A couple of days ago I get to the café and this guy’s installing a string of lights.
He looked most able and efficient indeed while I had lost the adapter with my phone charger. I could not charge phone nor camera.
I watched, and took a few pictures (that I can’t find now) during the course of my morning routine of coffee, breakfast, e mails, in varying order and other variations, him calmly measuring out wire, installing the base, move on another meter stick, another base installed.
There were a few good humoured murmurs between him and one of the maintenance staff who happened to be ready with a few good humoured murmurs of his own when he had to rest the ladder on the canopy to change bulbs and other such maneuvers done with care and experience.
Another light test, all bulbs fine, pack the gear, get in the car and ciao.
The people working in Receptie here are all very efficient indeed in a very Dutch way that is is as follows. How much courtesy and chitchat do you think you need in order to book a tent, or by a coke (and this is Dutch wide, not just here) cut that by 50% and 80% respectively.
Courtesy in as much as needed to get you served and gone, and chitchat means getting your most complex needs explained in two short sentences, maybe three. They’re always buys, and as far as I see they’re busy with work. There’s always some sort of pressure sitting on top of your every interaction. It’s a service of efficiency, not courtesy.
I like messing around with them.
So this guy is doing the electricity, and I walk over gate pretending to be going in the opposite direction. That’s the gate through which campers and caravans enter and exit the campsite. It can be a busy with campers coming and going throughout the day. The gate swings up. I have an idea.
I wait my turn in reception. They’re busy. I’m doing something else and pretending to be standing here waiting for my turn.
I think of telling her if they could notify us when the gate goes up because it startled me. Perhaps a schedule, or a bell, or anything more ridiculous I think of before it’s my turn (She gave me the to busy to look look). This gate goes up a every few minutes at peak times and doesn’t stop all day, closing only with the main gate at midnight. I think that a mildly startled camper is hardly going trigger a dash for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist – what with everyone so busy all the time.
Someone about to finish. My turn imminent. That pretty one, the blonde, is going to handle me. It’s cooler saying it in present tense, don’t you think?
The installation took him a couple of hours, maybe three. He probably charged for the morning. The place is now lit up like a friggin Christmas tree – see the picture if you don’t believe me.
There was not a sound throughout the job. You would hear a pin drop if you eliminate all other noise except for the fuss this guys was making. A Ralph Laurent type, in dress and cut.
Quietly, without a mess, without an incident, what looked like exceedingly well spaced and wired bulbs – like something out of a factory but he made it right there, bit by bit, from reels of wire, bulb bases, and those plastic zip locks they been using for handcuffs.
I walk around looking for bits of insulation, found none.
Part of my daily routine during smoke breaks is to wander around the first corner into the caravan park to look for pictures behind the café – little red berries and other things. There parked was a luvly jubly blue Alfa Romeo Spider convertible (that mean coupe?).
It was in this that our electrician friend zoomed off in. See it there, down the end of the road? Past that gate I was talking about? The one I wanted to bug the receptionist with.
Today, having not found an adapter in a supermarket, hardware store, and computer guy, and before I head into the city to search for a camera shop, I spot this little window with electric things in it round the corner from the camp.
Door tinkled as I enter, and he came out of the back to see ssup.
Nothing he could do with plug but quick inspection of the charger, a diagnoses of 120v, and a neatly wrapped cable replacement for my charger is in my hands for a measly eight euros.