The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 24, 2011


In Janwillem van der Vetering's Outsider in Amsterdam the chief inspector is dismissive about pseudo-Buddhism and nuts who want to improve the world.
"... He buys an old rackety house at the Haarlemmer Houttuinen, fixes it up a little and whitewashes all its walls. He buys a second-hand imitation of an Asiatic statue and puts it in the hall, lights an incense stick and sells health food. Unwashed tomatoes and grains. The kind that sticks in your throat. A rat couldn't digest it. And carrot juice." 
He interrogated the detectives with his eyes. Both nodded. 
It was clear that the chief inspector had no liking for carrot juice. They knew what he liked. He liked Dutch gin, and shrimp cocktails, snails and peppersteak. Pineapple with whipped cream. And cognac. 
"There's a bar as well," Grijpstra said. 
The chief inspector looked surprised. 
"A what?" 
"A bar," repeated Grijpstra, "downstairs, as you go in, on the right, a bar where they sell gin and beer." 
"Good idea," the chief inspector said. "With a glass of jenever you can get through to the other nuts. And when you have weakened their defences you can make them eat unpeeled rice."


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