This weekend, one of my Dutch visitors apparently thought that there is something so aberrant about my living alone in isolation that I must surely need to be “fixed.” By Dutch standards, my preferences are definitely not normative; the Dutch are, in the main, a gregarious people and I would be surprised if there is anywhere in that country where you can get more than a few hundred feet from one’s neighbors.

With the total size of the Netherlands at 41,500 square kilometers, 17 million people, and a population density of 488 people per square kilometer, the Netherlands is the most densely populated country in the European Union and one of the mostly densely populated countries in the world. By contrast, there is a population density in Brewster County TX of only 1 person per square kilometer.

So it must be very strange indeed for a Dutchman to be suddenly surrounded by so much apparently empty space. I have a good friend out here who says it is natural for many people living in isolation to become downright weird. I am not offended by this Dutchman’s conclusion… it is natural but dead-wrong… and nothing personal taken.

The day after the Dutch left, my friend Erik sent me this video that demonstrates that weirdness is not restricted to uninhabited places. I find this video strangely reassuring. England has a population density of 413 people per square kilometer, not so different from Holland.

“Round-about Spotting”? “Apostraphe Protection Society”? “Letter Box Study Group”?





Groove of the Day

Listen to the Trashmen performing “The Bird is the Word”


Weather Report

82° and Clear to Partly Cloudy


3 Responses to “weird”

  1. 1 Willow54
    October 25, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Like yourself, I think we Brits would rail against the ‘weird’ label. I think I prefer ‘eccentric’ to describe some of our interests and obsessions. Great Britain is one of the most diverse and multicultural societies on the planet. We’re bound to exhibit some characteristics that others outside of our land might find confusing or even scary, but on the whole we are a great bunch of people with a tolerance and understanding of others that is very creditable.

    Ask any average Brit and you will probably find out that they are interested in/obsessed by something that you might think is out of left field. We have clubs and societies for just about everything. We start them young, sending our kids to after school clubs to get them fired up on soccer, tennis, horse riding, swimming etc. In high school they develop interests in music, fashion, video gaming and more. In college they join political groups, sports clubs and other more off-the-wall fraternities. Finally, in adulthood, they enjoy roundabout spotting, canal boat building and model railroads to name but a few. It’s an incredibly diverse range of interests that we display here in the UK. It reflects the expansiveness of the community here, but it’s certainly not weird.

    • October 25, 2016 at 9:26 am

      I’m sorry if you felt the label “weird” was offensive, but as a title for a post it just seemed to have more punch than “eccentric” — fewer syllables, too. I have learned through my own experience to not take such pronouncements personally. Anyway, I don’t care what other people think of me. That is probably the weirdest thing about me.

      • 3 Willow54
        October 26, 2016 at 5:07 am

        Dan, I wasn’t offended by the weird label, merely anxious to explain the possible misunderstanding of it by anyone who has no experience of Britain or the British people. Believe me when I say sometimes we take a lot of understanding. Our actions can leave some people aghast e.g. Brexit.
        Anyway I do agree with you that other people’s opinions don’t always count for much in a personal sense. If there’s one thing Brits are renowned for, it’s having a thick skin.

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