In the Achterhoek, a part of the eastern province of Gelderland that protrudes into Germany, water pipe cafés are apparently popping up like weeds, if we believe what the papers are saying.
‘Hookahs’ (aka water pipes) let people smoke flavored tobacco called ‘shisha’ in which the smoke is passed through a glass water basin before it is inhaled. Yes, it’s still smoking and it is unhealthy, but it is legal and currently circumvents the smoking ban. Hookahs can be smoked in public spaces and shisha lounges as long as there are no drugs such as hashish (soft drugs) in the pipe.
Even Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander does it. I vaguely remember trying it a while back with apple flavoured shisha, and just like smoking cigarettes, it didn’t agree with me.
(Link: www.gelderlander.nl, Photo of Hookah bar by now picnic, some rights reserved)
Tags: Achterhoek, Gelderland, hookah, smoking, water pipe
A Canadian tourist tried to pay a 54-year-old fine at the police station in The Hague during Christmas, but the police forgave his debt.
In 1956 Augustinus “Guus” Johannes Maria Niesink travelled with his sister Jo and her husband from Terborg in the Achterhoek region of the Netherlands (the -ink in the last name is a dead give away) to Maastricht in the South, when between Nijmegen and Venlo they were stopped by a policeman. It turned out Guus had faulty brakes on his Kaptein Mobylette (a discontinued Dutch moped brand from after the war when manufacturing mopeds was cheaper than importing them) and a fine was quickly drawn up.
A month later Guus boarded a ship of the Holland America Line to emigrate to Canada. He never returned, but he always kept his paper fine. He started his new life in Ottawa, and that is where he died a couple of weeks ago. On his deathbed Guus asked his son Patrick (50) to grant him one last wish: if Patrick found himself in the Netherlands, he would finally pay the fine.
(Photo: the police. Click the image for a larger version. Link: Der Westen)
Tags: Achterhoek, Canada, Canadian, emigration, fines, Holland America Line, traffic offences