Keukenhof Post II — 1000 things you should see before you start living

The second thing I realized at Keukenhof is that tourism and photographing suck.

I spent two days at Keukenhof in the last weeks, frantically photographing one tulip arrangement after the other. I am not sure why. I was bored and had a camera in my hand.

Finally, after two days, my camera batteries luckily died. Now all that was left to me was to stand there, see my visitor photographing away and rushing to the next field and photographing some more. I saw the sun in the trees.

A strange calm came upon me. I started to watch the tourists more closely. It is amazing, they are from everywhere, India, Japan, Russia. They are photographing like crazy, a futile effort to capture what most of them will probably only see once in their lifetime.

‘I have been to Keukenhof. I saw the tulips in Holland.” Is that on the “1000 things to do before you die”-list? God, how I despise people making and following such lists.

It is not that the tulips are not beautiful. They can be, I see it own my own pictures.  But for me, it is totally impossible to get any enjoyment out of their beauty at Keukenhof. It is too much, too big, too artificial, there are too many people and it is too much of a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience for most visitors. This makes, to me, beauty impossible; it makes it painful, hurtful, even disturbing.

I am not at all convinced that people are happy when visiting Keukenhof. They do not look happy. They look stressed. Tourism is a vile thing; it does not create happiness, it just creates the illusion that you can find it by buying another trip to someplace else.

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