dinsdag 12 juni 2012

Plaatjespost & Picture Post: Hollandse Club

I really wanted to become a member of the Hollandse Club in Singapore. My parents had been members through my father's employer, other people I talked too were members and one former newspaper correspondent noted that the poolside and the tennis courts were valuable places to gather information on Dutch angles for stories.

I also planned on having mainly Dutch friends, since there is a large Dutch community in Singapore and I learned the hard way in Bolivia and Ireland that however lovely non-Dutch people are, it's quite hard to keep in touch with them once you or the other has left the country you both inhabited for a while. At least, if our local friends were Dutch, chances were that at some stage we'd end up in the same country again. If only for holidays.

Somehow, my life and my plans seem to only intersect sporadically. (And looking at my friends' lives somehow it seems they are better at actually following the paths they map out. Maybe somebody can give me some pointers on how not to get distracted?)

And so it was in this case. Somehow, all my mummy friends are non-Dutch (well, there is one exception, but really, she's an old friend from secondary school and technically she's not a mummy yet. So there you go). And most of our non-mummy friends are non-Dutch as well. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but we never managed to become members of the Hollandse Club either and we're too lazy to enroll E. in the local Dutch Jip en Janneke daycare center located Very Far From Our House, so maybe that has something to do with it. Also, we don't play hockey (proper field hockey, you Canadian ice-lovers). 

But sometimes I like to to try get back on track, so during April we were temporary members of the Hollandse Club. And it's such a lovely place! Secluded, peaceful, large terrace with fans where you can have lovely food (apparently they brought in a new chef after lots of complaints), toned down to suit our Dutch palate and humungous glasses of fresh juice. Birds ran around picking at dropped food, there are tennis courts, squash courts, an utterly lovely swimming pool filled with enthusiastic parents and lots of happy blond children. There's even a library with Dutch books, a huge gym and a puppy club to drop of your human puppy while you go off jewelry making, weight lifting, squash playing or cocktail sipping in the not-for-kids area. 

Even though it has all those lovely features (they provide towels!) we did not become members. Firstly, none of our friends go there, so we'd have to get ourselves a new social circle. And we like our current one. Secondly, it's quite far away again, so it takes a bit of planning to go over there. And thirdly, most importantly, it's just really, really expensive. Not only is there a one time registration fee (think three zeroes), there is a monthly fee (and we're talking hundreds here) and then you have free access to the club, the pool, the towels, the gym and the tennis courts. But all food, all courses, all swimming lessons and so on must be paid for separately. And, to make matters worse, it's actually quite possible to attend these without being a member (the fee in that case is slightly higher).

So, though it pains me to once again deviate from my well-thought out plans, we are staying on our picturesque alternative route with our lovely friends from all over and E. speaking a mangled type of Anglo-Dutch. When will my life ever do what I tell it to do?

Anyway. Here are the pictures of E. at the Hollandse Club.

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