April 25th, 2008

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Black Pants

Yesterday was the last day of the ´Faust-temptation´ as we northern parents called the concerts our children participated in with their choir during the last two weeks. They sang seven times three minutes in Scenes of Faust from Schumann. Last Monday it was three o’clock at night we were home from fetching our daughter in Zuidwolde, a three quarters drive from here, after a concert in Brussels in Belgium. That was the hardest. To be honest, the ride was gorgeous. There was no one on the road and the moon was full which gave the wood a soft, and otherworldly glow. Yesterday was by far the strangest from these two weeks of Faust. We were bringing our daughter to a meeting place (Staphorst)from where she would be going to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, when she realized that she had forgotten her black pants. All the children must all wear black pants, it is a big must. We tried to call the leaders of the of the choir to inquire if the pants really were necessary what my daughter claimed, but no one answered. What to do? I hopped in the car and went to Amsterdam with the children and was just in time to buy new black pants.

It was surreal being in Amsterdam, while expecting a quiet evening at home. And it was even more surreal arriving by car in Amsterdam, driving through big streets through which I use to bike. The most dreamlike thing was that our parking place was 25 meters from the Concertgebouw that is in the middle of Amsterdam. Beneath the Museumplein, next to the Concertgebouw is a big green and underneath that is a garage in which you can park your car.

What I liked very much is that on delivering the trousers I was able to see the catacombs of the Concertgebouw: the artist foyer, the choir room which black padded walls, and I saw a room especially for wood players to tune their instruments. That all was very interesting.

The only flipside is that me going to Amsterdam to buy black pants because my daughter forgot them was not a very educational thing to do. But I was already in Amsterdam when I realized that.