Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kids These Days...

Today after our respective works, Louise and I sat in the courtyard for a few hours, just reveling in our fabulous Amsterdam digs.  Then some rowdy boys ran in and started making loads of noise - seriously, I hate 10-year old boys, they are so loud!  UGH.  Everyone in the building poked their heads out the windows, frowning.  

I would have yelled at those boys, excepting that they probably only knew Dutch.  And I don't like to waste my time like that.  I'd rather write on this blog, discussing important things like carbonated iced tea and mysterious unidentified berries.  You know, vital information.

Ton (one of the neighbors, he always drops off any mail for us) bumbled out to scold them.  Ton is so funny... he's nice, but in a very distracted, totally Dutch way.  His glasses magnify his eyes a bit and he's always concerned about silly things.  He always is sitting outside his apartment reading newspapers: I'm not entirely sure if he has a job.  

However, Ton isn't very threatening.  The 10-year olds were clearly aware of this.  Ton's scolding was mocked, and he decided to call out the heavy: Henk.  If you are a 10-year old boy, Henk is terrifying.  

(Louise and I think he's nice because he has a little boy who is like four years old, and the little boy likes to carry on long conversations with us whenever he sees us.  Naturally, the conversations are all in Dutch, but the little guy doesn't seem to care if we respond appropriately or not.)

Anyway, Henk is tall and wears t-shirts without sleeves and has long blond hair and a wallet chain and that 'don't mess with me' attitude.  We watched Ton go over and scold the boys: shortly after the came back and walked over to  Henk's door, muttering.  Henk shortly came out and walked over and glowered at the boys, all of whom promptly scattered.

Ten minutes after Henk went back in his apartment, the boys were back, banging the door of the courtyard.  The nice lady who gave me the band-aid when I cut my finger came out and positioned herself next to the gate with the garden hose.  Her plan was to blast them with water, but the boys must have guessed her sinister intents, they didn't come back in the courtyard.

One other time there were a bunch of middle school/early high school boys hanging out in the archway.  I don't know what they were doing, but you could tell they knew they weren't supposed to be doing it.  Maybe drinking or something, I have no idea.  Presumably all of these things are legal here, I mean, it is Amsterdam.  Anyway, I gave them a mean look.  Ton was there again that day, grumbling.  I said, "Why don't you just call the police if they're disturbing the peace, which they are?"  He looked at me like I was crazy.

I think Ton needed some time to this this crazy American notion over.  Because later (Lou and I were still in the courtyard) some police did come, and they were talking to Ton and Henk and Band-aid Lady and some other neighbors.

All-in-all, I don't care if kids come in the courtyard, but if they are loud, I'm gonna smack them down, American-style.  But it was really funny to see Ton get mad and go get Henk to be his heavy.

And on a totally non-related note: 
It's a bookworm!  And so well-dressed, just look at that hat.
(Taken a few weeks ago in Delft, which is yet another reason why Delft is so charming).


Ynn said...

Love the bookworm! Charming and cultivatedAnd one can tell extremely well-read. And there are days when I hate 10 year old boys as well, but as a group 4th graders are usually my favorites. It's just when you get that one rabble-rousing miscreant that the whole bunch can go bad. I shall hope for no more invasions of ill-mannered 10 year olds...and I want a bookworm just like that for outside the library!

Anonymous said...

You need to learn "teacher voice." If used correctly, it even stops adults in their tracks. Your mom or Ynn could teach you.

mamamia4859 said...

I love the bookworm too!If I were still teaching, it would be a great motivator for my reluctant readers.
As for the bratty 10 year old boys...when does school start?

Mum said...

10 year old hooligans can be found anywhere. It isn't just an American characteristic. My advice is to avoid them if possible and don't let them know how annoyed they are making you. That only feeds their egos.