9 juli: FIETSVAKANTIE – deel één

9 juli: FIETSVAKANTIE – deel één
Hoorn. Hotel De Keizerskroon. Kamer 15 is voor ons, kamer 16 de “kinderkamer”. Het is behoorlijk gehorig, maar we hebben pas drie keer het kroost tot stilte hoeven manen. En gisteravond in het Grieks restaurant hadden we voor het eerst het gevoel van echt gesprekken voeren met elkaar. Een nieuwe gewaarwording, omdat we zo gewend zijn om de papa & mama-rol te spelen, ruzietjes te sussen, goede manieren te promoten. Zo gewend dat zij in het middelpunt staan, dat zij ventileren wat zij vinden, zij ervaren, zij willen, zij niet willen. Nu werd er geluisterd naar ons, naar verhalen van onze families, maar dus ook hun familie…
Maar voordat we zo in plotsklaps bescheiden harmonie met elkaar waren beland en lurkten van Ice Tea en Cola (jongste stootte de hare nog om) en aanvielen op de tzatziki, hadden we een bijzondere dag achter de rug. Ik heb me zelden zo Hollands gevoeld. Wat is dat, je Hollands voelen?
 
Dag 1 van onze fietsvakantie was de tocht van Amsterdam naar Hoorn. We verlieten de Watergraafsmeer in de miezer. Typisch Hollandse miezer. Grijze luchten, groene velden. Koeien, schapen, dijken. Een strakke goed georganiseerde omgeving, niets aan het toeval overlatend. We doen hier praktisch, een land met verstand, van klei, van asfalt. Van de knooppuntroute-bordjes van de ‘denk-lekker-zelf-even-na’ mentaliteit, maar waar je meermalen gewaarschuwd wordt voor naderend onheil zoals freesvakken, of gevaarlijk drijfzand.
 
We vertrokken om 11.26 uur, slechts 16 minuten later dan gepland. Buienradar had aangegeven dat 11.10 uur een gunstig tijdstip was. Wat is gunstig als je weet dat het de hele weg zal gaan regenen? Het enige wat je dan kunt doen is een besluit tot aanvaarding. Vier van de vijf gezinsleden besloten te aanvaarden. De vijfde, onze jongste, niet. “Waarom gingen we niet gewoon naar Frankrijk?” jengelde ze in diverse variaties. “Dan zaten we tenminste in een droge auto!”
 
“Jongens, over 19 minuten zijn we bij de chocomel met slagroom.” probeerde de initiator van deze fietsvakantie de moraal hoog te houden. “En weten jullie hoe dat café heet? Café De Ruiter!” “Wat toepasselijk!” riep de jongste alsof ze een nieuw elixer had toegediend gekregen. Eindelijk zette ze haar energie in voor fietsen in plaats van piepen.
De bewoonde wereld kwam inderdaad in zicht. Monnickendam begon met sjieke, slaperige nieuwbouwwijken. Google vond het leuk om ons dwars door onhandige parkjes te sturen, die veel te krap waren voor de fietsen. Nog 2 minuten en nog altijd kronkelden we door een niksig villawijkje. Plotseling stopten we. “Hier is het”, sprak M. turend naar zijn smartphone. We keken rond en dachten allemaal hetzelfde: “Waar dan?” “We zijn er misschien voorbij gereden?” bracht zoon hoopvol in. Twee bejaarden schuifelden langzaam onze kant op. Als enige extravert was het aan mij ze aan te spreken. “Mag ik u wat vragen? Wij zijn op zoek naar Café De Ruiter, weet u waar dat is?” De man keek me aan alsof ik zijn dag helemaal had goed gemaakt. “Café De Ruiter”, herhaalde hij opgewekt, “die hebben we hier niet.”
Café De Ruiter bleek een kapster bij een woonhuis. De vrolijke bejaarden stonden ons niet toe in depressie te belanden. Zij wezen ons naar het oude dorp en spraken liefdevol over een speeltoren, die we in het vizier moesten houden. We stapten op en koersten feilloos naar het oude centrum van Monnickendam.
Dichtbij de speeltoren, doken we ‘de Dolfijn’ binnen. Een lege, traditionele Hollandse cafetaria. Onder onze voeten verschenen plasjes met water. De Aziatische dame achter de bar vertelde ons dat zij geen warme chocomel had. (Alle begrip daarvoor in juli..)
We stroopten wat van onze regenkleding uit. Zweet en regenwater vielen bijna niet meer te onderscheiden. De jongste bibberde. Gewapend met droge kleding confisceerden we de wc. Een merkwaardig campinggevoel. Daar wachtte een onverwachtse verrassing: Een ouderwetse handendroger. Deze bleek uitstekend geschikt om een koud, 9-jarig lijfje op te warmen. Terug aan tafel lagen de kipnuggets en frietjes haar al op te wachten. De vakantie is begonnen.

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