“The Buurman” or “Scary Movie…in Holland”

Storm and rain outside. I hear noises I am not familiar with. I am alone in my sister’s house in Holland. Well, not quite alone, the cat named Juanita keeps me company. I have to add that the Dutch people have a tendency to exhibitionism…or shall we say that they are just more open than others? In case you are bored, walk through the streets and watch what people are up to in their homes. The window fronts of their houses are large and facing the street and in general there are no curtains. That is why nothing behind these windows stays hidden. Specially at night when the lights are turned on inside, you can get a perfect picture about Dutch evenings. I try not to think about the fact that I am exposed to any possible window watcher.
Sitting on the couch, the cat and computer on my knee, a cup of tea by my side. Suddenly the
doorbell rings, several insisting times! It is 10pm, the cat jumps, I jump (although less high than the cat), my tea-cup tips over and in a second I realize that whoever is at the door sees me from outside, there is no point in hiding…so we, Juanita and I, go to the door and I see this scary face in the small window…like a face I would expect to see in Stephen King movies…an aged blonde psycho with a smile, like in “Shining”, saying: “This is the Buurman!”
Buurman, buurman, buurman, why don’t I speak Dutch? Buhmann, sounds dangerous; he could have just as well said: I am the man who is going to kill you, uuuuhhhh.
I shout that I don’t speak Dutch and when he says I should open the small window in the door (in Dutch again) I go: “No, no! I don’t speak Dutch!”. And then suddenly I understand what buurman means…and at the same moment he switches to English. Neighbour, pfeww, I will still live and I start calculating: If I open the communication window, can he stick his arm inside and choke me one-handedly?!? I decide that chances are small, on more Juanita is by my side. So I open the small window and he comes even closer with his face and seen from that angle…buurman could still mean killer!
But he must have realised that he had freaked me out and so he has the brightest, nicest smile and explains to me that there is a big plastic bag in the street and that it could eventually be the cover from the scooter.
What, where, how, scooter? He explains that these people who live in this house have a scooter…Oh, thank you for the information. I also tell him that one of these people living in this house is my sister.
So, I very nicely thank him and wish him an excellent evening and I hope he forgets about the panicked woman and does not
change his mind and comes back to still kill me.
I hear him open the door and thanks to low acoustic isolation I can tell that he goes upstairs and starts a phone call, probably telling some friend about the weirdo woman next door.
Putting on my red boots – nothing bad can happen to me with these on – taking the keys and holding on tight to my phone (although I don’t even know the number I would have to dial to call the police), I walk out to fetch the plastic cover. No idea if it belongs to the people of this house but I still pull this enormous thing behind me and walk a few steps… If there was a scooter, it must have been blown away too, I don’t see it. Still, I save that big plastic tent from a fatal ending in the middle of the
street…and put it in the back yard, scaring Juanita some more pulling the rustling plastic bag through the living room.
By the way, I found out that the scooter exists. It is a lovely blue Vespa but my sister forgot to cover it before leaving for her holiday…
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