an offer

Hello. Would you care for a dike? I've been travelling through the Netherlands, polder by polder, discreetly squirreling away dikes in my jacket. I've sewn some sizeable pockets inside my jacket to house my new possessions. Serviceable used dikes, reasonable rates. Kilometres of protection. Grassy. Sheep here and there. Tomorrow I'm driving out to the Delta Project gates at the mouth of the Oosterschelde, so if anyone wants some giant hydraulic pistons or hearty beachgoing Germans,* please let me know and I'll take a deceptively small-looking briefcase along.



*I've now been in the Netherlands long enough to begin to distinguish Dutch citizens from German tourists. It's frightfully easy; simply look for the jovial guy tromping along a beach in a Speedo and fleece top. Sure, it's 4 degrees Centigrade. Of course he knows that the wind's propelling needles of rain into his exposed flesh. That don't stop him. As a matter of fact, he's about to break into a jog. The Frischairfienden prowl the streets of Vlissingen and take in the delightgul sea breezes miserable cold drizzle. They flop along atop the dikes of Duiveland in diving suits and flippers. Windmills churn the driving air, seawater leaks from gates into the Nordsee, German tourists in space-age parkas scour the beach for Freshness and Health. One day they will find it buried beneath the sands.