A week in Amsterdam
To quote the name of an old British satirical TV show, that was the week that was. So England had their bottoms well and truly kicked in the world cup, and I hope that this has finally put an end to the ridiculous idea, still held in some parts of the UK that England is a football team to be taken seriously.
Some of the usual excuses were rolled out, “Rooney shouldn’t have been played on the left.” He’s a bloody overpaid, slightly overweight, inarticulate, married to a woman with the brains of a jellyfish, footballer, he should play well wherever he’s put. “The Premier league should have a winter break, our football players are tired by the time competitions come around.” Yes, so why is it that players such as Suarez and Van Persie who also play in the Premier league are able to perform so well in the competition? In spite of this, the manager of the team won’t be resigning or be fired. The worst performance of the team in the world cup since 1956 but this is not enough for him to be fired. Who says that there are no such things as secure jobs anymore?
Anyway enough about that.
What’s happening in Amsterdam?
Sour vrouw of the week
The Dutch team has performed brilliantly. In bars throughout the country, people have been gripped by a couple of outstanding performances by the Dutch team. Most have been overjoyed by what they’ve seen, with the exception of a miserable old lady living above Cafe Goos in Amsterdam. When the Netherlands beat Spain in their first game, there was quite understandably an uproar of cheering Dutch fans. This prompted a call to the Police complaining about too much noise coming from the cafe. The local uniformed bureaucrats responsible for enforcing the council rules arrived, and they have threatened the cafe with a five thousand euro fine if there are any more complaints about noise coming from the Cafe. This has quite rightly gained a lot of media coverage. So each time the Dutch team scores a goal, (I watched the Dutch vs Australia there) are we expected to clap politely and whisper “jolly good goal chaps, more of that please.” so as not to upset Amsterdam’s most miserable neighbor?
The world cup is every four years. She has chosen to live above a cafe. There are whiners everywhere, but the fact that Stadsdeel Zuid has taken her complaints seriously doesn’t say much about the levels of common sense possessed by the staff there.
The Cult of the bicycle
The Shallow Man once described money as the religion of Dutch men and smoking for the women. Harsh, but fair. However, in Amsterdam there is a religion, or better said a singular cult, followed and worshipped by many. It’s a cult that is far more insidious than that of Scientology, or the Moonies, yes I’m talking about the cult of the bicycle.
According to Het Parool, the only bike lane in Amsterdam that has both a zebra crossing and a stop light, which is on the Damrak near the Victoria Hotel, has had the zebra crossing removed by the Amsterdam Gemeente. This is due to a number of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians. Apparently, the poor innocent Amsterdam cyclists had problems because pedestrians walked over the crossing when the lights were red. Naturally, no Amsterdam cyclist would ever dream of going straight through a red light, oh no, certainly not. So cyclists, find it irritating that pedestrians behave just like…..cyclists and this according to the cycling lobby are dangerous. As Amsterdam council does everything it can to bend to the will of the two wheeled worshippers, the zebra crossing must go.
Cyclists are above the law. Worship them or be damned.
I’m not a prostitute hoor!
A story that had me choking on my fruit smoothie this week was the moving tale, as told to Het Parool by Tika, a woman that worked for years in care homes. Yes, this woman cares, so much so in fact, that when she spotted a niche in the caring market, she jumped in with her legs wide open. Tika is a sexual care worker. She provides sexual services to the handicapped, schizophrenics and people convicted of sex crimes. She says and I quote ‘Ik maak mensen superblij.’ Natuurlijk!
Yes, she has sex with them, but she’s not a prostitute. She’s providing a service. This selfless heroine, who is taken very seriously by Het Parool, is also making a photo book of her activities between and above the sheets. Apparently, though, it’s not yet possible to claim the costs of the services she provides from health insurers. So there’ll be no taxpayer funded sexual healing for the time being.
No amateur hookers were hurt during the writing of this post.