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Every week author Maurits Koelewijn talks about the coffee culture and life in his hometown Amsterdam. This week he drank his black coffee at Latei in the Red Light District.
I was bootcamping in a park in the east of Amsterdam the other day. During all the sweating my teammate Sophie told me they don’t shower together anymore, after doing gymnastics at school.
‘Why not?’ I asked surprisedly.
‘Otherwise kids will make pictures.’
Wow, I never realized that. Of course, nowadays students have a smartphone and thus a camera. That wasn’t the case when I was young. And of course you think I’m going to tell you everything was better in former times. Well, no, it wasn’t. Taking a shower wasn’t a problem, though. But in my first year in high school I was head over heels in love with a girl who was totally unavailable. I desperately wanted to have a picture of her. But where should I start? WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist yet. Suddenly I made a very important discovery. In the beginning of the class register were pictures of all of my classmates! I secretly took the book, hid it underneath my sweater and took it to the copying machine. I was so nervous when I put down the book on the glass plate. What if the vice principal would walk in and ask me what I was doing? Luckily everything went well and when I walking down the playground again I was so happy! I was in possession of a very little, black and white picture of an unavailable girl!
Nowadays, everybody makes pictures of everything. You don’t expect people to bother. Except when they’re in the shower of course. But in the cute gnome house Latei, everybody is still wearing their clothes and still people are panicking when I make some pictures. The barista even asks me irritated to stop doing that.
There is just one visitor not noticing any hustle. It concerns an older, calm gentleman who is busy with more important things. Eventually, I took a picture of him. A little bit behind his back.. Just like when I was copying the picture of that girl. Maybe it’s not the way it should be, but it gives you the prettiest pictures. Just take a look...