Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It's commonly said that the Dutch have no fashion sense. This isn't true. Most people do have an idea that mayhaps the yellow rain boots will clash with the hot-pink feather boa, and to be fair, I like the whole leggings-and-boots look during the winter (practical, and sexy!). However, it only takes one person to perpetuate the stereotype, and that one person belongs to a peculiar class of women who inhabit the C1000 and Witte Reus commercials. Thankfully their real-life counterparts are a smidge less tacky--they are the women who are likely to show up on your doorstep if you hire a housekeeper.

So explains Karel, anyway. I was skeptical at first--after all, who cleans a house wearing a pencil skirt and a full face of make-up? But then I caught an episode of Hoe Schoon is Jouw Huis?. Like most Dutch realtiy TV, HSIJH is less about horror and ridicule and more about empowering the hapless victim/clueless kid. Marja and Liny travel the Netherlands spreading their cleaning magic on downtrodden domiciles, teaching the inhabitants such life-enhancing skills as...wiping electric sockets clean, sterilizing door frames, and scrubbing walls.

Up until now, I thought we did a pretty good job at keeping our place neat and clean, since I'm not sneezing every other minute. Our floors are pretty clean, our litter boxes don't stink, and the closets are reasonably tidy. I dust the furniture and clean the windows as needed, and the colony of dust bunnies under the bed has retreated to the far corner that I can't reach with our vaccuum. But apparently our apartment is still filthy. God forbid that we should have bacteria on our electric sockets.

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