Monday, 5 August 2019

Diversity and Cultural Divide

Nieuwe Zakelijkheid, translated as New Objectivity or New Pragmatism, is a Dutch style of modernist architecture that started in the 1920s and continued into the 1930s.
I have a distinct antipathy towards this form of architecture.

I live across the road to a synagogue building that is a prime example of Nieuwe Zakelijkheid. It is now used as an auction hall.
The actual synagogue is in a small annex that is not an example of any form of architecture.

Opposite the annex lives an old homosexual couple.
Their yellow roses are in bloom.
One of the men dresses like an old professor, the other like a young man from the 1950s.
The old professor type told us his partner’s legs were bad and he could not walk very far, but he wanted to keep up appearances by dressing like a young man.

Next door lives an older woman who used to be the madam of a brothel. 
Her red roses are in bloom.
She is a nice, chatty person who changes the colour of her hair every month. She once told me she had an invalid husband who she looks after, but I have never seen him.
There is always another old lady with her. I wonder if this is a sister, a friend or a lover.
I also wonder if she has a past with her homosexual neighbours.

My Dutch wife says I should stop wondering and ask her. This illustrates the cultural divide between us.
One does not ask these things, one speculates.

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