If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


24 SEP 2017

DELFT - Delft is like that. No day special, one is on errands, what I call 'out and about', and there is suddenly something that sings to you. Look at me. I had my first VW in school; it had a sunroof. When I moved west, it was done in a yellow VW. 3 people, worldly goods and no cash. However, the car was a convertible. In those days, it was foolish and payments got me in the end.

Seeing a perfect VW on my way to market stopped me. It triggered memories, all of them good. With my VW's, at least one pedal was always pushed to the floor. This one didn't have what we American kids called 'mach-nix' sticks. On both sides, behind the door window, were flaps that flipped out when the driver intended to turn. Usually, but not reliably. Anyway, this VW sent me on feeling sunny.


Grab your coat and get your hat - Leave your worry on the doorstep. Just direct your feet - to the sunny side of the street. (in song lyrics written by Dizzy Gillespie, American jazz trumpeter.) I was on my way, a fine blue sunny day. Ain't she sweet, just parked there on the street... This car made me think of the old slang expression: "Now that, is Cherry."


One of my favorite Bruce Springsteen's songs is Human Touch: We don't have to call it love, we just need a human touch. A while ago, I decided to start having massages. It was not from a lack of intimacy; instead, my reason was the same as for doing yoga. It does the body good to be touched, stretched - if nothing more, just moved around. I went through 4 until I found my favorite. It is an hour of gentle touch: feet, hands, head. She has little English and my Dutch is horrible. We are Monday friends.

When my brother and his wife visited last, it was near her birthday. My partner and I paid for a massage; she had never had one. I think she liked it; I hope so. One likes this, another something else. For me, it comes down to the human touch. Hello, how are you?

I like to walk, ride my e-bike if it's far, but the pace that suits me best is strolling. A person just sees more, but one does have to look. Some faces you pass have life-track eyes and sound-track plugs in their ears.

Some places have staff that do not even look at you, talk to a buddy while you pay. Next. That is not common here, not in Delft. What is, is you are looked at, given all the time you feel you need and treated politely.

At the Thursday market, one young woman and I have become, in a way, 'small' friends. Her stall is on my list. We talk a little: how are you? Nice day. Cold - sure is. The same? I do not know her name and have no need to.

After a series of such meetings, I go back home feeling that I have visited with friends. My sense is that they know me too. My clue is from smiles that are matched by eyes: I know you, you've been here before.

Occasionally, people have a 'what can I do better' moment; well, I have them anyway. I decided to smile, when I wasn't. It's the face I want to have when the world sees me, looks at me, and when it is not.

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