Friday, September 21, 2007

Rotterdam Station and pigeons


Rotterdam Station, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I had twelve minutes to change trains in Rotterdam yesterday and my train arrived thirteen minutes late, meaning I had 29 minutes to wait for the next train. Time to have a look around the 'new'temporary Rotterdam Station on a grey dampish day and take some photos.

The sign on top of the old building says 'Traan Laten', meaning shed a tear - for the old but really quite ugly station building before it gets pulled down and replaced with something ultra-modren. In the meantime, the new temporary station has been constructed using containers, stacked on top of each other, similar to the containers Fred had to teach in for a year while they pulled down and replaced his old school building.

A friend of mine, Shane, wrote a comment about how ugly Dutch train stations are (with the exception of Amsterdam Centraal) and I was replying to him just as the train was departing from Amsterdam Bilmer-Arena. This is a brand new station which was finished last year and which has a very modern, comfortable and roomy feel to it.

Today, I just happen to read in the paper that this station has scored another success, namely that it is pigeon-free. The architects were aware about how annioying pigeons can be to passengers as well as their pigeon poo being destructive and smelly. So, they decided to build the station in a way to make life as difficult as possible for pigeons to perch and live there and, sure enough, it worked; no pigeons.... and I checked this both times we stopped today, not a pigeon in sight.

Pigeons really are not my favourite birds, especially when they come to steal our grapes in August, but as much as I fantasise about popping a shot at them with a gun (like my cousins used to do in the carefree days on the 1970's), I would never really mean to harm them. So, it was altogether unfortunate that yesterday when I was cycling back from Central Station that a pigeon did not get out of my way, with the result that I ran over the poor thing. Injured but not dead, I was faced with a dilemma about whether or not to finish him off and put him out of his misery, I chickened out and carried on cycling, letting nature take its course, after my sad intervention.

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