October 2005



Here’s a run down of a few Rotterdam based things this week:

I got yelled at while waiting on the RET Metro last night—my offense? Preparing to take a photograph. A “security guard” asked me if I was doing so, and in the same breath told me it was against the rules. I asked if there was a sign telling me it was against the rules to take pictures, he admitted there probably wasn’t (and there isn’t, I read the RET rules and regulation sign that is posted prominently on each train and on many platforms). He told me the rule was “due to recent world events.” What a bullshit excuse—“recent world events?” What recent world events? If he meant the New York City Subway scare, it was a hoax, and if he meant the 7/7 attack in London, I argue that photographs would never have prevented the attack (and I might point out it was photography that allowed authorities to track down the bombers so quickly—and they asked for everybody to submit the photographs of the attacks that they’d taken).

So I decided to do a quick Flickr search—doing a key word search of “Rotterdam” and “Metro” yielded 36 photographs of the Rotterdam Metro—and because the search isn’t perfect, I would guess this is a fragment of the Rotterdam Metro photos on Flickr, never mind those housed at other sites and kept in personal albums. One of these criminal photographs is featured in this blog entry.

Congratulations to the RET Metro’s “Security Guard” for successfully preventing me from taking photos. It was probably the best crime prevention action he’s taken during his entire career.

My Hotel: The hotel is very nice but it has one odd quirk—the bathroom doesn’t have a light switch, but rather a motion sensor that detects when you walk-by the door, or go in. However, if you’re in the bathtub reading Playboy, you’re out of range of the sensor so it went black just as I turned the page—oh and hey, I hope you believe me when I say that I read Playboy for the articles. The July issue of the American Playboy was waiting for me under the phonebook in my hotel room when I checked in.

Keeping Time: I’ve noticed on two different men this week that big is in—big watches. Last night it was a watch with a 2 inch diameter in the bar, today it was a watch so large I could read the time from halfway down the train without my glasses.

40 Year Old Virgin: I went to Pathé Schouwburgplein, the movie theater closest to my hotel. I was hoping to see Nightwatch, the Russian sci-fi thriller that’s gotten really good reviews. Unfortunately it’s showing in Russian with Dutch subtitles, so I defaulted to the 40 Year Old Virgin. Certainly it’s not a great epic film, but it was adequate low-brow humor. Unfortunately a lesbian couple behind me saw fit to use and talk on their mobile phone quite loudly during the movie. I find it really frustrating that people are actively rude. I could understand a mobile phone ringing accidentally, but to actively make calls and talk… bitches!

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