Wednesday, 16 May 2018
And Then It All Went Splat
Or Crack! or Krak!! or Kapotski!!!
My laptop's screen decided to retire last Friday, getting darker and darker till I could only make anything out if the room was pitch dark. And 150 Euros to repair it, bearing in mind the fact that I bought it in 2013, made replacing it seem almost a bargain. Almost.
The Dutch pension system kindly keeps a small part of each monthly pension payment to one side for us and pays this out every May as Holiday Money. Everyone's used to this Big Brother arrangement, since employers have always done it as well and they add a bit extra so, depending on your salary, it can be quite a respectable amount. Involuntary, but painless saving.
So, you say, everyone in Holland goes on lovely, extravagant holidays to the Azores or Mexico? … well no. Everyone in Holland dusts off the family tent, climbs into the family car if they have one or a bus if they don't and drives to a French campsite, preferably one near the border. Or they stay at home.
Why doesn't everyone splurge? Simple. The holiday money is always paid out in May. Everything, including my old laptop, knows this and waits till May to expire. On the rare occasions that one's white goods can totter on another year then the sofa springs will all go boing! and poke out through the upholstery, someone will spill chocolate milk over the carpet and the curtain rod will detach itself from the wall.
There is junk mail thundering through every letter box in the land, offering bargains galore in everything from fridges to trampolines. I think the yearly Holiday Money could be renamed the Personal Kapotski Fund. Or, in my case this year, the New Laptop Payment and a dash to England to see daughters and grandsons on the leftovers.