On this day (Saturday May 29th 2010), the Dutch nation takes pride in celebrating their first real traffic jam. During the pentecost weekend in 1955, a mass exodus of a tribe of day visitors from the west of the country to the central dutch National Park, and a tribe of German tourists coming from the east, caused a clutter of over 50,000 cars. Next to excitement about this new phenomena, there was also a feeling of pride: The Netherlands had become a modern country.
Back in 1955, The Netherlands counted about 268,000 cars (1 car per 40,3 inhabitants). Today, that is 1 car for every 2.1 dutchman or -woman. The first real traffic jam in 1955 was a big attraction. Roadside tourism was very common in those days: park the car at the side of the road, or even: in the lane (which was allowed then), unfold your chair and watch the cars pass by with the whole family: the tourists become the tourist attraction.
Different lifestyles of different tribes have always fascinating. New technologies trigger ancient impulses and one of these impulses is: watching new technologies as a form of recreation!
Adaptation of this article in the dutch Volkskrant.