). I believe I have watched this week part IV ("residencial areas").

Unfortunately the whole show (which takes 19 -20 minutes each) was removed from Youtube. Therefore I am posting here some short previews of it.  The images are stunning, plus there are some interviews with architects and people on the streets.

One of the interviews which called my attention took place in a helicopter with an architect who plainly classified the way people live in two major categories: alpha and betha. In general lines, according to him, the bethas like "things and machines like cars, caravans and boats, lots of material stuff around them, collections and an organized, calm public space, beautiful gardens"- thus the people who live in horizontal areas such as the suburbia. The Alphas (he considered himself also to be one) are " people who like books". They like authenticity, love consumming culture, zigzaging in confusing streets and be piled upon other people - they are the urban people who live in apartment blocks in the big cities. They find it fine. The bethas have an aversion to crowded, urban chaos.

Gosh ! I immediately recognized I used to be an alpha when I arrived in the NL - I like the style of living amongst different people, ethnic diversity, having quick access to public transport, lots of culture, shops, entertainment. In another words: being in the world !

But... Hey, I am an alpha person living a betha life for most of the time I live in the NL. I had to make this concession to my husband, who enjoys living in the village where he was born and near to his parents. But I guess most people cannot choose - they live not according to their nature, but according to what their financial conditions allow them. I confess that now I have learned to enjoy living in the suburbia in the complete silence and one stone away from the woods which I can spot from my bedroom window. Mostly, I like to live in a village because many things I can easily do with a bike, I have lots of space and I know more and more nice people here (more social connections). And the security !! With kids this is an ideal lifestyle. The public transport to Amsterdam is also excellent. However, I confess that even during the decade I worked daily in Amsterdam I "needed" go there also now and then on the weekends on a regular basis just to have a shot of adrenaline that only big cities can provide. I love enjoying the view of the historical buildings, I fantasize about the centuries old stories those walls would tell if they could speak... Yes, a village doesn't offer too much mental stimulation... :(   and can be quite monotonous :(   and people think and live more or less the same way ! 

For now, enjoy some previews of the show Holland from Above. As I mentioned before, the whole episodes were removed from Youtube. When they are uploaded again, I will publish them here. Notice how busy and crowded The Netherlands can be. It didn't impress me much when I first arrived here because Rio has millions and millions of people piled up. But now I recognize The Netherlands are a never ending urban area. You are never really alone here. There's really no middle of nowhere.

Another short preview of the second show:

Alphas and bethas fragment:

By the way... Are you an alpha or betha ? If you could choose... would it be a house in a village or an apartment in a big city ? Culture or nature ?
Upadate 19th January: a friend just sent me a link to all episodes:

1 comment:

Larissa, Lara, Lalá, .... said...

Muito legal!!!! Ana. Sabe, tenho muita vontade de conhecer a Holanda mas ianda nao tive oportunidade, quem sabe este ano .... Beijos