Although I was born in the city of Amsterdam, I spent the most of my live in a town called Haaksbergen. Haaksbergen is a town in the eastern part of the Netherlands. My parents moved from Amsterdam to Haaksbergen when I was very young (I was around one and a half years old). I have dear memories of this town. But every time I visit Haaksbergen again, I am surprised how fast a town can change. But at the same time so many memories are still bound to so many things.
One of the thing I was very curious of was if the house that belonged to my mother was still untenanted. I was told that after my mother passed away the house has been empty for a very long time, but not anymore…
New people are living there now. Of course, that was bound to happen. It would useless to let the house stay unused. But somehow it is a little weird to realize that after the house been more than 30 years in our family, there now other people living there.
Anyway, I hope that the people who are living there now (seems to be a Cassandra and Paul) will be happy there. The house is maybe older, but it is big. A very large living room, a nice kitchen, 3 large bed rooms, a smaller bedroom, an attic and a nice garden. And the price they asked a year ago for it, was even below what I had to pay for my apartment (which makes the differences in house prices and their site very clear).
Of course it brought back memories of my mother who passed away last year. So I was very happy that Sanne and Marion were with me there.
But there are also many nice and good memories around that house.
There were these small passages between the houses. They were used to give access to the sheds, but also were meant as an escape route in case of fire. As young kids we played there a lot. You could run around there. Play hide and seek. Climb on the roofs of the sheds (which wasn’t allowed of course). Great memories.
We also visited “De Wilder”, a beautiful “tropical swimming paradise” (as they call it). I used to swim there a lot. And I have to admit, it is much nicer than the place where I always go swimming in Heemskerk. But I am not complaining, I am happy with the location there. At least it has also those “herb baths” and a sauna close by.
The swimming made us hungry and it was about time to have lunch. “Grand Café Centraal” is a great place for a lunch. They have some awesome sandwiches with fried egg and ham (and other stuff). Apart from the wind, the weather was nice. So we had our lunch outside on the terrace. There you have a wonderful view on the Pancratius Church, a Catholic church. I am an atheist, but I do like churches as historical buildings very much. And the Pancratius Church is really a beautiful building.
After lunch we made a walk through the center of town. Well, call it a ride down the memory-lane. Because that was exactly what it was. As said, a lot changed and at the same time a lot is the same. One thing I really like about Haaksbergen or Oldenzaal (as I know now since last Friday) or even Enschede (although that is a city) is a nice center of town with cafes, restaurants, terraces and such. A nice place where it is on sunny evenings very neighborly and convivial.
Sadly Heemskerk has nothing like that. There is a square in the middle of town with shops around and just 1 small terrace and that is it. There are some terraces spread over town, but there is no “social center” of town. A pity that is. If there would be have something like that, we would go to town a lot more often as we do now.
Luckily Alkmaar, Haarlem and Amsterdam are close by to make up for that.
One thing I really like about Haaksbergen is that there still so much is left of it’s history. Just look around and you will see it.
Our walk brought us to the Bergingsvijver, just outside Haaksbergen. As a boy I used to swim there, but swimming is not allowed here anymore (might be dangerous for health and such). Also I did here my first (and last) attempt to fish. I already found out that fishing is nothing for me. And no, I don’t believe the story that fishes don’t feel pain (and even if they wouldn’t, all the stress it causes to them). Never touched a fishing rod again and that is good this way…
At the isle in the “Bergingsvijver” that you can reach by a bridge we found something nice. We had to look at it for a little before we saw the idea behind it…
First we thought that the text was mirrored, but that was not the case. It was Sanne who said “Look into the water”. And she was right, in the water the reflected text was normally readable… “Oplossen in hemel en aarde. Niet verdwijnen” (“Resolve in air and soil. Not dissapearing”). We pondered a bit what they could mean with that and we all had our own thoughts about it. Anyway, I really liked the idea.
Back in town we went to “De Markt 2”, the place were I went so often in the past. Sanne did leave us there while she declared with one of her funny faces that Marion and I should have the rest of the day for us alone. Silly girl… she know she always welcome with us, but yet it was appreciated.
Marion and I enjoyed some beer and wine on the terrace of “De Markt 2”. We sat there for a long time. Talked, laughed, chatted with other people. It almost felt as the old times. The atmosphere was very good.
At a certain moment it became really cold outside. So we went inside of “De Markt 2”. As it was more then about dinner time, we ordered something nice to eat. After we finished dinner, we went to the bar to have something more to drink. I enjoyed it a lot and so did Marion. We had lots of fun with the people at the bar, the people of “De Markt II” included. Somewhere the feeling of “being home” came up to me…. This is what I missed so much.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my apartment. I love my job and the people I work with…. But if only those darn Noord-Holland folks would be a bit more as those from Twente….
Ah well, it was a great weekend. Something I needed, so this we do a lot more… (and yes Sanne, next time you can stay with us at “De Markt 2” :P).
All with all, a weekend to remember!!!
2 thoughts on “Life is there to… see Haaksbergen again…”
Inspiring, what are the chances of an African wanting to come live in Haaksbergen? I know someone who is interested in living there but knows nobody there. She recently finished university in Africa?
If this person will be able to make her or his living (meaning being able to support all the coast of living) it should be no real issue. But please remember that the Dutch culture is way different as the African one. Someone may have problems to adjust.