A few months ago I wrote about the rather large welcome banner that can be found outside Amsterdam’s central train station (Link). I wrote about how it displayed a group of very unfriendly looking Dutch people and possibly did not give visitors a very good first impression of the locals. Despite the banners rather inhospitable look it has become a sight I was used to seeing every morning on my tram journey.
So imagine my surprise when one morning I looked out of the window of my over crowded tram and saw something completely unexpected. The banner has been changed. I could not believe it. Could it have been that my previous post about its appearance had sparked this change? Is it possible that my words had started a panic with in the Dutch government?
Government Official 1: “Sir, sir! You are not going to believe this. A young Englishman has written something slightly negative about the welcome banner we put up outside Amsterdam central station.”
Government Official 2: “Oh my god! This is terrible. This could bring down the entire government. You must see to it that the banner is changed at once.”
Government Official 1: “But what do we change it to sir?”
Government Official 2: “Dam it man! There is no time to think. Just change it to anything else before it is too late.”
Government Official 1: “Anything?”
Government Official 2: “Anything!”
This scenario might sound very random and bizarre but it is the only explanation my over active imagination can come up with as to why the banner out side Amsterdam central station has been replaced with such a random and bizarre image.
Behold, people jumping off stuff:
If the idea behind this banner is to give visitors an impression of what life in the European city is like there are going to be a lot of disappointed tourists wondering around with stiff necks, trying to capture a glimpse of Amsterdam locals leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Is the Dutch government trying to give the impression that the primary method of travel for the average Dutch person is leaping buildings with a single bound?
I have done some research and found that there is more to some of these strange images:
1) The Velcro Kid:
The short lived fashion in 1980’s architecture of using Velcro bricks led to the rise of the famous cat burglar known as ‘The Velcro Kid’. He was able to sneak into people’s houses by wearing clothing made out of the corresponding Velcro. Although Velcro was very affective as a method of climbing into buildings it was in fact very slow and noisy. This photo was taken when ‘The Velcro Kid’ was caught. It took five police men two ours to pull him off the wall.
2) David de Gedeprimeerd:
Here we see a very nervous man attempting suicide. He is very scared of heights and it has taken him three months to build up the confidence to get up to this high. Originally he started by jumping off the curb. It will take a farther two years for him to achieve a height that will finally result in his death. This includes the recovery time for broken legs in-between attempts.
3) Timmy de Young
It was during this routine family photo that Timmy’s mum realized no obstacle can stand between a twelve year old boy and an ice-lolly when they hear the sound of a ice-cream van driving by.
4) James de Ongelukkig
This was the moment that James fell victim to one of the very rare urban concrete venous fly/man traps that have been known to grow in Amsterdam.
5) Vicky Gru:
Little is known about this man but if your name was Vicky Gru wouldn’t you want to keep your face out of the photo as well?