PURE GARBAGE: OLD HOLLAND

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Nature in its wild state in the burg of Blaricum, in North Holland

When someone says Holland, you probably think Amsterdam. When someone says Amsterdam, you probably think expensive. But if you want to see expensive, there is a little village, an atavistic throwback nestled in the analog past, perhaps an hour out of Amsterdam.

Blaricum–the most expensive town you’ve never heard of:

The worst thing about Blaricum–or, the BEST thing, maybe–is that it is not touristy at all. There is nothing to see. There is nothing to do. There is no reason for you to go to Blaricum…well, unless you want to try the homemade ice cream or find folks who don’t speak English or see a village with no canals or watch locals riding bikes in a thunderstorm as though it were a bright sunny day. Or visit the closest thing to Hobbiton. So, don’t expect anything near Amsterdam if you wander off the beaten track one day and find yourself in Blaricum.

This is what Wikipedia has to say:    “Blaricum (Dutch pronunciation: ( listen)) is a municipality and village in the province of North Holland, the Netherlands. It is part of the region of Gooiland. It is known for its many monumental farm buildings, local cafes and restaurants, nature, several annual community events and extensive up-market residential areas.

According to statistics published by the Dutch land registry office in February 2011, Blaricum is the most expensive location to purchase a house in the Netherlands. The average home in Blaricum costs €800,000 and has risen an average of 12% over the last year.[5] Many Dutch celebrities live here, including Rene FrogerAnita MeijerPaul de LeeuwGordonJerney KaagmanJohn de MolAnita Witzier and Marco Borsato.”

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Blaricum cafe in unique architectural building

So one day, I look out my window and discover I’m in Blaricum, the high-end burg of Holland. Garbage is what I see. Of course, I see the monumental farm buildings; the local cafes; the extensive up-market residences; and the nature, including an ostrich and a llama–you can tell it’s a llama and not an alpaca because llamas have big, banana-shaped ears…which you cannot see in these photos, so you’ll probably argue it’s an alpaca.  But what strikes me as most interesting in Blaricum is the garbage. You can tell it’s marvelous garbage. High-class, high-end trash. What garbage ought to look like everywhere. And what trash collectors, maybe, should look like everywhere.

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One of the high-end homes of Hobbiton…er…Blaricum, with thatched roof and dormers

But let’s talk trash:

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First, garbage is separated before pickup. Here, this green container just for glass is separated by color of glass (notice the metal below the container).
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A local lady dumps her glass into the green container. A crane picks up the green container, but the green container contains a much larger container below (the metal in previous photo is the top of the larger container)
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The driver dumps the trash into the truck from his forward position
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The lady  wanders away to her upscale home. When empty, the container is lowered.
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And the larger container below the green container slides neatly below the surface, so we don’t ever see a mess. The llama chews upscale grass (you think it’s an alpaca, don’t you?).
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The lady on the bike rides away, the llama continues with dinner, and the crane rises
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The driver swings the crane into place, the llama wonders: “What the BEEP, why do those people think I’m an alpaca?”
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The llama returns to dinner, the crane is secured on the trailer, the driver descends  a la deus ex machina
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The trash disappears, the lady disappears, the llama disappears. Soon, the truck disappears. Wealthy people know how to live well…and apparently, how to separate and disappear garbage from their lives.
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Lopsided, perhaps, but banana-shaped ears. FYI: You can trust me. I will never lie to you. Oh, and by the way, I have a bridge I’m looking to sell…cheap.

You can find other entries in the WP Discover Challenge here: Analog

You can find other entries to WP Photo Challenge here: Pure

You can find other entries to Lucile’s Rehab here:    Photo Rehab

 

113 comments

  1. It’s not often that I enjoy a post that’s about a load of old garbage, but I liked this one. I’m nowhere near as well traveled as you are, but I have been to the Netherlands a few times and have always loved the place. As far as I know, I’ve never been in Blaricum, though. If I had, I’m sure I’d have remembered that camelid. I’d have sworn it was a vicuna with a wearing a wooly coat, but I’ll take your word that it’s a llama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HA! Bun…I don’t usually write about a load of garbage, but sometimes about a load of sh*t. I know what you mean about loving the Netherlands–what’s not to love, eh? Greenery, trees, grass, water, grass.
      As for the camelid—vicuna, llama, alpaca…who really knows what’s what with those guys?? I’d ask to make certain what it is but there’s nobody to ask!

