You can vaguely describe Holland as the same as everywhere else, just with minute yet significant differences.
Almost in the same way that good looking celebrities have easily recognisable, yet frankly ugly siblings.
A case in point being that yesterday we had our first official kraamvisite.
A 'kraamvisite' is where people simply come to visit you and see the new baby, just like people do the entire world over and have done so for centuries.
The Dutch kraamvisite is slightly different, it is formal. Very formal. This is no drop-in-while-passing arrangement. Arranged strictly well in advance, a precise date and time agreed, and may the ghost of the little boy with his finger in the dyke haunt for eternity you should you serve anything other than the appropriate food and drinks to your guests.
Appropriate in this case being coffee strong enough to power a Prius, and ‘beschuit met muijses’, which are an inexplicable combination of toasted discs of bread covered in butter and sugared anise seed, pink or blue according to the genitalia of the person being celebrated.
Kraamvisites apply to acquaintances, colleagues, neighbours, and bizzarely your boss. Yesterday we played host to my boss.
What could possibly go wrong when two sleep deprived foreigners attempt to host an event of cultural significance for someone who has the power to remove their livelihood?
Theoretically, quite a lot.
One could ignore the traditions laid out above and serve stale chocolate chip cookies, with the pathetic reasoning that if they are good enough for one’s own dinner, they are good enough for the man who effectively puts them on the table.
One could choke said boss on appallingly made coffee, leaving him to pick cheap granules from between his teeth for hours afterwards.
One could have a baby on show who insisted on farting her way through the entire visit.
One could get said boss lost after begging a lift to the garage where the car that the boss pays for lay in a woeful state of repair due to negligence and therefore making him late home to his own wife and children.
One could be looking for a new job soon. Or host country.