Overheard in Amsterdam #449

I was sitting in my favourite cafe, which happens to provide a takeaway service of most of their meals. One of their regulars came in for a takeaway order while I was there for coffee.

Customer

I’m having some friends over, I need six pieces of the pesto chicken.

Server

Do you want us to heat it for you?

Customer

It’s fine, I will do that at home and serve it on a pretty plate and they’ll think I made it.

Server

OK, we also have the mushroom chicken pasta dish…

Customer

Nah, man! this is my signature dish.

Overheard in Amsterdam

The world is watching America. In this case the old lady is in her eighties, which means she remembers the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Old Dutch Lady

I saw the news with the new president.

Dumb Foreigner

What did you think?

Old Dutch Lady

*Sigh* … we already fixed this once in my lifetime.

Overheard in Amsterdam #654

I was on a train at Amsterdam Centraal, heading east to Bijlmer. There had been some train delays and we were waiting to depart, there were a lot of “runners”, desperate to catch the train after the conductor had already blown his whistle.

Passenger 1

Does this train stop in Utrecht?

Conductor

Yes, come aboard.

Passenger 2

Does this train go to Eindhoven?

Conductor

Yes, jump on.

Passenger 3

Den Bosch?

Conductor

Yes, yes, move down the carriage please.

(He then closed the doors and the train began to move).

Welcome aboard the 11.40 train to Zandvoort!

*For those not up on Dutch geography, Zandvoort is in the opposite direction.

Overheard on the Train

The trains here have silent carriages, marked with “Stilte/Silence” on the windows. In these carriages you’re supposed to be silent. No phone calls, minimal chat. Silent. It’s a rule that’s taken seriously, and there’s always someone in the carriage who will play policeman if you do chat. Which is what happened today.

On the train today a man from the UK answered his phone, and stayed on it chatting.

A Dutch man got up and pointed to the sign on the window that says silence.

UK man waved his hands and kept chatting.

This was repeated.

Then UK man got up and went to talk to Dutch man – still in the SILENT carriage. This was the exchange.

UK Man

Could I just explain, I’m here in the Netherlands researching what happened my family during the war and that’s what the calls were about.

Dutch Man

That’s fine; you need to take the calls out of this carriage.

On the train again

I nearly missed the train this morning, but there was a guy even later than me. He was running and jumped on board just as the doors closed.

Running Man

Does this train go to Utrecht?

Train Guy

So first you jump on the train and then you check the destination?

Running Man

Er, yes.

Train Guy

Today you’re in luck – this train goes to Utrecht.

Test of Friendship

I was wandering along Haarlemmerdijk (the dodgy end) behind two old tramps when one of them spotted a half-smoked joint lying on the ground.

Tramp 1

Aaaw, look, look here

Tramp 2

Thanks, don’t wanna lose that. (picks it up)

Tramp 1

Just looking out for you, bro.

Overheard in Amsterdam #643

This happened yesterday; 24 April, with King’s Day due on Saturday 26 April. This time the “dumb foreigner” is me. I wasn’t surprised people had begun celebrating King’s Day already, but it was pretty clear a surprised response was called for…

Dutch Lady

I saw people wearing orange t-shirts, and orange glasses in town today

Dumb Foreigner

Really?

Dutch Lady

It’s far too early; It’s not King’s day yet!