It was a day with a sort of mixed weather in the Netherlands. The sun sometimes peeped out and a moment later the rain gushed from the sky. A perfect day to pay a visit to the polder.
We went to the Noord Oost Polder, part of the land the Dutch re-conquered from the sea. It’s way down sea level and really flat. To break the wind here and there are groups of trees. And there are some towns built.
The former island Schokland looks like a wart in this landscape. On this is a museum. There are a few reconstructed houses and the former church. The real houses were demolished in 1859 because King William of the Netherlands ordered the people to leave the island because it became too dangerous.
While we were there, a school group was having an excursion and we saw two tourist coaches with a huge group of elderly people coming in.
We were halfway round having a look at the old remains and the pictures when we felt like having a coffee. While enjoying this, two old men joined us at the terrace. One was walking with a walking stick you normally see in the Alps and southern Germany. They found a nice table, in the sun and shielded from the wind. The one without a stick gave the other a wink and got them two little glasses of jenever. They toasted and giggled. Between them a lively conversation started.
They were having a good time, that was obvious.
This situation was ended after not much time. They didn’t even finish their jenever when three old ladies came around the corner of the building they were sitting against. They shouted out: “So here you were hiding!” The old men looked at each other but not really reacted.
The old women were seated at the table of the men. They started discussing lots of things with their shrill voices. The men became very silent. When the waitress asked if they had wishes, the man with the walking stick started to mumble something but one of the women ordered five teas.
The old ladies had a lot to talk about and the men were quiet now. There would be no possibility to enter the conversation anyhow. One studied his stick and the other one seemed to count the stones on the terrace.
We saw the sky getting a sort of black colour. The schoolchildren and their teachers got to their bicycles and we decided to skip the rest of the tour. Maybe we’ll see the church some other time.
The old women still rattled on and the men were still studying a walking stick and counting stones.
They had no eye for the sky.