Amsterdam or Amstelveen: whose street is it, anyway?
Many streets in Dutch cities are often made with paving stones rather than asphalt, and when the stones loosen and become hazardous, people call up the city to tell them about it in order for them to be fixed.
However, on the Nieuwe Kalfjeslaan in both Amsterdam and Amstelveen, the stones are being called ‘mortally dangerous’ particularly at night and calling the city is a dead end, so to speak. The street in question is half in Amsterdam and half in Amstelveen, so regardless of where people call, one city tells them to call the other. In Dutch it’s call ‘being send from the cupboard to the wall’, or in my idiolect, ‘go ask your mom, go ask your dad’, that thing kids do resulting in not getting a straight answer until mommy and daddy get into a fight for not settling the matter.
A spokesperson from the Amsterdam South district, which borders on Amstelveen, insists that the part of the street in question is part of Amstelveen while the other part of the street goes through the Amsterdam forest, which is managed by Amsterdam and that’s when Amstelveen tells folks to call Amsterdam. At some point though Amstelveen admitted the dangerous street part was their responsibility, and in proper Dutch bureaucratic fashion, nobody knows why it is taking so long to get something dangerous properly repaired. And since this nonsense has hit the media, everybody seems more inclined to fix the problem.
Amsterdam and Amstelveen have also had to settle a situation about delivering babies in their hospitals. Amstelveen wanted to make part of their delivery rooms ‘Amsterdam territory’, so that women from Amsterdam who specifically wanted their children to be born in Amsterdam could do so, leading to many comments to the tune of ‘you should be happy your baby is born healthy’.