Mussels, Dutch style, at home

We celebrated yesterday, with Dutch style mussels. One of my friends remarked that as a student in the Netherlands, she doesn’t remember mussels being a big deal, like they are now. They were always prominent on Belgium menus, cooked in beer or white wine, and served with tasty whiskey and herb sauces. The French say its blasphemous with sauces, and insist on shallots, not onions, but otherwise they all agree on French bread and fries, mayo on the side.

We continued to celebrate the signing of the Dutch aid-agreement, with Dutch pastries for dessert. One of them, a decadent choux, Moorkop, puff pastry filled with luscious cream, under a chocolate dome, sparked the Sinterklaas and black-faced piet discussion. The Moor Head tart, apparently reminded its original creator of a turban, otherwise why would he appropriate the Muslim term for his baked treat?! We demolished it anyway, couldn’t agree on a better politically correct name, and concluded that never mind, we love Sinterkklaas, and why would we deprive our kids of the experience.

I dare say that the more wine we sipped, then less diplomatic we got!

The morning after, today, I looked at the Landspakket Aruba, a 20-page PDF that circulated widely here and the attached letter by state secretary Knops, three and a half pages long, and titled: Akkoord Aruba en Nederland inzake voorwaarden liquiditeitssteun

Think about it: GOA could burn through half a billion florins in a few months, because at the rate we are going, almost one billion florins from the Netherlands is not going to last long.

It’s an island, we don’t manage change well, we like things the way we like them, and let’s face it, before they decide what changes are required to make Customs more efficient, and DIMAS more helpful two years might go by.

As you know, when gangrene spreads, early amputation may save the limb.

And it remains to be seen whether our sputtering, overburdened economy will actually churn enough, to bring in tax revenues. 

So either GOA starts cutting its recently-approved budget today, or they will run out of steam very quickly.

In a way, it is not fair that the Dutch now need to face the challenges local politicians and financiers have created, but it is remarkable that they would like to be our agents of change.

I saw in one of our media outlets a peculiar item that warned Aruba will be seeing more amputations, due to Diabetes complications, and it made me think that our politicians fed us fat and sugar without issuing the appropriate warnings about the dire consequences of this irresponsible behavior.

Now we are in shock.

Soon entire pieces will be dead beyond repair, said the good doctor in his ten minutes of media fame.

I am very curious how the change–managers will manage this change. Because i have not seen one on this island capable and/or experienced. As state secretary Knops rightfully put forward again yesterday, we are not just financially bankrupt, but also a failed governance, politically, and morally. Since before Covid19. Corona only made it clear to see and forced us to face and accept it.

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November 14, 2020
Rona Coster