First 'terrasje' since lockdown
'Terrasje' on maskfree, carefree Covid-free days -photo by Kirsten Bett
Sitting in the sunshine. Naturally the sun shines on this 28th of April, the first day we are permitted to book a table on a 'terrasje', the Dutch word for the outside areas of café or pub. They are popular in a country that needs to maximise every square centimetre of its space. Many pavements, squares and even barges are put into use in the summer.
Covid put an end to that but today we can book a table and sit outside for a set amount of time, enjoying a good cuppa and practising our favourite passtime: people watching. About 10,000 cafés are not taking part. They say they are not happy with opening their doors to the public when Covid shows no sign of easing the healthcare in hospitals. Also, the bad weather forecast might have something to do with that decision as well as the requirement to stick to corona rules, ie household bubbles, keeping 1,5 metre distance and wearing a mask when moving around the establishment.
But forecasts aside, the sun is shining today. Against all odds or maybe not, because this visit takes place in my mind. The blog needed to be up and running well before opening hours. I am writing this at 10:00am on King's Day, the 27th of April. For obvious reasons the first 'terrasjes' opened the day after King's Day. If you have ever seen an orange jumping cloud pass by in the Netherlands while on pavements people sell their unwanted stuff for peanuts, you must have visited us on King's day.
I prefer the relaxedness of my virtual terrasje. Writing this blog, watching the main character of my next series walking in the door, Magda or Marga. She's in her fifties. She's bold. She will not leave when her time is up. She will join another table of friends with her dog Max who is the naughtiest dog in town.
Aren't we lucky to have a vivid imagination? Although nothing can compare to the real sun shining on your face as you lean back into chairs with comfy cushions dreaming of enough vaccinations to reduce the pressure on the healthcare.