If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


10 SEP 2017

DELFT - Placing a second bench is not simple, at least it is not casually done. It takes measuring and has to match the one that is there. It was decided that as the first was set in the middle of the off-street space beside the wall, the second would look funny, not done right. It would have been, well, not gezellig - tacky.

Where I came along, the first bench was being dug out, it was firmly attached to the ground. Dutch youth like such anywhere can become rowdy, as can students. One does not want things loose. Once the first was up, a new hole for it had to be dug. That always means a cup of coffee. Restored, the men pulled up bricks and stacked them, along with the warning cones and tape. The holes were made ready.

A Second Bench

"Tourists. They come in bus-loads, but not every day, all day. Early is a good time to get out and run errands. At the corner backside of the church in the photo, there has been, for maybe a year, a bench. Local talent find it handy and so do elderly tourists. This week, they put in a second next to the first."


For that reason, the city seals the containers shut about a week before the skies are lighted with colorful explosions. That is hard on the many dog walkers, the containers are all over the place and handy for the plastic sack of dog dung they just scooped up. Otherwise, there is always a place to toss your trash not far away. Some think of the canals as a good place for an empty beer bottle, or a loose bicycle.

About the beer bottles, well that is just ignorant. The bikes are tied up to metal hoop-shaped stands - also everywhere. That keeps most of them from being liberated. A common trick is to paint yours bizarre colors: yellow, pink, and so on. Making a getaway on a pink bike is a little silly. Best keep your bicycle locked anyway.

It was decided over coffee that the holes were pretty good. After their pause, the first was re-set. Then the second was lifted. I had errands so did not hang around. The next day, I passed that corner to see it complete.

Both benches had folks sitting on them. Suddenly, benches were part of my day. I noted where they were, the condition, and such things that people interested in benches care about. Maintenance is good; none look nasty.

Some benches, you do not want to sit on them because they are not clean. Sure a little wear and tear, but clean is clean. Delft may be proud of its benches. That goes for the waste containers too. Emptied regularly.

Someday, maybe I'll take up waste containers, once I become bored with benches. The containers are closed near New Year. Some folks think a firecracker going off in a metal box on a pole is great fun, hilarious.

I tried the new bench behind the church. The view is of a busy Dutch crossing: pedestrians, walkers, scooters, motor scooters, bikes, cars, delivery trucks, and no one crashes or pushes. Amazing Holland.

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