17 juli: FIETSVAKANTIE – deel vier

17 juli: FIETSVAKANTIE – deel vier
Opengebroken wegen, niksige gebouwen en een grijze, regenachtige waas. Mijn voorstelling van Emmeloord werd bewaarheid. Emmeloord, of all places. Mijn zoon vindt dat ik veel te bevooroordeeld ben en dat is ook zo. Met een raar soort genot benoem ik de lelijkheden die ik zie, alsof ze elders niet zouden voorkomen: lelijke schuttingen, lelijke flats, lelijke gebouwen, lelijke ‘doorkijkjes’. Ook veel lelijke mensen. Oorspronkelijk wilden we naar Urk, maar Urk kon (of wilde) ons niet herbergen, we moesten uitwijken. In Emmeloord was nog genoeg plek… Op vakantie naar Emmeloord, alleen het idee al is goud voor cabaretiers. Ik beloof mijn zoon dat ik Emmeloord een eerlijke kans ga geven. Als de zon even later schijnt, moet ik toegeven dat deze plaats (die nog ‘Dorp A’ heette in 1943) er niet per se wanstaltig uitziet. Onze hotelkamers van ‘t Voorhuys zijn zelfs prachtig, zoon is compleet ondersteboven van de luxe kamers. Middelste heeft geen goed woord over voor het bijgezette bed, omdat de veren haar tere huid zouden teisteren. Nee, niemand wil met haar ruilen.
Van het Friese Eysinga-State, een Landal-achtig vakantiepark, maar dan rustiger en overdreven rechttoe rechtaan rijtjes, zijn we in een relatief korte etappe in de Noordoostpolder terechtgekomen. Aardappel- en lelievelden begroeten ons. Mij bekruipt een Diemerparkgevoel. Maar IJburg komt niet in zicht. De A6 blijft ons stalken, monotoon op de achtergrond. Volgens mij is Nederland nergens zo uitzonderlijk plat als in Flevoland. Alsof we op de bodem staan. En dat staan we ook. We fietsen zes meter onder de zee.
Op de sjieke hotelkamer vinden we tot mijn verbazing geen bijbel, wel een enthousiaste welkomstbrochure met schreeuwende tulpen op de voorkant. Er is van alles te doen in de N.O.P.: expedities, jungletheater, modderglijbanen, allemaal minstens een halfuur fietsen van de grandioze hoofdplaats van deze polder, Emmeloord.
Wat gaan we dan wél doen? Jongste wil graag naar een zwembad. En dat is er! We kwamen er net nog langs. Op internet vinden we de naam: het Bosbad. Het ziet er groots uit met diverse binnen- en buitenbaden. Het bad is wel nogal Coronisch beveiligd. Je moet (uiteraard) reserveren, je moet kiezen tussen binnen of buiten, je moet thuis plassen, thuis douchen, thuis omkleden. Je moet aangeven of je 13 plus of 13 min bent (maar wat als je gezin beiden is?). Ik moet ze maar eens bellen. Dat helpt. We kunnen gewoon komen, dan kunnen we ter plekke kiezen. Ja hoor, er is zowel binnen als buiten nog plek, verzekert ze ons. Gerustgesteld trekken we ‘thuis’ onze badkleding aan en doen nog een plas (vooraf douchen gaat ons iets te ver). Het Bosbad bereiken we na 5 minuten fietsen. Eigenlijk drie, maar ja, die opengebroken wegen hè. We parkeren de fietsen. De anderhalve-meterstreepjes wijzen ons al van verre de weg naar de ingang. Ook de balie is kunstig ingepakt met plexiglas. Vanwege drukte en Corona moeten we toch écht kiezen: wordt het binnen? Of buiten? We gokken op buiten.
Onder escorte van een jonge badmeester worden we door het binnenbad naar buiten getroond. Goed rechts aanhoudend in verband met Corona en mogelijke drukte, zien we waar we niet voor gekozen hebben. Het heeft iets weg van de 123-shows van weleer met Ted de Braak. De speelmat gaat aan onze neus voorbij evenals twee duikplanken (een lage én een hoge, ai!).
Maar wat krijgen we wél? De deur naar buiten wordt geopend. De zon verblindt ons even. Voor ons verschijnt een maagdelijk terrein. Een groot terrein, een kolossaal terrein. Verschillende baden, twee glijbanen, uitgestrekte grasvelden voorzien van fluorescerende ‘afstandcirkels’. Alles in serene rust. Want: er is geen kip! Met zenuwachtig gegiechel bekijken we het surreële tafereel waarin we ons bevinden. Overal staat “afstand houden”. Hoe moeten we dat nou doen, met niemand in de buurt? NIEMAND.
De twee badjuffen proberen de moed erin te houden, halen een grote zwarte speelband voor ons tevoorschijn en een paar gezellige drijfslurven. Het water van de glijbanen wordt voor ons aangezet.
De zon schijnt, het is woensdagmiddag en vakantie, het is vakantie notabene!
“We moeten nog wel even”, vertelt de ene badjuf, terwijl ze de andere aankijkt. “Tot 20.00 uur.” Als we rond 17.30 uur weer vertrekken, wensen we ze sterkte.
Emmeloord. Je blijft ons verrassen…

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