Went to The Zaanse Schans this sunday. One of the top attractions for tourists in Holland.
According to the folder: “a delightful enchanting hamlet from the seventeenth and eighteenth century on the banks of the river Zaan with characteristic green wooden houses, charming stylized gardens, small hump-backed bridges, tradesmen’s workshops, historic windmills and engaging little shops“.
On my way to the Zaanse Schans I imagined to find old industrial windmills still in active duty next to the shops that sell products made by that industry. For instance a bakery making bread from the local ingredients. I was really looking forward to eat “real bread” again. I had this experience ones when I was 10 or 11. We visited a theme park that also focused on the history of living. And a bakery located in the woods (made of clay and stone) made real bread. I never tasted bread like that ever again. It even surpassed candy. I ate the bread in two hours, plain.
No such luck. The Zaanse Schans are just some moved houses from all over the area to look like a village. Although people are living in these houses, the similarity ends there. The local shops are no real shops, you can just look at them or only buy souvenirs made in china. No genuine article.
The owners of those shops say people want this, I don’t believe it. The people aren’t given a choice. This tourist attraction is a facade giving an superficial and idealistic view of that period in time. Focusing on appearance rather that experience. Showing our legacy without passion and commitment is raping the legacy build on people with just these characteristics.0