Thursday, July 12, 2007
Dinner with Frank
Yesterday, I spent the evening with my friend, Frank Karsten, who is Dutch. Here is a recent photo of Frank from his website. He is a handsome man. In fact, when I was taking other photographs this morning (of various bicylists), I noticed that there are a lot of fantastic looking Dutch men. I'll be devoting an upcoming blog post to the topic so you all can share in the experience. lol!
We went to a restaurant around the corner from my new apartment (sorry, didn't catch the name). It had an interesting menu that seemed to be all over the map. For example, Frank had the schnitzel, which is breaded veal (or pork?) cutlet that is fried, and served on top of a bed of mixed mashed potatoes and some green - maybe kale. He said it is a traditional Dutch food, but primarily considered a "winter dish." It looked good. By contrast, I had a swordfish kabob, served on top of a pita, with tzaziki sauce, accompanied by a salad. Mine was interesting, but I think the tzaziki is better suited to lamb and ended up overpowering the fish. The menu also had things like penne pasta in roasted red pepper sauce and thai-style mussels with coconut milk. It was very eclectic.
Talking to Frank was facinating. First of all, it was nice to get caught up on each other's lives after 23 years.* Frank is also very well-read about current events and has an amazing mind for figures and statistics. He is head of the "More Freedom" foundation in the Netherlands, which seeks to promote libertarianism. He's the first libertarian that I have ever met who actually understands and can articulate the ins-and-outs of libertarianism - and who is interested in more that the right to smoke weed. In fact, Frank doesn't partake even though it is condoned in the Netherlands. The English version of his website is located at http://www.meervrijheid.nl/english.htm.
It was fun to debate different politics and theories with someone who doesn't resort to bashing the other side and can set forth a well-reasoned, thoughtful argument. In fact, it was remarkably refreshing. For example, libertarians believe in property rights of the individual as being the supreme and only right - from which all other rights are derived (from the philosophies of John Locke), but not in government. I asked Frank about the contradiction in accepting one part of Locke's theories (property rights), but not the other parts (particularly the concept of a social contract). Frank's answer, which I cannot re-articulate here, actually made sense - even though for myself, I take comfort in and like the idea of government as a tool for good and of the social contract. It is what I choose.
Anyway, after dinner we took a walk around my new neighborhood and talked more. I'll be posting pictures from the walk in the next post.
*Frank was an exchange student (a senior) at my high school the year I was a freshman. He took me to my first prom. (Sorry - no photographs to post here.)