Chief editor Roos Post, who is a columnist for Red Pers for once, had something nice happen to her during her walk through the center of Amsterdam. She suddenly got spring fever from it.
“Hey, how nice, a tassie!” The voice came from somewhere behind me. I knew what the shouting boy was referring to: I was carrying a red linen bag with 'tassie' written in white. I turned around. My eye fell on two boys, in their mid-twenties, on a bench on the Lindegracht, next to a closed café Thijssen. Cigarette in one hand, bottle of beer in the other.
It was a cool but sunny Friday afternoon in February. I walked over to the boys for a chat, asked what they were doing. They told me that they had organized a city walk for their study association and were now waiting for the walking groups.
A twinkle in the judge's eye: "Do you want a shot?" I followed his gaze, in the planter next to him was a bottle hidden with a drink in the taste of a Rocket ice cream. I kindly thanked.
When I wanted to run away, the same judge shouted: "But when everything is open again, will you come and have a beer with us at café Thijssen?" All three of us took a quick look inside, saw the cafe: closed, dark, with the chairs on the table. The normally bustling place, with a full terrace in the afternoon sun on such days. The pub was deserted. I told the boys that it is one of my favorite cafes and that I will undoubtedly see them there after corona times.
Beaming eyes, an enthusiastic smile. We waved and I continued my walk through the tourist-free Jordaan.
I felt the urge of these two boys, the desire to flirt, to chat with strangers, to cycle home after a Friday afternoon drink. It moved me, but I also admired them. They took it. They had chosen a bench next to the pub where they usually like to go, they were provided with cigarettes and cold beers, they hid a bottle of liquor next to them in a planter and they started chatting with strangers.
They created their own happy moment, sitting on a bench in the midday sun on that one Friday in February.