Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The Dutch have this great term ‘miereneuker’ that is used to describe someone who unreasonably focuses on irrelevant details. The term is English is approximated to ‘a person who likes to have sexual relations with an ant.’

In my day-to-day muddling in everyone’s business at Ideal Housing – the prerogative of the Managing Partner –, I’m abstracted out of the hue-and-cry of negotiating prices, extra beds, the removal of lamps and the painting of scuffed walls and, in general, escape having to kowtow to mireneukers that are, in fact, our rental clients.

Yesterday evening something surprising and depressing occurred. My offer was accepted on the purchase of a monster apartment on a canal in the Jordaan. From that instant – the nanosecond between being a contender and winning the bid – I found myself transformed form a well-balanced, easy going and pleasant individual into a person who likes to have sexual relations with an ant. I’ve already called the seller fifty times asking if this or that is included, was that scratch on the wall when I last viewed the place, the gate seems creaky, the intercom crackles, there’s a leaf on the roof, it looks like rain and the temperature has dropped from warm to chilly.

The owner has this tone that yells ‘ant boy!’

I have a new understand that verges on sympathy for these insect-loving clients and have promised not to swear at them (at least not when they are within earshot).

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