Friday, May 25, 2007

They have come out into the open

Hogeweg fountain, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

We had mentioned before that there is an underfound movement, mainly of frustrated middle-aged women in the neighbourhod, who, for a variety of reasons, do not like our new fountain.

Well, after Henk and I came back from our day on the beach at Zandvoort-aan-Zee, I found Fred sitting on the balcony, tut-tutting as he sat there reading a double page spread in Het Parool about our lovely fountain.

It appeared that these terrible women, none of whom win any prizes for making any sort of positive contribution to the neighbourhood, had found a sympathetic ear in the offices of Het Parool. Next to a large photo of the fountain, there was an article which was mainly devoted to the pathetic criticisms and complaints from these women. Complaints about the foutain becoming an illegal swimming pool, a children's play ground, how the once beautiful square (the prettist place in all Amsterdam) had been ruined by the building of a large roundabout with a fountain in the middle, how so many parking spaces had been lost, how the hairdresser had to install air-conditioning as she can no longer keep her front door open because of the noise of the splashing water and screaming kids (I don't believe her for one minute but I can lareday see the insurance claim in front of me) and how the sqaure had become a sandpit while the building was going on and so on. Blah blah blah... so it went on, all the time reflecting very poorly on the silly women making such complaints, although the newspaper could not themselves see the irony of such remarks.

The article was so biased and very little space was gien to the other point of view, we really felt we ought to write a letter to the paper to complain. But, to be honest, this is the level of journalism we have come to expect from the paper. It is just that it is an Amsterdam newspaper, with a proud history and it is easy to read. We know we shoudl really spend our time reading the NRC, where standards are much higher, but it is not so easy to read and misses out on our local Amsterdam news.

Anyway, after being our for another two weeks because the blossom from the horse chestnuts had clogged up the system, the fountain was turned back on two days ago, just in time for the beautiful weather which has returned (briefly) to Amsterdam. OK, so it does get a bit noisy after 3 pm, when the children come out of school, but children have the right to play and they are having fun, not fighting. Its a lovely sight to see.

So, next time I see one of those complaining women I think I will just let them know what I think of their misanthropic negativity.


Blogger Bram en Marja said...

De kapper heeft haar deur op slot vanwege de overvallers. En dan wordt het warm in de zaak, vandaar de airco. Zij verteld iedereen dus een ander verhaal.
Wij vinden het plein prachtig!!!

25 May, 2007 16:33  
Blogger Shane Gilchrist said...

just kiss them on the cheeks and tell them how much you love them!

show us the old pics of Amsterdam's prettiest square!

27 May, 2007 09:19  
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