The Dreaded Parkeeerbaheeren. My First Trip To Europe.
Detailed Translations for parkeerbeheer from Dutch to English
parkeerbeheer: (*Using Word and Sentence Splitter)
| The first time I went to tour Europe with DOA was quite the experience. I had never been anywhere but the US and Canada, so it was an adventure for me.|
The arrangements had been made for me to fly over to Europe a couple of days ahead of the band. I was to pick up the van we had rented in Hamburg Germany, and drive it to London England to pick up the band.
I flew out of Kansas City International airport, and directly into Hamburg
where I was to meet “Goliath”, who was renting the van to us. Now Goliath really lives up to his name! The man is about 7″ 3′ tall and about 400 pounds, every inch of it superior German muscle. The man cuts a huge and intimidating profile. Goliath met me as I came off of the plane in hamburg. We shook hands, it was like sticking my hand into a hydraulic vice. I had to reach up..and up to meet his grasp.
“Hello, you must be “Bob”. Goliath said in a loud, stern Deutch voice, his English is pretty good…And that typical superior German attitude of polite tolerance to such an inferior being…much less an American. (Not to say that Goliath is a Nazi, or any sort of supremacist…any more so then any son of Der Fatherland…)
“yes, I am Bob…glad to meet you.” I said, my voice seeming meek and timid compared to his. And indeed, Goliath IS an intimidating person…but he has a heart of gold, really.
Goliath led me out to the van in front of the airport. The van was a thing of beauty! a brand new 1996 Fiat Ducato, Turbo-charged Diesel with a great Blaupunkt tape-deck. We got in and Goliath drove for a few blocks, pointing out the various features of the van, including the five-speed manual shifter on the dashboard.
He stopped the van and got out. He dragged a bicycle out of the back of the van and got on it. He pointed up the stassa towards an on-ramp.
“The autobahn is there, take it to Amsterdam.” He said as he peddled away. I got into the drivers seat and started the van, and after fumbling the clutch a few times, and restarting the engine I was off.
So there I was, fifteen minutes off of the plane, in a foreign country, speeding down the autobahn at 160 kph in a brand new Fiat Ducato. I didn’t sprechen a single word of anything but redneck American, and I was laughing my ass off at the whole situation.
I drove for several hours, passing off other motorists as I learned the Deutch way of driving…they are very intolerant of people who drive in the passing lane. BMW’s, Porches, and other sporty-cars passed me like I was standing still…even at 160 KPH.
I was fearing driving in a strange European city, and I had formulated a plan. I would pick up a hitchhiker when I got closer to Amsterdam, and hopefully they could show me the way into town. I was to meet another contact in Amsterdam and spend the night before heading on to Chalais to cross the channel to England.
Hitchhiking in Europe is a different thing then hitchhiking in North America. Lots of people hitchhike, not just the serial killers. SO as I drove along, I kept my eyes open for a likely looking candidate. I was trying to spot a student type who looked like they where heading to Amsterdam for a holiday.
I passed two student-looking types on the side of the road, but as I was going 160 KPH, I was past them before I could slow down to pick them up. SO I kept going, hoping to see another down the way.
About an hour later, Out in the middle of no-where, I saw the SAME TWO HITCHHIKER, standing out in the rain. I figured that this might be an omen, and that the powers that be where telling me to pick them up. So I pulled over and stopped.
The two young boys got in. By young boys I mean 19 or 20. They where Polish students, and being 19 or 20, I guess that puts them in the what? 3rd grade? They where indeed on their way to Amsterdam for a weekend holiday, they where made to order! And they where really cute as well! Luckily, they spoke a little bit of English, which is good because I speak zero Polish.
They got in the van, and sat way way in the back…as though they where scared of me or something. I tried to communicate to them that they where welcome to sit up front, but they declined.
“Hey, did see you guys hitching way back there?” I said trying to make conversation.
“Yes, you did, you passed us by.” One of them said in his broken speech.
We rode along in silence for a while, then one of them leans forward and asks, again in his broken speech:
“DO you smoke Mary-Jane?” He asked timidly. “Do you mind if we smoke some Mary-Jane?”
Well, I don’t smoke Mary-Jane, but I’ve got no problem with anyone else doing it, so i said:
“Oh No! Not at all! Go right ahead!”
