The Suitcase Lady


October 9, 2007, 9:58 pm

When I think of Holland, I do not visualize tulips and windmills. I think of cats and giants.

Dogs may visit French cafes, but cats live in many Dutch restaurants. The resident cat may be asleep on the chair you pull out or be rubbing against your legs as you dine. Cat lover that I am, this situation makes me feel right at home. If you are repulsed, remember that Holland is a land of canals, and cats perform valuable mouse duty.

The giants are everywhere as the Dutch are officially the tallest people in the world. It’s not as though they have a lot of growing room. The Netherlands is the size of two New Jerseys with a population of about 16 million. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. No one knows why the Dutch tower over the rest of the world, but good nutrition and health care are probable guesses.

Most young men in Holland have the stature of NBA basketball players, but it’s the women who are particularly striking. When Dutch women stride down the street, they resemble lithe giraffes. Their trim jeans on their trim legs seem to be never-ending.

The growth spurt must start early. Children with 7 year old faces have the legs of our 12 year olds. If only our American kids’ growth was going up instead of out!

Height is not reserved for the younger generations. People my age are also extremely tall. I did eat my peas when I was a kid, but, by Dutch standards, I seem to be missing about seven inches.

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