Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Now from the global annex…

When I founded my little Dutch company, I had visions of becoming a high-tech remote patient monitoring software development lab. Something like this:

jurassic-park-cm5tThe reality isn’t quite there yet. especially since the flashy mobile laptop died. I cobbled together a replacement system out of spare parts and a couple of components from MediaMart, stacked it up at the back of the apartment, and was, well, back in business.

Global Annex 1 Global Annex 2

I suppose that all great ideas start this way: Medtronic (left) and HP (right) are two famous examples.

Earl_Garage2 hpgarage

Since there is no way to lift my whole temporary setup to the loft where the Global Command Center is located, the Annex location has to suffice for now. The faux-Turkish decor and everything-in-reach filing system is the perfect ambience for developing software, talking on Skype, and writing proposals. And the motivation…just to think of the day when I look back with a smile and remember how it all started from this…

The worst is when I put a hand on the side of the table to get up and flip the whole thing onto the floor. I’m sure that there is an appropriate Dutch phrase to sigh, invoking tulips and bicycles…


gvg said...

There aren't that much phrases with bicycles and certainly not with tulips.

Dave Hampton said...

Thanks for the comment and the link, and for looking in!

The remark was 'tongue in cheek' (only half-serious), but many times in meetings and conversation the Dutch participants smile to one another, say something metaphorical, laugh knowingly, then struggle to translate it for me. Bicycles, flowers, farmwives, water stick in my mind as things that were described.

I've always found the images delightful, and they have seemed to me to say a lot about Dutch experiences and culture, just like british and american metaphors touch ours.

Unfortunately, I can't remember any specific examples, so I confess that it's more of an impression than a documentable fact. And you're right: the Dutch Word of the Day does a great job of including coloquial phrases attached to their nouns.

gvg said...

I did not miss the tongue in cheek. I just don't hear that many metaphors that involve flowers or bicycles.

Apart from biblical and anatomical references you hear in a lot of languages I think there are a lot of water/maritime and farm related ones in dutch.