Sunday, August 23, 2009


Yesterday Amy and I were walking down Nassaukade, on our way home, after spending way too many hours in Westerpark–doing absolutely nothing. On the walk home two of the blondest children I have ever seen were hanging out of their third story window. One had a string in their hand–the string leading to the sidewalk below. At the end of the string, was tied a small basket. The two girls were speaking Dutch to passer-by-ers. I didn't quite understand everything that was being said. But suddenly I felt the need to find out. From somewhere in my subconscious-mind I shouted, 'Spreekt U Ingles?' (Keeping it classy you see–as U would be the formal version of 'you'. Even eight year old deserve respect, I believe. As someone once told me, people can be interesting at any age…) The two girls–neither older than, say, eight–suddenly glanced at each other in surprise and excitement. The one holding the string turned to the other, excitedly, 'Ja, Engles! Engles!'–as if only her fellow companion could speak the English in a way I would understand… 'We're selling bracelets for twenty cents,' the girl excitedly explained. 'Ah. I see,' I confirmed. 'I would like to buy one,' I said as I placed my twenty cents in their basket, which they lowered down There were only two options, but I really didn't mind. This whole interaction, made an already spectacular day, even more spectacular. 'Dank je wel!' I shouted up, with a nice waving gesture to match–(must make sure the emotions and actions match the feelings, you see). And with that–we continued on our way home from the park. As I looked back, the two girls were giggling with excitement as they pulled back up their basket, with their newly earned 20 cents inside, to the window above. 'Thank you!' They shouted in the distance. The whole thing might have taken two minutes. It's wondrous how easy it can be to brighten someone's day.