The boy sat back quickly, his eyes wide and fearful, and whispered to his friend. Then they just sat there in silence, with their hands in their laps. They thought that I was saying “NO! Don’t smoke!” So I tried to make them feel at home. I tried to tell them that it was fine if they smoke their Mary-Jane, but they just sat their as if they thought I was ensnaring them somehow.
“No, no…its ok, we will wait!” One of them said, then they sat back in silence. It was an awkward drive.
When we got to Amsterdam, I got them to move forward so that they could direct me into the city center, and to the Centrum station, the train station. They had been to Amsterdam before and where familiar with the layout.
We got through the narrow streets, which was a bit nerve-wracking for me, the Ugly American. All of those European cities where built hundreds of years before the invention of the automobile.
Once we where at the Central Station, we circled for quite a while looking for a parking space. It was total chaos to me, cars parked everywhere. I finally spotted a space, a car was backing out of it and driving away, so I pulled in and parked.
We got out and went inside the building to look for a phone, so I could call the person that I was supposed to spend the night with. I couldn’t figure out those funny European phone numbers, and was unable to get ahold of the guy.
I swear we where only in the train station for ten minutes.
We decided to go over to the red-light district and look around a bit, and try calling later. When we got back outside, we turned the corner and low and behold:…The Brand new Fiat Ducato van was GONE!
You know that feeling you get in you stomach when you hear some really bad news? Like when you get told that someone has died? Or When your a kid, smoking your first joint in your room and your mom walks in? That sinking, nauseous, vacuous feeling? I thought I was going to puke right there.
One of the Polish boys feel to his knees and cried out something in Polish which although I didn’t understand, described exactly how I felt.
There in front of us, was the empty parking space, like the gap in a smile missing a tooth.
Panic spread through me.
“Oh shit!” I looked at the Polish boys. The van…its gone! The Polish boys nodded in disbelief, their faces white.
We got our shit together, somewhat, and asked some passersby where the police station was, and we set off to find the cops.
We walked about 20 minutes and found a police station and went inside. The big Dutch cop came out of a back room and looked us over. He said something in Dutch, a question, obviously.
“Uh…do you speak..uh…?” I stammered at him. He rolled his eyes and then said in English:
“Yes, what is it that you want?”
“Uh, my van…it has been stolen!” I told him.
“Yes, probably.” He said, looking at me like I had stated the obvious.
“Well!? I need to file a report! If we get right on this then maybe we can find it and get it back!” I said to the Dutch cop, who was looking at me like I had just made his night a lot longer.
“Oh no” He said, “It is gone…How long ago did it get stolen?” He asked.
“Oh, Just 30 minutes ago…you see, we where at the train station and I only went in…”
“Oh, 30 minutes…hmm, It is gone, probably stripped already. You have to be careful in Amsterdam.” He said.
I got that funny feeling in my gut again, I though was going to puke right there in the Police station. Here I was, On the continent for less the 10 hours and already i had capsized the entire DOA tour. I had lost Goliaths van. I had visions of Joey and Goliath drawing and quartering me, and beating me with my own limbs. I wondered if I had enough money in my pocket to escape to Algeria….maybe I would spend the rest of my life hiding from Goliath and Joey.
“Well, I need to file a theft report then.” I told the apathetic cop.
“Oh no, I cannot take a report.” The cop said. “You will first have to go to the Parkeerbaheeren and get a form that says they did not tow it away.”
“Oh!” I said, a glimmer of hope. “You mean it might have just been towed?” I asked, that feeling in my gut relaxing a bit with this hopeful turn.
“Oh no” The cop said. “The van, it is stolen, I am sure, but you must do this before I can take a report.”
My guts fell again. The Polish boys stared at me, and the cop.
“Ok…where do I find this Parkeerbaheeren?” I asked him.
The cop gave us a badly photocopied map of Amsterdam, and drew a line zig-zaging through the streets to where the Parkeerbaheren would be.
“Couldn’t we just call them?” I asked, hoping to save time, and get the investigation underway.
“No, you must go there and get their paper, and have them sign it.” The cop said, then he turned and returned to the back room he had come out of.
Me and the Polish boys headed off into Amsterdam in search of this Parkeerbaheeren. We walked for what seemed like hours, down alleys and wrong-turns, asking in vain for directions from passers-by who didn’t know what we where talking about.
