It was a warm spring day. The kind of day that makes you feel that summer is right around the corner. This is the time when neighbors come out of hibernation and start sprucing up their yards. Across the street a woman was power washing her brick terrace and dogs were visiting the poop park… you could tell how happy they were to be on freshly cut grass. Unfortunately, we were looking at our neighborhood through some pretty dirty windows.

We don’t have the kind of windows that I had in America, the kind that can be flipped inside and out and you never have to leave the inside of your house to wash both sides of the glass. They have those kind of windows here, but we don’t have them in our home. Our windows swing open and we are not on the ground floor. Trust me when I say that washing the windows is a complicated procedure and each room has different challenges. In order to wash some of  the outside glass, you have to step out of the window, lean over the ledge, do the hokey pokey and hope your wet rag can reach that big ugly glob of bird poop before you fall to your untimely, and yet dramatic, early death. In other words, you need Spiderman with a squeegy.

We spied a man cleaning windows at the building next door. Individual home owners hire window washers and we have been waiting to pounce on the guy that did this neighborhood. Today he was working nearby and we thought that this was our lucky day. My partner went out to talk to this man and while I waited alone inside the house to hear what his price would be…a man leaped over our terrace and said “hello!” I about dropped my book and said a startled hello back. Needless to say, I did not expect the man to show up so quickly. He started to speak Dutch to me, and I tried to cut him off by saying that I was an American and did not speak Dutch-yet. He immediately switched gears and spoke perfect English. He had a tall ladder that I had not seen leaning against our terrace, I did not want to imply that he actually climbed up the wall with his webbed feet and hands.

In a Dutch direct moment, he asked for a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. He was so charming, how could we say no? We gave him coffee in an American mug and we offered him a refill. But he was all set, and after he had his caffeine fix, he was raring to go.

We have decided that this is our guy…he is our bilingual Spidey.

Movie buzz—I have recently seen two wonderful films: Hysteria and the French movie Intouchables. Both very different, but very worthwhile and entertaining.

Book buzz– I am currently reading The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. This is a great book to read while someone is washing your windows.

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  • Karen  On May 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    You’re so funny!

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