      Liked by 1 person

      • To be honest, I can’t distinguish between them either. I knew the word camelids and that there were four types because we did a project on the Andes in elementary school, but I’ve long since forgotten how you tell the difference between them (if I even knew). The bit about banana ears did ring a bell, though. 🙂

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        • Actually there are five Camelids. The llama is the largest, friendly and the most inquisitive. It is also considerably larger, with a flat back which makes it a great pack animal, than the next three( I hear that either the Llama or Alpaca can be housebroken) Yes it has the longer ears, the others have much smaller ones. The Guanaco seems to be slightly smaller and is known for it’s reddish, silky coat and sleeker build. It is good about adapting to it’s surroundings. Then there is the Alpaca which has pointier ears and a tuft on its head which the llama does not. There is actually two varieties; the huacaya and suri. They are easy to tame/train and although sweet, slightly shyer. It is the favorite of designers for it’s warm wool which is surpassed only by that of the Vicuna (pretend I put the enye sign over the “n”). The Vicuna is the wild, endangered specie and also the smallest of the camelids. It has the finest of all the wools, but because it is also timid, harder to locate and tame. Finally of course, the camel, which is known to be quite cantankerous, is quite functional.
          Thought you boys would like that tidbit. I just love your blogs BF. It opens up all kinds of questions for me, forcing me to do my due diligence. I bet you are a great teacher.
          As for the trash. I noticed there are three colored receptacles, yet one big one beneath it. Are there segments in the big truck as well? It doesn’t look like it.
          So it raises a question. What’s the point? Why not just put it all in one?
          In California, we have three containers. Blue is for recyclables and that includes glass and paper. They give you a list of what qualifies, plus many products are stamped with a triangle and arrows indicating that it is. Then green for shrubbery. We have grey for garbage/trash. My sister in law says that half the time one truck dumps them all in one container anyway, I’ve not seen that to be the case, so who knows?
          Oh, as an added tidbit, an orgle is the sound made by an horny llama or alpaca.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m now more knowledgeable about camelids than at any previous point in my life! I really hope a question about them comes up in a TV quiz show sometime soon while it’s still fresh in my mind. My kids would be so impressed! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • You could have written a post on this stuff, girl! And right…just how does that glass get separated is what we want to know now, and does it actually GET separated…or is it all for show? And just so you know, I’ve been known to orgle at times.

            Liked by 1 person

        • You remember all that (and what else?) from elementary school? Jeesh…I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten most of what I’d learned from all my school days. I had to go to Peru to discover the difference, but I went there mostly because it’s legal to chew coca leaves (they even advise you to chew them because of the altitude).

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Badfish and assorted wildlife! So good to hear from you, even if it’s about expensive garbage and several very similar photos in a row. Meanwhile I was in my hometown briefly and checked up on the castle for you – still there!

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    • Hey Movie…good to hear from you too, even if it’s about my garbage and not so different photos! Hey, you gotta make a post with the photos you got, dude!
      You know, I am CERTAIN that castle was not there when I was there. But maybe it was partially there and we couldn’t go inside? It was a long time ago. You sent me photos though, right? They could have been fake!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yugoslavia was a make-believe country dreamed up by a film director that Tito was at heart. Did you know that he watched one movie a night no matter when he came home, played for him by his personal cinematographer who wrote all seen titles in neat notebooks So yes, I can see him go all this way to fake postcards in order to trick one Badfish. Also, you must see Ljubljana again – nothing will look familiar. Also, makes a good double bill with Bhutan. (The documentary about Tito and his films has a title Cinema Komunisto.)

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        • You sure know how to mess with a guy’s head. What was the name of that movie, because I’m pretty sure I was an extra in that movie, one of a cast of thousands…who saw no castle dammit. I’m pretty sure Tito had it in for me. I HAVE seen Ljubljana…well, maybe it’s been 20 years AFTER they put the castle there. Cafes and stores where tin smiths used to work. You know, I’m beginning to remember looking up at a castle now…really. Something must have been up there.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Holy Alpaca! That is THE MOST UNUSUAL garbage collection system I’ve ever seen. I would have expected this kind of engineering from their German neighbours.

    … and because a huge crane on a garbage truck is peculiar enough, there had to be a llama in there as well.

