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It happens all the time...

Submitter: Jan Noordam
Description: It happens distressingly often with temporary staff. They work here for a few years, and just before they leave, one discovers that they are actually rather interesting, and one is sorry to see them go.

This appears to be the case more often with people from outside the dominant culture. As V.S.Naipaul observed(*), such people need to be more multi-faceted because they have to prove themselves in a different (and sadly complacent) environment. But since the effort tends to make them somewhat reserved, their extra facets are more difficult to spot. Fortunately, this barrier may be breached by the refreshing directness of the Dutch, for which they are loved (or rather appreciated, or at least tolerated) around the globe. It just requires a little effort, and the rewards are definitely rewarding.

The picture was taken at the recent Goodbye Borrel for Peeyush Prasad (in yellow clogs), who is busily arranging his well-wishers just so. In his case we get a second chance, because he will remain involved with ASTRON from Amsterdam(**). Let's use it well.

(*) Naipaul actually said that writers from outside London (especially himself, but also e.g. the Irish) were better because they had had to fight their way in. In the Netherlands we have the Belgian writers in a similar role.
(**) Peeyush is bridging the gap between builder and user for LOFAR/AARTFAAC and WSRT/APERTIF.
Copyright: Madroon Community Consultants (MCC)
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