I left the metro at Wilhelminaplein in a stream of senior citizens. A lady asked me how to get to the Luxor theatre and I pointed her to the corridor with the horizontal escalator. Excitedly, she thanked me and I lost sight of her. I saw her again outside, still lost. She apologised, saying that she’d never been to the theatre, which loomed over us. I learned that she’d heard about a gig, and then she confessed with a blush that she was here to dance. I was charmed by her new adventure. I myself had to be at the bar at the back of the theatre, so we waved goodbye to each other as we crossed the road. She was practically skipping.

A few weeks ago, I attended the gala of a student society that shall remain unnamed. I was out of there before midnight. My fragile constitution couldn’t handle the amount of polyester in the room. I’d been blinded by the word ‘gala’ and had conveniently ignored the word ‘student’, so it was kind of my fault that I came home disappointed and took off my painful heels. Maybe I could have enjoyed the plastic if I’d left my pearls at home.

From the bar in Luxor, I snuck inside to discover the flirting elders. The big band was taking a break and everyone was sitting on chairs drinking wine or coffee, chatting, or holding hands in silence. I didn’t see the older woman, but I hope she had sjans. That word is rarely used in Dutch these days, but my love for older people has taught me that sjans means successful flirting. It’s something people over fifty say when they feel young again.

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An ad for an ad

In the metro from Blaak to Beurs, you can see an illuminated ad on the tunnel wall. Every…