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  4. I wondered which part of the world you’d end up – so happy it’s only just across a sea channel from me. I’ve been to the Netherlands a few times, but have to say that Blaricum escaped my attention. I did spend some time in Amersfort (has a few things to see, but doesn’t take long) visiting a friend, and on a day he was working (having seen everything in Amersfort), took off for Rotterdam to see an art show. But somehow “return ticket to Rotterdam” translated as “single ticket to Deventer”, not one to turn down an adventure, that’s where I went and very happy I did. Felt like I’d stepped back to the set of a 1940s film. Who knows, maybe I’ll be sent to Blaricum’s garbage facility next time?

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    • Safar…that’s funny! I had planned on a day trip to Rotterdam. Didn’t make it. Never have been there, but would like to see it. What’s in Deventer? Adventures? Canals? Llamas? And yeah, I wonder what the Blaricum garbage facility looks like?

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      • Mostly historic buildings – a couple of museums, gothic church, a shop that makes honey-cakes that’s quite famous, there’s a large market space in the centre with at least one cafe, it was market day when I was there – but forget the day, and lots of interesting back streets little antique shops. Don’t remember any canals and definitely no llamas. Don’t remember any garbage, but I’m sure there was some being processed somewhere. It’s mostly the atmosphere of the place that sticks in my mind.

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  5. I actually googled this place just to see if it were related to Onfoonapfoda, if you remember that lovely island I visited on April 1st. But aha – it really does exist! The articles said nothing about 22nd century garbage collection or local fauna, so I’m glad you informed me! The question is: how did you even come to visit this weird little town? (It IS picturesque …)

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  6. Ha ha!! You really get away with a post filled with garbage! I sit here with a big big smile on my face wondering what on earth you are doing in this place.

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    • I know…getting away with a post on garbage is like winning the jackpot, eh? I can get away with a post on poop, too! Do here?…just watch Porsches and Lamborginis and Jaguars cruise by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your way of wrighting is wonderful and I guess you would be forgotten with poop too. I didn’t know there where people cruising in those type of cars… I thought they step on it!

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    • YEAH, I see what you mean. A rank of 24th just doesn’t meet expectations from a country that prides itself on downing lager on a daily basis in roadside pubs and cafes. But those Czechs! I’m going to go there and see what all the fuss is about. My favorite beer is Czech–Urquel.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Well they certainly have THAT down to a fine art! What do they do with their non-glass garbage? (Glad you warned us about the Alpaca llama. I thought it was a fuzzy giraffe! 😉 )

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    • Cal…well, who really knows anything about where any garbage anywhere really goes…in the ground, in the water, in your food?
      But as for the fauna…there is one other possibility. It could be a vicuna. Who can tell? But yeah, a miniature fuzzy giraffe…maybe!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Vicuna! A camelid. I had to look that up. Never heard of that critter. Beautiful animals! So slender and almost delicate. And a couple of the pictures almost looked like a kangaroo in the face (except, of course, for the long neck). It always p*sses me off that people have to make coats out of these gorgeous animals… Thanks ever so much for the introduction. I’ll have a new word for Scrabble now. 😀

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      • Well, Starbucks cups come with a warning that they are made with 10% post recyclable product and not to microwave. It makes me wonder why. Will it dissolve or perhaps set off some chemical reaction making it lethal? Hmmmm.

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  8. Arizona one day, Netherlands the next. Are you on some sort of round the world obscure place journey? They definitely have the garbage issue tied up quite nicely. You make me laugh Badfish. Posts about garbage. You and Bun can have a contest as to who can write about the most unusual or mundane topics and have readers enthralled.

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    • Ha! THAT’S it! I could start writing posts on obscure places in the world. And right…Bun and I are actually planning to write a post together…about either rubber bands, or miniature spoons. But you have to admit…writing about garbage is at least one level above writing about poop (which, OK, I admit…I loved and carried a bit too far).

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    • Holly…I know, it almost feels unreal, to see houses with roofs like this. Someone told me a roof could last 100 years…which seems a long time! And HA!…dance is right…

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  9. We have separate trash cans for recycle trash and regular trash. And glass was demoted from recycle to regular trash! Our trash trucks (driven by Sanitation Engineers, please and thank you!) have these big mechanical arms that pick up the trash can, dump it into the truck and then place it back down on the street. Such a sight to see. When we first started this system, people would run to their windows to watch their trash being picked up. Yeah, fun times……

