Gamiila (gamiila) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

For now I see through a glass, darkly...but not for much longer!

Some years ago, the European Parliament in its wisdom decided that window cleaners weren't allowed to clean windows from a certain height without specialist protective gear and equipment anywhere in its territory anymore. Apparently, that worked out fine for all the other countries, except for The Netherlands where the windows on properties open outward. As soon as the law became effective, people who lived on the second floor and up found that they could no longer get their windows cleaned, because in order to make good on their investment for the special equipment they now needed to ply their trade window cleaners deserted the private sector in droves and concentrated on the more lucrative business contracts. Besides, you can't very well hang one of those basket-like contraptions and winch cables from ordinary 70 year old houses and the like. The roofs aren't designed for them.

I live on the second floor (3rd if you count them the American way). From one day to the next, the man who'd done my windows for years refused to climb the ladder one more storey up, on the grounds that he'd be risking his livelihood. At first, there was nothing to be done, but after about a year, our MEPs succeeded in having the law amended. Window cleaners in The Netherlands could go back to work...but in the meantime, many small companies had gone bust, or gone into other activities, and finding someone to do my (and my neighbours's) windows proved immensely difficult for the next year and a half...until last night: someone rang the doorbell while I was preparing my evening meal. I didn't expect anyone so I leaned over the balcony railing and shouted down. The answer I received was the most welcome I have had in years: "Good evening, madam. I am a window cleaner and I was wondering..."

So I invited him up for coffee and a chat, and managed to alert some of my neighbours to this momentous occasion as well, and the long and short of it is that as from this coming March, Brian and his business partner Thomas will be doing all our windows twice monthly at a price of 6 euros per flat.

This morning, when my neighbours and I left for work, we were all smiling.
Tags: politics, real life

  • Eureka!

    So I came back from my sojourn in California early on Sunday morning; having left the United States (or at least the terra firma of it) early the…

  • California, here I come!

    Right - I think I've got everything packed for a 3-week stay in the States! The last month has gone by in a bit of a blur; I've enjoyed going in to…

  • The world's such an awfully big place

    I've always thought of myself as fairly well-travelled...but when I look at the map and the places I've been, I feel humbled at the realisation and…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.