A new path

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The Dutch are famous for the ‘polder model’. Both in landscape and politics we like to keep things flat. Behind my house there is a beautiful 16th centrury polder. Hard to imagine for non-Dutch that in here the land almost completely levels with the water.

The polder was not very accessible, and the administration decided that a path should be made, partly new and partly in the form of ‘ upgrading’ an unpaved path to a paved one.

I must say that I hated the idea, because I liked the unpaved path a lot and hated the idea of macadam being introduced.


In the tradition of the Dutch poldermodel, the population protested greatly and stretched all legal possibilities to prevent the ideas from becoming reality. The path was paved, some nice curves were straightened, a bridge was built and the path was connected to a larger one.


Now the path has been finished for quite a while, and although I liked it better before, I must say that the situation did improve: the previous path was hardly visited. Now many people from Zaandam are able to enjoy the view. And for myself? In stead of a visit a few times a year (the path was not so accessible) I use it as my daily running trail and love to run there. I voted against a few years ago, but now, on hindsight I would vote in favour.

So much for our ability to judge future situations, based on knowledge from the world as we knew it. So much for our ability to adept to new situations, and embrace them as ‘normal’ .