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Baddie, you will find the same system and trucks (maybe Dutch from DAF) all over the country. Each city decides what to collect though. In Amsterdam we separate paper, plastic and bottles and have another container for mixed garbage. In the past we separated rest of food, but that goes now to the mixed garbage. Every Thursday evening we can place outside the door, all other things that can be recycled (TV, Fridges, furniture, electronics, etc) and a truck will collect it early in the morning. Alternatively we can bring it ourselves to a central deposit.
    Anyways, Blaricum is definitely not exciting..you had to find garbage to keep way from sleeping or being bored, isn’t it? Come to Amsterdam…

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    • OK…I’ve got you talking about garbage. Before that it was poop. I’m now trying to think what could possibly be next? And right…nothing much else to talk about regarding Blaricum…except all the Lamborginis and Porsches sitting around. Nice croissants! And Texels beer.

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      • Haha shall I book time with a shrink? Poop, garbage, red panties, bridges, elderly? Is there a message? A common thread?
        That area is packed with irrelevant people who are new money types and feel very important. We can recognize how they speak and dress. Clones.
        It’s kind of an aberration in a country where there is a no-show off culture. ‘Do maar gewoon!’ (Do normal) is expected from everyone.

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        • Do maar gewoon…LOVE THAT! And everyone being so normal is one thing I love about Netherlands. Nobody trying to outclass anyone else, even younger people. Everyone is just cool the way they are. But right…here in Blaricum, I’ve seen men in suits that look like they are shining, women in fur in Albert Hein grocery story! I see what you mean. I do like the architecture, though, and the roofs! And the croissants. And that llama.

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          • It’s good. I like that too. No average social pressure to perform. There is a flip-side though as it creates a culture of complacency where all is expected to be done by the state. It’s a paternalistic expectation from government. You see low levels of ambition from the younger population. This may have worked in times of prosperity, but the last or lost decade of financial and economic crisis, has put this culture through an acid test. The state is becoming more and more hands off. And can’t be otherwise.,The future will tell what culture will emerge.
            Meanwhile in Blaricum, they ask: crisis? Wat is dat?

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  11. Badfish! This place is amazing! But so far, I am continents afar! I’d like to live in a place like that but it must be so damn expensive 😦 Anyway, I’m guessing it’s a perfect place to write? 🙂 Take care!

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  12. I think the star of your post is that biking old lady as she fearlessly deposits her rubbish in the very moment of the crane descending. I wonder how far she came, and doesn’t she have her own bin? Maybe she had missed the pick up, like I sometimes do, then sneak my bin across the road to stand beside the other unemptied ones.

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  13. Nothing short of bizarre. But I guess its better than striking garbage workers which is where I thought this post was going when I started out reading it. Haha

    Peta

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    • HA! Yeah…it’s not New York. I got stuck in Puerto Rico once because banana growers were on strike and blocked the runways with bananas…segway?

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  14. So you’re telling me that people have to bring their recyclables TO the GREEN MACHINE? They don’t pick up at each of the high-end houses? But now that I think of it, nobody wants garbage cans in front of their house in high-end neighborhoods. But, having to take it down to a kiosk, really? Must be a maid, or perhaps Grandma whose doctor said she needs exercise, and to be out in the green and watching Alpaca… uhm Llamas graze is healthy living… Really?

    I have a friend who wrote and recorded a song that goes something like this: It Really Isn’t Garbage Till You Mix It All Together.” I guess they just don’t have garbage in Holland, huh?

    I have a friend living in Rotterdam. I’ll have to ask her about how it’s done in their neighborhood.

    Great and quite interesting information about garbage.

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    • yeah…they bring the stuff to the machine…on bicycles usually, just like the lady. Garbage is good…it keeps you in shape, cycling to the green machine.
      I think your friend was wrong: garbage is garbage, it’s just more garbage when you mix it all together.

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  15. I, for once, don’t have much to say. This was divertindo. I cannot figure out whether this was your trip you’ve been planning. But, whatever, I had never heard of this place. My Holland experiences were only driving around a bit, getting very sad at the Anne Frank house, eating Indonesian food in Breda and appreciating the incredible dairy products. Great pictures!

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    • Beth with nothing to say??? Must be a bad day in California! I didn’t get sad at Ann Frank house, but I did feel some kind of energy there. It was in 1969 and you didn’t have to stand in line, and we were the only ones in the room. Kind of awesomely spooky

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  16. Love the fact that they recycle like that! Looks like a very complicated and expensive system though – with or without the llama watching (I believe you, since I couldn’t tell the difference! hahaha!)

    Like

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