Haarlem shuffle

The first picture is a side street around here, and the second is Gedempte Raamgracht, our street.

Click here for a live view of the Grote Markt, the big square here in Haarlem. It updates every five seconds, but you have to refresh the page yourself. The big church on the right, St. Bavo's, is awfully impressive. Mozart once played the organ there. At least once a day I walk or bike through that square. You may get lucky and see me! That would make you, as I mentioned, very lucky.

Today is my birthday. I'm 39 -- again.


T-bone said...

Please have an excellent birthday. Your plants send their love. Are the real Grendel and Luka learning the language? (I bet you get that one a lot!)

Grendel said...

Thanks, T. Please convey my love to the plants as well.

I have been casually teaching them Dutch commands. They are similar to the English forms anyway.

Kom! = Come!

Zit! = Sit!

Wacht! = Wait!

Ligt! = Lie down!

Nee! = No!

Ja! = Yes!

Niet leuk, Grendel! = Not good, Grendel!

Goede meisje, Luka! = Good girl, Luka!

Slecht hond! = Bad dog!

Goed hond! = Good dog!

Hoe gaat het, schatje? = How's it going, sweetie?

Zullen wij nu het diner opeten? = Should we now eat up the dinner?

Werp af de zwaan = Drop the swan

De gracht is een zwembad niet! = The canal is not a swimming pool

Vader moet nu naar de kerk gaan = Father must now go to church (I use this when I leave -- they don't know that I'm not really going to church!)

traca de broon said...

Lang zal je level, mijn lief. Ik zie je straks!

PJKM said...

Happy birthday, Grendel - your new neighborhood looks pretty. Drop the swan!

gillymonster said...

Happy birthday. I note that the live picture of the squate updates instantanously. I clicked "refresh" about ten times, one second apart, and watched pedestrians move off into the distance. And is that a kebob cart?

traca de broon said...

Of course I meant, "Lang zal je LEVEN" and not "LEVEL," although may you also be level long, as well.

Brando said...

Happy Birthday, Grendel! I lift a little gift for you on the blog.

TLB said...

Happy Birthday G! Drink something for us. Your town is extremely cute.

Jason Marcuson said...

Happy Birthday, Grendel! Tonight I'll hoist a bland American beer in your honor if you'll toke in mine!

Grendel said...

I DID toke in yours, Jason. I didn't mean to. There was this guy from East London computer dj-ing this English-Dutch kind of hooligan bar, where when I walked in a woman was slapping a guy, and then he shoved her right across my field of travel. I walked in right exactly in the middle and scooted through as unobtrusively as possible. Then I saw Paul, the "dj" -- he lives upstairs and works in a cement factory. And he was holding up this great big joint and saying, "Here, mate." And playing AC/DC. Then I talked to the bartender's mother, who turned out to be her sister, which was a reeeal nice moment, but I recovered nicely. Then I ran into a guy in the bathroom, who said, "Goede avond" -- good evening -- and I said something about loving the music, which was Pink Floyd's "Sheep," and from my accent he said, "You are Englishman?" and when I said "Nope, America" he started laughing and said, "I'm Venezuelan!" We both cracked up, seriously. And when I was done coughing/laughing, I nearly screamed, "Viva, Shavez!" -- and do you know what he replied with? "Viva, Bush!" I shit you not. And then later I saw him and we had a big grin.

PJKM, he nearly pulled me into the canal going after a swan, after I pointed them out, trying to be helpful and educational. He tore down the bank, and if it weren't for bad luck I'd ... no, if it weren't for a serendipitous tree, we both would have gone in. So then I imagined what if he'd caught a fucking swan.

gill, it could be a kebab cart, but that's doubtful because I would have noticed it. There are many kinds of carts here. The video is funny to me. It doesn't look like the Grote Markt at all. I think it's a fish eye lend or something. The picture appears to be taken atop the other imposing structure on the Grote Markt: City Hall.

Traca, I shall live long, and you shall be living with me. I just wish you were here NOW. You need to hurry up. I'm clearly on the edge of trouble.

Brando, your gift was well appreciated,. I kept watching it to admire the pure timing of it. You could in fact close your eyes, as I did a few times, and savor the rhythm.

TLB, the town is real cute, and you need to come visit it, and we'll pump you full of genever (Dutch gin -- not really! You shouldn't ever, ever drink it! Oh, sometimes it's okay...) no, how about absinth, of which the shop down the street sells seven different kinds. "These two are gimmicks," the guy told me when I asked about them. "This one is the best," he said. Pointing, boredly.

felicity thompson said...

congrats on your birthday
sounds like you had a good day
i'm glad to have my first post on such an auspicious day!

(if this post actually works i will eat my dinner
and enjoy it
though i do not advocate googlisation of the world)

Jane said...

Wow, I didn't know you guys lived in Haarlem! Great little town. A. and I spent a few days there last March when he was on tour. I'll take it over Amsterdam any day.

Happy birthday, to you and the swans.