If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


7 MAY 2017

Almost Summer

DELFT - It's time to make reservations; it looks like Lisbon is this year's winner. To book early in the season or towards the end - this month's question. I pick a hotel by starting with a web list and then use Google's Street Man to look each one over. That has worked so far.

Dover was second place; I had just the right hotel, set in the White Cliffs. Dover offered side trips to Canterbury and has a historic castle. Maybe next year. These are the thoughts of a person ready to sit outside, and it is beginning to be warm enough to do that. The deal in Delft allows cafes to use the public space in front as an extended terrace. Sitting out and watching people in all their variety wander past is an education.


"Cafes and restaurants have brought back their dinning barges and moored them to their portion of the canal. It is a bit early to sit out; however, if you are in the sun and out of the wind, it is a pleasant spot to wile away hours over drinks or dinner."

By the deadline for Even Kijken to 'go to press,' the election in France hasn't started yet. I'll stay up to watch it. French citizens living in Holland must go to Amsterdam to a place not the embassy in order to vote. My French friend took a train to Amsterdam from Delft (45 minutes), then a tram to the wrong place and another to the right place. There, finally, he waited just half an hour before voting.

Afterward, he had to reverse it all to go home, but at least he could skip 1 trolley trip. That, my friends, happened all over Holland. Today will be the second time in 2 weeks they do this, the first being for round 1. French expats tend to favor Mr. Macron. They do not want the problems their nationals have in the UK.

May is almost summer, meaning the sun shines longer each day and flowers that bloom are showing off colors. For the soul who loves being immersed in bright tulip luxuriance, there is, for 2 months, Keukenhof.

We've had rain so it is glorious now. So many people go see the park that local roads are thick with cars and buses. We went one year when my brother and family came over from the US. It was unique but cold, rainy.

It feels to me as if we have become a society of tourists never without a smart phone in hand. I see some visitors, looking around and obviously lost, checking their phone. Tap tap tap and they move on, reassured.

If Delft was only new housing, chain stores and factories, tourists would not come. Actually, Delft has all that but works hard to blend it to the city's history. So Delft harvests restless people, honestly and openly.

The French are serious about voting. I contrast the above with my own status. Votes from US expats, in the US system, are meaningless. I liked political talk before, and I still do. But, I do that from the outside looking in.

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