Finally, we found it, the Parkeerbaheeren. It was a little office up front, and a huge covered parking garage behind the office. We went inside. Behind the counter sat a man and a woman, they looked up from their papers and spoke in Dutch.
“Uh,…do you speak English?” I asked. They rolled their eyes at me, like they where saying “Oh, god, another stupid American tourist.” One of them got up and came to the counter.
“Yes, and how may I help you?” He said, looking at me like I just made his night a whole lot longer.
I asked him if they had towed in a brand new white Fiat Ducato Van…from the train station.
“I don’t know, maybe.” He said looking at me. Giving me that LOOK. “What is the license tag number?” He asked. Well, shit…I didn’t know. I didn’t bother looking at the tag, who ever does?
“Well, i don’t know…its a German tag though.” I told him.
“We tow lots of German cars, I do no know what is this van you are looking for.” He said in his broken English.
I described the van for him again. He kept shaking his head and going “tsk tsk tsk”.
“Well, if you didn’t tow the van, then The cops said that I must get a paper from you that says that you didn’t tow the van, so they can start investigating it for being stolen.” I told the man behind the counter.
“Ok, I will find the forms” The man said, and he began to rifle through a filing cabinet.
I felt like shit. The Polish boys sat down in the chairs and hung their head…their packbacks where in the van…and stolen as well.
I stared around the room, wondering if I should just surrender myself to Goliath, and hope for a quick execution, or if I should start hitch hiking to the south pole to hide from Joey and the rest of DOA.
A closed-circuit television monitor mounted up on the wall caught my eye. It was monitoring a camera that was pivoting back and forth, surveying the parking garage behind the office. I watched it for a moment…then I saw it! The brand new white Fiat Ducato van panned past in the monitor.
“There it is! Thats it! You have my van!” I almost screamed, jumping up and down like I had just won the lottery, pointing at the monitor.
The clerk looked up, surprised by my outburst. He looked at where I was pointing at the monitor…but by then the camera was pointing off another direction and the van wasn’t in sight. He looked at me like I had just made his night really really long.
“No! Wait! Thats it…look!” I pointed at the monitor as the camera slowly…slooooowly panned back around. The Van came into view again and I pointed again. “There it is! thats the van!!”
“Oh, THAT van” The clerk said…”Yes, that van came in tonight”
“Well thats MY van! And I want it back!” I spat at him. “Why was it towed? It was parked legally!?” I asked.
“I do not know…do you have papers for this van?” He asked me.
“Well, uh…yeah, they’re in the van” I told him. The I had to argue with him for a few minute before he let me go out and get the papers from the van. I returned to the office and began arguing with the man. My name wasn’t actually on the papers, it was a rental van, in Goliaths name. They told me that they could only release the van to the person whose name was on the papers. I explained that that person was Goliath, and that Goliath was really really huge, and Goliath lived in Hamburg, and if we called up Goliath and woke him up, and made him come to Amsterdam to get his van, then he would most likely use me to beat them to death.
They where un impressed.
So after more cajoling, they told me that it would be $250 Guilders to pay for the towing, and another $50 guilders for the “Garage Fee”…and for another $50 guilders, they could make an exception and give me the van, instead of getting Goliath out of bed.
At this point I would have cut my cock off to get the van back.
I only had American money….This was just fine for the clerk. The I got an idea…
“Well, you know that van was legally parked, you had no right to tow it. I want to see a judge and get my van back, I don’t want to pay.”
“Yes, you can go see the judge” The clerk old me. Now were getting somewhere I thought…I’m an AMERICAN after all! “It will take two weeks…in the mean time, the van stays here, at $50 guilders a day!”
“But it was legally parked!” I complained.
“You can tell the judge” He said “Two weeks.” And he sat back down.
Well, so much for that.
“Ok, how much in American cash does that come to?” I asked, trying to sound contrite.
“Oh? You do not want to see the judge?” The clerk said..raising that eyebrow at me.
“No, I’ll just pay, and go to the judge later.” I said.
The clerk did some quick calculations, and consulted the other clerk in Dutch, pointing his thumb at me. They both looked me over, I’m sure sizing up my big American wallet.
“That will be $300 American Dollars.” He told me.
“Ok” I said and dug the money out of my wallet, I actually had the cash on me, and I counted it over to him. He gave me a receipt, and told me to get my van and get out.
