Tom, from Scotland, has lived in The Netherlands since 1972 and has a Dutch wife. The reporter of the world famous weekly newspaper The Posthoorn (chosen by 75% of their readers as their favourite alternative cat litter) passes Tom's pub on his way to the office. It was a windy, rainy day and no one was sitting outside.
The reporter goes inside. Tom sits with his friend at a table covered with what looks like a Persian carpet, which feels a bit sticky to the touch and one hopes is spilled beer. How is Tom is getting his English beers now that the sun is showing itself less and less? Tom hugs his lukewarm beer: "With the cold weather we had to come up with a solution. We decided to put the pints in the microwave. After two weeks we had the perfect English beer." And consulting an Excel sheet: "12 seconds was the perfect time to produce a flat beer, after cooling down of course."
Is Tom cheered by the news that some judges ruled that the British government does not have the authority to proceed with the UK's exit from the EEC without the approval of parliament? "I'm trapped," he says. "I could take it easy, but with the election in the Netherlands in March, there could be a Nexit and they could kick me out and I might need a visa to visit my wife and friends." Tom's wife, waiving around her sixth Calvados: "You will always be welcome with a Visa Card darling."
Anything else he wants to tell his followers? He sighs: "Ah, yes, I do not give 3 kisses on the cheek anymore when meeting friends and family as is a Dutch habit. Now they have to do with just 2 kisses, like French kissing." And when meeting your male friends? "No, sorry just a manly handshake, the same for people I meet for the first time. Another thing, if you go to a birthday in the Netherlands you congratulate the one who has a birthday, but also every body present." And what is the custom in Scotland? "Only the one whose birthday it is, usually this person is already wiped out as he has to drink to his health all the time, and then you head straight for the bar. Here it takes the whole evening, hardly time for a drink or snack. And then you go home. Sober."
Looking forward to the holidays? "Well, my wife is making me a Christmas pudding, getting me used to Christmas dinners in Scotland. I wonder if she got the recipe right. She seems to take the pudding out of the cupboard every 2 days and pours brandy over it, after tasting the brandy first of course. I fear for my house."
A ping in the bar's kitchen announces another beer is ready. Tom takes up his oven gloves to get it out of the microwave. A few minutes and he can enjoy his beer. This reporter refuses a friendly request to try it and says his goodbyes.
Posthoorn Interview no. 5: Tom 'Brexit prepper' or 'Nexit prepper"?
28-11-2016 16.10 hrs.