Dutch Tissues


In the Netherlands everything is more than a little bit Dutch. This isn’t meant pejoratively mind you, but after living there for a year, my mind couldn’t help but pursue the Platonic form behind the nation’s artifacts; the “Dutchness” of things. Like Canadian TV shows: you can’t define it, but you know it when you see it.

The translations of words from Dutch to English are either nearly congruent or laughably dissimilar. The Dutch word for orange is oranje (though the fruit is sinasappel). A movie theatre is a bioscoop, which is obviously messed up. Open is open, and closed is gesloten. And tissues? Handkerchief. Well not really, they’re gezichtsdoekjes, but this particular brand decided to take some licence, I guess.

I can’t really explain why I kept these. The ten tissues that came in this package had a rough and unfriendly texture, not unlike the paper towels used in high school biology labs. Maybe it’s that blue-petalled flower with a green centre. It’s just so… Dutch.