60 Years Ago Today

Sunday, 17 August 1952:

In the morning I bathed standing in a little round wash basin as I cleaned the bottom half of me. And then I cleaned the top half of me sitting on a marble table around a bowl. Afterwards, I felt quite clean. Then it was off to breakfast for a delicious meal which was similar to the breakfasts we had on the Sibijak. I noticed LO came to breakfast in peddle pushers.

Then we were off to church at 10 a.m. Our 10-15 minute walk turned out to be a 25 minute stroll past canals and leaning buildings. We met Clara Borgeson and Grace Lam. We gave our program in a good sized hall with a piano and organ which was used for church services. Members were friendly, but not quite so prone to shake hands with everyone.

The Dutch seemed quite easy to understand, so it wasn’t too difficult to sing the hymns in Dutch. In class one of the missionaries answered our questions about Holland and socialized medicine. We learned that a collector came around each month to collect money for health services. Also that Dutch school was compulsory till age 14 and four languages were taught in school: English, Dutch, French and German.

Unfortunately, there were many inactive LDS members in Holland. And the converts to the LDS Church came from people who had fallen away from other denominations. Most Dutch were narrow in their ideas and felt comfortable in ruts that they didn’t want to be disturbed. And while the missionaries served in Holland, they tended to gain weight, because of the good food here. Holland had special lanes for bikers which the missionaries used to get around.

Afterwards, we caught trolley 16 back to the hotel for dinner and another big delicious meal. I finished with a big bowl of fruit for dessert.

Next we were off to Marken Island with uncertain weather. On the ride out I glimpsed windmills, houses, and other sights. Some canvas came loose and started flapping in the breeze so we had to stop in order to fix it. While we were stopped, I snapped a picture of a windmill in the distance. I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself. I spotted ships on a dry dock on the way to the island.

Our bus drove onto a ferry to cross a big canal. I noticed curtains in the little boats along the canal. When we got to the island we parked the bus and the mob spent money for Dutch chocolate ice cream with windmill spoons.

A small motorboat chugged across Zuiderzee Bay. In ten years or so this will all be land and canals.

Then it started raining cats and dogs. The streets were deserted except for a couple of boys standing near the buildings. That was quite frustrating since our main purpose for coming here was to see people and take pictures of them. Instead we strolled around in the rain.

As the sun tried to shine a little we got a few pictures of typical Dutch costumes and houses. Inside a quaint little shop was an old withered lady in native dress where I bought a souvenir. There were lamps with lace shades and cracks in the wall. Then I had great difficulty in getting shots of the Dutch men, because they would turn away. It was hard to tell little boys from little girls. I heard a guy expanding on the differences in their costumes.

So many tourists were running around it was almost impossible to get pictures without one of them in it. I discovered that a few of the children were dressed like those in America. Some people wore wooden shoes and others had regular shoes on. A man, who was dressed just like anyone else, strolled along with two little girls in native costumes in each hand.

When it was time to go back we had more rain. But where was the bus? I stopped in a souvenir shop and saw blue and white jewelry, wooden shoes, and little costumes. There were painted black caps and aprons which weren’t quite so colorful. We strolled over to the cafe next door to the WC. It was jammed with people, mostly tourists, I believe. There was a Dutch sailor who had had several drinks and was in high spirits.

Henry started waving across the street in order to gather the mob. I had gotten off on the wrong street and heard the big wingding in a café. There were costumes, music and dancing. Finally I followed the brick streets along the canal to the bus. I don’t know for sure how Andre got here or how we found him, but we were all together again. Yea!

Missionaries called back from a souvenir shop to tell “them” (Dutch members) that we would be late for church. We were scheduled to give a program–good thing to let “them” know. We did go to the church first, but it was already too late by the time we arrived. We didn’t even go in and headed back to the hotel.

At the hotel L.O. and I jumped out of the bus and dashed down to see if we could get tickets to Heidelberg Romance. Yep! After buying tickets, we hurried off to dinner. Gee! I could really gain weight on these types of menu. We had delicious cream soup again and all the rest of the works with luscious ice cream for dessert.

I got a good start on packing before the movie. My, my, I didn’t realize I had collected so much literature on the trip. We had to pack so we can leave our big suitcases at Rotterdam. Afterwards, as we walked down to the movie we were met by throngs of people coming from the earlier show. They took over the street like we do on the hill road at Ricks College off of the upper campus between classes. Only there was so much more people. About the only thing I spotted getting through this crowd was the big trolley.

At the theater there was a small man from the night before that was ushering the second door and he recognized me. As we entered the theater we were greeted with clouds of smoke from people smoking. This was much different from our experiences in America. Our seats, which were the cheapest we could buy, turned out to be almost on the stage and up the side wall it seemed.
At first I had to fight to stay awake because it was so warm. Still we were able to enjoy the movie immensely despite the heat, smoke, and seats. In the movie we got to see the famous sights which included the Heidelberg castle, former old bridge, and Red Ox Inn. We even got to see the famous Heidelberg fireworks.

Back at the hotel I ended up packing until almost 2 a.m.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s