Leave it to the Dutch to -even when things are properly fucked- still hold the faith that the system will kick in and fall in place. Amazing.
The Metro line broke down this morning in the middle of the track. 100 meters from where everybody has to be. I can actually see my office.
But it’s 9am so people are stacked in the wagons are packed like cattle. Hundreds of them. Literally.
So we wait. Five minutes become ten, 15 become 20. And no riot breaks out.
Everybody is just calm. Phones get whipped out and appointments are readjusted. Video games get clicked on. WhatsApp convos start. I rant my own. One person gets a call, laughs and announces: ‘i just heard. technical difficulties. We will be towed just now’.
“You got great connections,” someone else answers, also with a cordial laugh. So we wait a little while longer.
A girl starts singing ‘we zijn er bijna, we zijn er bijna …” Everybody thinks along ‘Maar nog niet helemaal, helemaal!.’
I wanted to strangle her.
30 minutes after the tram broke down, the conductor sticks his head out and announces. “Good morning. we’re having technical difficulties. It will be fixed just now. Please be patient a little longer.”
“I think “really? that’s the message 30 minutes later?” But nobody gets angry, nobody acts frustrated. Everybody’s just calm.
Finally, 45 minutes later, the conductor gets the metro going, slowly but surely, but backwards, in the wrong direction. We go back to the last station where the wagons spit out the passengers; from here it’s a 15 minute trek to work.
We all march on. just another Friday morning in Amsterdam.