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Warmond

I haven't suffered greatly from the smallness of Warmond, one of those villages with its own, relatively expensive supermarket, which started as a straggling line of houses along a main street invariably called "Dorpsstraat", and had ugly blocks of houses added as it expanded. My reason for being there had to do with growing up in a dysfunctional family which kindly chose to remove itself to another country, leaving me in the care of an art gallery owner who was quite well-known in the village and probably considered a little eccentric; all of which was well outside Dutch notions of normality, and provided some protection against the same. Some Dutchness seeped through, however. The local weekly rag featured a virulent column from a cleric who pretended to be reviewing books, but was really ranting at the world for not being god-fearing enough. I don't know if this column's writer was the same as the pastor who, visiting my landlady, told me he would make me scrub floors on my knees. I don't think he was joking. Incidentally, this sort of meddling arrogance from a guest falls well within Dutch notions of normality.


The gallery, outside and inside (faces obscured for privacy reasons). It's the white building to the left, called "De Pomp" after the pump on the village square - the stone structure with the round knob on top. The brown building, though called "school", lost that function long ago, and is now (or was, the twenty years ago that I lived there) used for yoga, dance and self-defence lessons, and the like.



Some time later: the first room I rented as a student was in a pub/hotel called "Het Wapen van Warmond". It was frightfully expensive and I moved to cheaper lodgings. I rented there again - a cheaper room this time - when returning to Leiden to study Slavic languages (ie. Russian) in my last year.







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