May 1, 2010

to decorate or not to decorate...

....your ENTIRE neighbourhood without any regard for whether any of the other in habitants of it might be for it or against it.

What would you do if, oh, say... the soccer World Cup was coming up, and your country's national colour was orange, and you wanted to show support for your national team? Wear a button? Place a bumpersticker on your car? Raise the flag? Wear an orange Tshirt? Perhaps even paint your face and decorate your living room with orange flaglines for the actual matches? Really, I'd love to hear. 

Would you, for instance, even consider putting flaglines on the outside of your house? On the outside of your neighbours houses? Would you perhaps think about drinking lots of beer, then going to weld a huge steel contraption in the public parking area outside your home, dig a 4 foot wide and 4 foot deep hole into the middle of the square which holds the children's grassy playground, and proceed to fill it with cement to anchor the steal contraption and keep it up straight, coming to a height of, let's say, 30 feet? All of this while the children ranging from 2 - 12 are actually still playing in said grassy playground?

We came to the realisation that this was actually, no kidding, what the neighbours directly across from us were doing when, after noticing them weld that steal thing all day long, and digging that huge hole, we finally saw them taking bags of unmixed cement out to the hole, along with buckets of water. Of course my first reaction was 'Well, why didn't I think of that? How handy that could have been to hang my laundry from so I wouldn't have to have it in the house! Darn them for thinking of it first!'. 
My second reaction though, was to firstly be concerned for our children's safety, and secondly to be (perhaps even more) concerned with the mental health of our neighbours who seemed to genuinly believe that the square, and playground, is theirs to alter as they see fit.

Naturally I called the police, only to find out that I most definitely was not the first one reporting this strange abuse of our community grounds. 'Don't worry ma'am, a car is already on its way.' We tried not to look out the window the entire time we were waiting for the police car to arrive.. but we glanced outside a tad more often than we would normally...  It only took the car 5 minutes. 
The officers talked to my neighbours, who kept their beers in hand during the entire confrontation. My neighbours got upset, started raising their voices, used bad language, and eventually got a fine and were instructed to fill the hole back up immediately and get rid of the steal pole-like thing which was taking up 2 valuable parking spots. They ended up rebelling by using the entire sidewalk on their side of the block to sit and have their dinner on, blocking passage for anybody wanting to get by using said sidewalk. Some sort of show of not having been defeated I suppose. I just thought they looked like a bunch of homeless, drunk people. Drunk on Heineken or stupidity, I'm not sure.

Of course that wasn't the end of it. Orange was going to prevail! This was only a minor setback in their grand scheme to make Our Guys win by transforming our neighbourhood into a gigantic orange blob, visible from outer space!
Apparently they were going to use the contraption in the centre of the square to fasten vast amounts of the above-mentioned orange flaglines to, instead they were now forced to use the young trees that had been planted 2 years ago, making it look like this:

Here is a view of the entire square is it is at this moment:

You can see the barren area where they dug the hole. They are currently searching for the best spots to attach the rest of their flaglines to, so they can have the whole square covered with a roof of flags. 
Their kids actually came to our door earlier today, begging for a financial contribution towards the decorations, as they called them. 
See the slide and climbing area designed for small children on the far right, next to that beautiful tree in full pink bloom? That's where my daughters play on pretty much a daily basis. I love the fact that I am able to see them from my home so I can check and make sure they are safe, and not getting into trouble. How great do you think my view of them will be when there are a gamillion orange flags in between me and them? You're correct. Not so great. 

So now the question is, how do I stop these people without causing a major riot, or at least getting beer thrown in my face? What are my rights? Is this even legal? 
I can't find anything about it online, so if anybody has a clue then I am all ears. 
Maybe I'm just being over-sensitive due to pregnancy? Nah I don't think so. I honestly don't mind people having their World Cup fun, showing their orange pride and throwing up a couple of decorations around the neighbourhood. But there are limits, right? Are you with me, yay or nay?!


Rambler said...

Yay, I'll sign the petition.
Still I'm afraid you will have to sit it through, as these people won't let anyone stop them in their orange madness.

Maybe you and the family could take a wonderful vacation until the World Cup is over, or Holland is kicked out halfway through.

Go somewhere north for a few weeks, less people, quiet and lovely. Sweden maybe. Afternoon suns over vast lakes.
Wonderful Avett Brothers' lyrics
"Load the car and write the note
Grab your bag and grab your coat
Tell the ones that need to know
We are headed north."

May Family said...

you crack me up... or I should say, Ducth people crack me up!! haha, so funny. Having grown up there, I understand your predicament, and I would be just as upset. Good lcuk, unfortunately i don't have a solution for you, other than some advice that confrontation would probably not be a good idea in your current state :) haha.

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