13 April 2011

A bad news week in the Netherlands

It's been a bad week in the news in the Netherlands. On Saturday, 6 people were killed in a store in Alphen aan de Rijn. It's a city not so large and not so far away from here - just a short hop on a train from Leiden or Gouda.

Last week Wednesday, someone from Iraq who was denied asylum in the Netherlands set himself on fire in Dam Square, just around the corner from where I used to live.

It's a lot of tragedy - and it all has felt so close by.

I wasn't expecting it to get any closer by than that, though. Fortunately, it looks like (as of 6:30 this evening) that there will be one less tragedy in the news, even if I did get a bit of a scare.

When I tried to turn on the oven around 5, I had noticed that the gas was turned off. I figured I'd let Matthijs figure out the problem when he got home. And although I'd heard some noise on the street, I figured it was just someone fixing up the gas problem - and after living in the Red Light District, it hadn't really dawned on me that it was anything unusual. But eventually I looked out the window. And there were two policemen across the street with guns pointed at my house; a whole group of them just down the street, and the street had been closed off. When I googled, I discovered that somebody had threatened to set himself on fire. The police are now debriefing beside the store next door and I saw that they walked off with the suspect. And Matthijs has been allowed into the street again. I'm thankful that nothing happened. But I think the cat and I will need some time to adjust to the anxiety caused by being so close to another possible tragedy.

No comments: