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If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

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(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


2 OCTOBER, 2016

Delftse Ramen, the windows of Delft

DELFT - The image with this Sunday's column shows a good looking, restored MG. It belongs to a friend and, parked as it is in front of my house, it gives the place some class. My door is open so you can have an idea about the size of Dutch windows.

Dutch do not look inside houses when they pass windows, which are so clean. One could look in and see much of the ground floor interior - if one was to be so rude or curious - but one does not. With that social law in place, many of our houses in Delft are almost fully glass fronted, and people are obviously comfortable with living that way. However, I am an American and have a temptation to look in as I pass along on my way, to see how people live.


"Delft is downwind from Rotterdam, an industrial port, and the windows here get dusty or just plain dirty. Every street has a window washer for that problem, one only; its a competitive business."

The weather we have in the Netherlands comes in for humor, to make the best of it. A friend once told me that the sun is always shining in Holland. He added in reply to my reaction that sometimes the sun was behind clouds - but it was always shining on Holland. Perhaps that goes a small way toward explaining big windows: people like light and want as much as they can get on any given day. They like bright, clear views.

I do read the Dutch news and have learned the King did not travel to Budget Day Parliament in the Gold carriage this year; he picked the Glass carriage instead. After I got past thinking of Cinderella, I considered gold versus glass. Gold is for gilding things, putting a shine on, while glass is essentially transparent.

I mentioned windows are clean; definitely. They are big and tall. To scrub off the bird droppings or the smear of dust after a rain, you need to get out the ladder. There is also the problem of not crushing your French geranium or your flowering bush.

Doing all the insides of the windows is chore enough; so, I am happy that a window washer comes once a month to do the outside. A thrifty Dutch person will do it themselves, mindful of the French geranium, and save the fee.

I am not that careful with a euro, and besides it gives the plants in front a good watering. Otherwise, I am carrying buckets of water from the canal at the end of the street and dumping them on my vanity garden, which is probably good exercise.

As the season is moving towards winter, the bush will die down and, unless someone parks in front, I live behind glass. Friends know I do not answer the doorbell; so, someone who is coming over raps on the window and then stands in front of it.

Having royalty for any reason is up to the folks paying for it; so, it seems to me good that, as we have such, the King can see out, and we can see in. As for the old Gold carriage, I read it needs a lot of restoration. Perhaps in a museum?

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved -
In memory of Herb Caen