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Afbeelding Humans of Amsterdam

A romantic date at Central station

“I knew his wife from church. He is not religious and was always hiking, so I never saw him. His wife passed away a year and a half ago. I didn’t hear from him after the funeral. At the beginning of this year, I spoke to a friend from the church, and she told me that Joop was not doing well. I decided to give him a call. When I spoke to him on the phone, he told me he was still very upset about his wife’s passing. And that because of the corona pandemic, he did not hike much anymore. I said, ‘Why don’t you walk over to me once a week? Then I will make sure a cup of coffee is ready for you when you arrive.’ He lives in Purmerend South, and I live in Purmerend North. That is a distance of 4 kilometers single way. He thought that was a good idea. So, from that moment, on every Wednesday, we drank a cup of coffee together. He would then tell me stories about his work as a diamond cutter in Amsterdam. And how he lost much of his sight as a young man. He told me that hiking saved his life. He has walked The Four Days Marches of Nijmegen more than forty times. When my dog – Droppie – passed away at the beginning of May, I was very sad. She belonged to my sister, but when she passed away a few years ago, I adopted Droppie. To cheer me up, Joop took me by train to Enkhuizen to walk around the city. That was an unforgettable day. On the train home, I had to confess something. I told Joop that since the death of my dog Droppie, I felt that I had a lot of love to give. At that moment, he wasn’t sure what I meant, but the next day, he was suddenly at my door. We didn’t officially ask each other to be boyfriend and girlfriend. But he got the hint, and now we are more than friends. We’re not going to live together! He’s 94, and I’m 81, so we’re not getting into that. But we walk a lot together. And since I walk so much, I feel much fitter. Joop takes me to all kinds of beautiful places. Today he wanted to show me the central station. He has seen the station change from even before the Second World War. I haven’t been there in years, so I’m looking forward to it. After our coffee, we go to the public library. He says the view on the top floor is very romantic!”

door Debra Barraud


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