Back in the days when the Shallow Man was still a mere teenager, and not the experienced advisor to the Expat community that he is today, a song he used to sing, much to the annoyance of family and friends, was by Corey Hart – Sunglasses at Night. I recently had the dubious pleasure of spending some time in a part of the Netherlands where the ladies and many of the men indeed do literally wear their sunglasses at night: Het Gooi, which brings me to the subject of today’s post.
But first some more guilty pleasure…
In Amsterdam, I often come across Expats that spend their time shuttling between their home country and this fair and wonderful city. The furthest many of them often get while in the Netherlands is to Central Station or Schiphol. In the interest of having something to report on other than his various activities in the Amsterdam social scene, the Shallow Man has left the comforts of the Pijp and, like Moses, wandered once more through this fine, flat and denim -clad land, at considerable discomfort to himself, so he can convince the Expat community to leave their luxury dwellings in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, and find another place to spend their easily earned Euro’s. The things I do for my readers!
The Gooische Commandments
While wandering through Het Gooi, through the lands of Blaricum, Laren, Bussum and Hilversum, I came across what I at first thought was a burning bush. It turned out to be flames and smoke from a barbecue on the well -manicured lawn of a well -known and powerful being, known by many names in countless languages. He spoke unto me and said, “Shallow Man, you shall advise Expats to visit the fair region known as Het Gooi, but, to prevent intercultural misunderstandings, thou shalt advise them what to expect when they arrive here.”
Thou Shalt Wear Thy Sunglasses At Night
Corey Hart obviously played an important part in the life of this region, since the Shallow Man can testify to the fact that he’s never seen so many people wearing sunglasses, regardless of the weather or time of day. The other explanation for this phenomenon could be due to the fact that so many people have whitened their teeth to such an extreme that staring at the California -white bleached teeth without sunglasses would surely cause permanent eye damage.
Thou Shalt Not Smile Naturally
The Shallow Man, being always beautifully dressed, often elicits admiring glances from men and women alike, except for in Het Gooi. I sensed that the people were desperate to reach out and show their appreciation for my elegant appearance, but could not, as their faces were full of a product known as Botox. When in Het Gooi, look carefully into the eyes of people, as the toll of years and years of plastic surgery leaves these as the only real form of human expression.
Thou Shalt Not Have Flat Breasts
Dear readers, I’ll let you all into a secret. The Shallow Man is fond of prominent breasts, however, having spent some time in Het Gooi, I feel like a 1970′s rock star who has survived years of substance abuse. In Het Gooi, I believe that there is a local law forbidding women to have natural breasts. Never has the Shallow Man seen so many surgically enhanced boobies in one place. This is from a man that has been to Los Angeles. The WonderBra is definitely not on sale in that region, there is simply no need for it. When going out to dinner, the ladies make two reservations, one for the boobies, then the rest of the body arrives five minutes later.
Thou Shalt Drive Thy Range Rover Everywhere
Range Rovers with a single occupant are driven everywhere. I sat at the excellent Cafe Restaurant Rust Wat, and watched as three Range Rovers, each with a single occupant, pulled into the car park, then their respective occupants greeted each other with much flashing of blinding white teeth and movement of eyes.
Thou Shalt Replace Thy Wife
Wives, like finely -tailored suits, can eventually go out of fashion. There are so many new and exciting fabrics constantly available, that it can become somewhat stressful to stay with the same model. The mothers in Het Gooi, a region where the women, having to cope with the daily stresses of updating their Facebook profiles, tweeting, shouting loudly into their smartphones and visiting the plastic surgeon for Botox top ups, and regular bleaching of their pearly whites, cannot be expected to spend time with their children.
For this reason, Au Pairs from all over the world can be seen coping with the ignominy of having to drive the latest Mini’s around town and being forced to wear second -hand designer clothes while tending to the young lilies of Het Gooi. Young, fresh, available “staff” can create a problem in marital relations and lead to an early upgrade of the current model.
Thou Shalt Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife/Husband
With many silicone- enhanced women in their late thirties and early forties regularly becoming available, this can lead to an overabundance of riches for the still married men in the region, and therefore to regular, not -so -discreet affairs.
Thou Shalt Covet His Male Or Female Servant Or His Range Rover Or Mini
With an abundant supply of cleaners, gardeners, security staff, drivers etc, and far too many people with too much time on their hands, the citizens of the region can hardly be expected to resist such obvious temptation.
Het Gooi is a beautiful part of the Netherlands, with high prices and upright bosoms to match. The Shallow Man advises bringing along some sunglasses, buying a WonderBra (if required), hiring a nice car and taking a tour of the region. If you follow my tips above, you’ll fit in perfectly.
*No Au pairs or Gardeners were hurt during the writing of this article.