Blondes and the bicycle police[September 17, 2012]
Had a very jolly lunch at the Balie today, but when I went outside, my bike had disappeared. My bike is big and black and very heavy, so it would be a bit obvious if anyone tried to walk off with it in the middle of the day.
Twas then I spied a group of council workers in uniform loading bikes onto the back of a truck to take off to the Fietsdepot.
And there was my bike. One of the last ones to be loaded on. So I rushed over and smiled nicely and asked if I could please have my bike back. No. It was too difficult to unload (not true) and so I would have to go all the way up to the Fietsdepot - the back of beyond in the harbour area - to get it.
As I discussed my bike and the merits of their work with these charming jobsworths, they carried on loading more bikes. A young tall blonde thing came rushing over and pointed to her bike. It was one of the last that had been loaded. Please could she have it back? Yes she could.
But me, not a chance.
I got a bit cross. Well, quite angry actually. In the end the officious little git who was writing out the forms told me to take my bike out if I could. So I climbed onto the lorry to do just that. Then one of the other little jobsworths told the boss to phone the police. Deciding it was perhaps not worth being arrested for trying to take my own bike back, I climbed down and walked away.
They are very nice at the Fietsdepot itself. I got there before my bike had even been processed. So they wrote it into the system and wrote it out and I paid my 10 euros and went home.
The Leidesplein jobsworths are driving 'handhaving' bike van number 2115. And if you see them loading up your bike, send over a blonde girlie to flutter her eyelashes and ask for it back.