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.

About the author

Kirsten Bett is writing her first book  My name is Wilma, a personal fiction book from the point of view from her cat Wilma. Wilma emigrated to New Zealand with Kirsten, Wim and their other cat Sailor in 2007. In 2017 they settled in the Netherlands again, but this time not in the busy west. They chose to live in Leeuwarden, Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. 

Kirsten writes a blog Pondering Paws about places, characters and places in the book. She also posts blogs about her other love, poetry.


Griselda Heppel said…
I am now transfixed by the vision of an orange cloud passing down the streets of Amsterdam and the Hague, raining peanuts on everybody. Yes, I fear lockdown has addled my brain...

How cruel that just as we are allowed to meet outside pubs and cafes, the belated April showers (sorely needed for gardens) have decided to set in for the next fortnight. Ah well, the sun will break forth eventually. Thanks for this welcome glimpse of imaginary sunshine and cafe life!
Ruth Leigh said…
How lovely! I hope you enjoyed it
Kirsten Bett said…
Thanks guys, guess what and don't laugh I was there two hours too early... The proprietor felt sorry for me so let me drink my oak milk latte just inside the car in front of the open door. But the sun shone and I read my book...

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