I’m sure that money went right into his pocket. I’m sure that their tow-truck just circles the Central station looking for foreign vans…They saw the German plates and thought “Deutch marks!” and then when a stupid American came looking for the van they really got happy.
Never he less, I was SO fucking happy to get the van back. Me and the Polish boys got in and headed for the red light district. It was too late to call the guy I was supposed to spend the night with.
I was starting to get a feeling about these two Polish boys….You know, my GAYDAR ™ was going off. You know that queers can pick any other queer out of any crowd. But I couldn’t quite be sure. I was in a strange land, with ways and customs different then my own, and with all of this sensory overload, I couldn’t be sure if these two boys where queer, or if they where just..you know…European.
They where really cute. Despite every stereotype and preconceived notion I had about the Polish, they are actually a very beautiful people.
But there was that language barrier as well.
We went to the red light district and explored the hash-bars, and had a pretty good time. By then it was getting pretty late. the boys had originally planned to stay at a youth hostel, but it was too late for them to check in. Of course, out of the kindness of my crotch…I mean heart, I invited them to crash in the van with me. They agreed.
We found a good safe place to park the van, in the parking lot of an apartment building. and prepared to sleep. the van had a little loft built into it, a bunk for sleeping on above where the equipment is carried. I crawled up first, and told the boys that they could crawl up as well.
Well…its not that I’m queer that makes me a pervert, its that I’m human. ANY straight guy, regardless of his intentions, who is in the room with a woman who he finds attractive…is going to peek.
The boys stripped down…I mean, they stripped down. Those Polish don’t wear underwear you know. I was fascinated by their bodies…Now before you go judging me, who hasn’t snuck a peek when someone you are attracted to is getting naked?
The boys crawled right up into the bunk next to me…butt nekked. Well alright! i thought. But discretion being the better part of valor, and with this huge language barrier, I didn’t know how to get it on with these boys. By then, in my mind I had convinced myself that yes, these boys where queer, and they where a couple, and they where off on holiday away from their oppressive Poland on a sort of “Honey moon”.
Well, I tried to sleep.
And I tried.
Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone!
But you know…gay or straight, when your lying in bed, nekked, next to someone you find attractive, you are going to have insomnia…unless you take the cure.
So I tried being subtle. I sort of rolled onto my side, and I was trying to have a quite little wank, a manual fluid release, blow off the steam, release the pressure, hit that reset button that would let me sleep.
Because, you know that gay or staraight guys are the same, once you blow your wad, you are going to go right to sleep. And I obviously wasnt going to get anywhere with these boys, and would probably make them feel really uncomfortable if I even tried. So keeping all of this in mind, I tried to have the quietest little wank I could, without them knowing about it.
It was hard.
I felt the van rocking just a little bit…and I thought it was me, and that the boys might catch on…So whose ever been to summer camp? Well, you know how it goes!….So I stopped for a bit. And everything was quiet…so carefully, I started again, carefull not to disturb the boys.
But the van kept up this slight rocking feeling. Hmmm…I slowly, and carefully rolled over a little bit and looked.
Well I’ll be a spanked monkey! those beautiful Polish boys where up to the same tricks! There they where, just tugging away!
Well, all discretion was to the wind now…so i joined them in this weird, silent little circle jerk.
Two Poles and a yank.
Then it was over. that was all there was to it, and we all slept. In the morning, we got up, got dressed, no one speaking, You know that quiet awkwardness? This was the different then the language barrior…You know, its that unwritten law that these things cant be discussed. You cant just say:
“Hey! That was a great little session we had last night wasnt it?” It just isnt done…so you just sort of avoid eye contact, and act like you are in church or something. So we went to a nearby market and got some cheese and bread.
“Hmmm…this is good cheese!” I said, trying to break this awkward silence. The boys looked at each other, then at the cheese, and agrreed. They just exchanged glances at me, and each other.
We had a quiet little breakfast then we said goodbye and I headed off for England. I picked up the band at the airport and we headed for our first gig. On the way i debated telling them about my misadventure with the Parkeerbaheeren. I decided that i should tell them. Joey was very understanding, he knows that these things happen.
I neglected to tell him about the little Polish Sausage Party that we had in the bunk….But as we drove along, I looked back at the bunk, and there, hanging from the ceiling of the bunk, where three little stalactites.
At the soonest possible chance, I cleaned them up. Two Poles and a Yank. And that was my first 24 hours in Europe.bob cutler