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Published: September 2nd 2008
See - he even has his own carpark! Even the manager didn't have his own name on his carpark.
This morning Oom Teus took us to...wait for it...Dekker! Dekker is a massive timber drying/machining/manufacturing factory/plant. The guy that owns Dekker is the 10th richest man in the Netherlands. There are also five other outfits in the world (mainly in Europe). The place was huge!
We first looked at the office area - it was very impressive because they even have their logo (an elephant) on the carpet! They even have this huge wooden elephant - to get it inside they had to remove the windows on one side of the building! We had a look into their board room which had a lot of sample products - including window frames, doors, mouldings, floorings, skirting, planter boxes, decking timber etc. We then looked at the factory/plant which consists of several huge buildings. Here are a few facts that Uncle Teus told us about the place (from memory):
- They have a compactor for all their scrap metal straps which, when full, is then sold as scrap metal. The straps weigh 25 tonne, when compacted, and they produce this every 2 weeks!
- 6 big trucks of timber leave every day.
- Their waste sawdust and shavings gets pressed into blocks
The sample room at Dekker
See the elephant logo on the carpet.
for firewood and is used to heat the complex in the winter. The two massive furnaces produce 4 million kw, which heat the entire block (all owned by Dekker but some buildings are rented out). The surplus is sold in France. The shavings from the light timers are collected separately and are sold for the manufacture of chipboard.
- They have 14 forklifts and 65 staff at that plant alone.
- And the best part - every year a different factory gets to go on holiday overseas. This year Oom Teus’s factory all went to Rome!!!! On a side note - Miele are opening a new massive complex down the road which Oom Teus told us, all the men got fitted suits and the woman got €450 to spend on an outfit for the opening - all 900 staff!!!!!! Unbelievable eh!?
We then had a look at this huge store which only people who own businesses can use. The place was massive and sold food, kitchen wear, clothes, electronics - basically, everything! I found the most amazing thing - a 1kg box of Dutch chocolate hail!!!! Yum! If I could send it home I would!
In the shop
Piles of wood to burn
You can see the cylinder wood blocks on the right in the front.
we also got our very own Gourmet set! For those not of Dutch origin, it’s a grill type element and you get little pans (8 in ours) which you put on top to cook your own food. Normally you have lots of different small bits of meat with lots of different sauces and salads - it’s great fun!
After lunch we headed out to look around the surrounding area. We found a windmill along a river and stopped for a closer inspection. We had the traditional photo - and then we met a lady whose sister was actually living inside that particular windmill! She took us inside for a tour - amazing. It was so small, but this lady used to live there when she was a child, there were 8 of them in the house, 6 children and 2 parents! The place would have been no bigger than our lounge and kitchen! The lady living there looked about 100 but she was actually only 58! She had this tiny wee bed - like about ¾ of the size of a normal bed, up on this area about 1m off the ground. The kitchen had about enough room to
Machine at work
This machine grabs the small bits of wood that seperates the planks while they are drying
open an oven door and that’s it. It was really neat to look inside it - but there is no way that I would ever live in it!
We had a look around some other towns - some were all decorated as they were going to have festivals in their towns in the following weeks. It’s such a neat atmosphere in those towns. Some that we went into had all kinds of mannequins and stuffed dolls (like the ones you get when you turn 50) set up doing different things, such as washing clothes, driving carts, on a boat etc.
We drove on lots of dykes - they are soooooo narrow, I cringe every time we pass a car! I don’t think I could drive around here because I would close my eyes and hope for the best every time!
We also got to go on a car ferry. You just drive on, wait, the car ferry moves across, and wha-laa, in 2 minutes you’re across on the other side of the water!
The scenery was really nice around here. Quite a bit of land with the traditional cows in pastures (some even wearing bells!) and
Yip - this is the engineerer's desk. He just moves it round the factory on a forklift!
then lots of cute little town with churches, steeples and cobblestone streets.
For dinner we went out to a restaurant on a farm. We had another yummy dinner - Daniel and I had satay pork kebabs, and Oom Teus and Tante Joke had pig shoulder, which looked like a meal that you would eat with Astrix and Obleix. It was even served with fried potato slices (I didn’t know that that was a traditional Dutch kind-of-food). Dessert was even better - everybody had ice-creams and sorbets - but I had the best dessert ever... a kroket!!!!! Everybody laughed at me, including Cleo, who had joined us at this stage (and who hates krokets), and the people from the neighbouring tables - but never mind - I loved it!
We left in the evening to catch our boat for the 11pm sailing. Ummmm........yeah......apparently I can’t read 24 hour time - so we arrived in time to see the sign “boarding has now closed for the 22.00 sailing”. Opps! After re-booking the tickets for the following night, we repacked the car and headed back to Vianen for another day’s adventure in Holland. While I was very annoyed with myself for
This is where the old lady lived
being so stupid, Oom Teus and Tante Joke were delighted that we had missed it because it meant we could spend another day with them! Well, I had to quickly get over it as there was nothing else we could do about it, and at least we knew we would have another great day here in Holland.
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