Friday, 24 August 2012

New neighbourhood

Now that the boxes are unpacked, and most things have found their place in our new home I finally start paying attention to the neighbourhood. It’s different from where I lived before. It’s a small sleepy village (though in the middle of The Hague). There are signs ‘Attention! Neighbourhood Watch’, but I haven’t been lucky to see them yet. I also wonder what there is to watch. There’s hardly ever anyone on the street and you can leave your bike unlocked in front of your door for days.

The neighbours do not dry colourful saris and head scarves on their balconies. On warm sunny evenings the smells from outside are mainly those of barbeques rather than a mix of Turkish, Antillean and Surinamese spices. And instead of Turkish, Papiamento, Punjab and Hindi neighbours mainly use Dutch, English, German, Spanish or something Asian.

Even though we live very close to the sea, there are no seagulls. In case you didn’t know: seagulls are not interested in fish. They are interested in garbage packed in black plastic bags that they open in search of food spreading the rest of the trash all over the street. People here produce enough trash to fill large green garbage containers. Thus no plastic bags, no seagulls and no street litter.

Yesterday we found an envelope on our doormat. It was plain white with ‘Invitation’ handwritten on it. Wow an invitation! Curious we opened the envelope. It was an invitation from the local... Tree Committee. Yes, the Tree Committee. And we are invited to their second anniversary celebration that will be held at a little square next to our house. What a thrill!

After reading the programme I thought I was losing connection with the reality. During the celebration you can admire the world of wearables made of tree leaves (if I am to believe the picture); discover the secrets of a tree (any tree hugging and talking involved?) and get your... eh... tree climbing diploma from Steven Ibelings, the Dutch tree climbing champion! I read the programme three times to make sure it’s real and not made up by my hormones.

A very different neighbourhood, indeed. Shall I go for the tree climbing diploma?


  1. If it was my choice is would go there ;-)
    It Will be fun!

    Cheers and see you then!

    1. Ok, I'll drop by. And I will not leave without my tree climbing diploma!!!

    2. i guess ur still there....because i didn't give u your diplo ;-)

    3. I live around the corner, so yes, I'm still there. When I saw you hanging up in the tree my 8-months pregnant body protested. Can we reschedule in about 6 months? ;)

  2. In your condition I would postpone the tree climbing all together! The hospital is nearby if you decide otherwise!

  3. Right after your cow-hugging meditation appointment ;)


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