Sitting on the Sofa

Despite the rain that’s been with us all day, we headed out to hit up a few shops and the Saturday market. Half a kilo of shrimp for €5, and three stinky cheeses for €5 are pretty decent deals! After running most of the errands, we stopped at Café de Journal in the Neude square for a hot chocolate to take the chill off. As we sat out on the terrace, which fortunately has lots of big umbrellas and even a heater, we saw this group arrive.

PvdA is one of the political parties. Mark Rutte is the current prime minister of the country, but he’s with the VVD party. There’s an election coming up soon, so I guess this is some form of campaigning and perhaps a complaint against Rutte. The sign says, “Met Rutte kom je op de bank te zitten”, which basically means “sit on the sofa with Rutte”. I suppose there is some implied meaning that is just lost in translation. Or not. Anyway, they had a guy there with a paper mask of Rutte and you could get your photo taken seated next to him. No idea how successful they were, since it was raining. Who wants to sit on a soggy sofa? Hopefully someone reading this will be able to explain the whole sofa/Rutte thing. Meanwhile, as they were setting up, we saw a couple of people from D66, one of the other parties, walk past. They restrained themselves from standing behind the sofa and making rude gestures. I bet they at least thought about it.

11 thoughts on “Sitting on the Sofa

  1. This is an expression taken from sports. If you sit on the bench you have been taken out of the game and you can only hope to be part of it again. Many people think that the policies of this government are putting a lot of people out of the game.

  2. They were all over Almere today, too, complete with megaphones. I thought about walking by so I could snag a free rose, but it was too rainy to bother!

    • Interesting! I hadn’t thought about these kind of events being held in multiple locations. I guess I would have assumed different locations would have different themes. Makes sense, though, that the parties would have unified ideas.

  3. Alison,
    I see you have had this explained well already
    … I always took it to mean that you are in the party but sidelined from play, kind of like you are there for “appearances” but no action.
    Dutch politics is a complicated affair, so many parties, so many views, always a government cobbled together from very unlikely bedfellows.
    I never thought about salt and pepper to go with the tomatoes, but now you have sown that seed, I will never be able to hear “SP” without thinking that ever again LOL.

    • That’s a good explanation of the “bank”, too. Makes sense.

      And yes, politics, especially coming from a country where we only really have two parties, takes some getting used to. It takes a moment of thought to wrap my head around it all sometimes.

      Sorry to plant the salt and pepper seed. 😉 If nothing else, at least it will make politics a bit funnier than it usually is!

  4. Before retirering I worked in ITC with one of the larger IT companies. Our main clients where large componies and the government.
    One did a project, then another and so on. Of course there was not always a new project when the old one was finished so it happened that one has to wait some time. That was called “op de bank zitten”.

    When the economic crises started a couple of years ago the number of “bankzitters” grew fast because project where stopped or delayed and new projects postponed.

    After some time many of the bankzitters were fired.

  5. Well, I see that they have already explained the expression… Very origianl! It also made me think that they meant probably that you would have to just wait for a short while to see this gov’t fall and then, it’d be their turn 😀 Many analysts said at some point that a marriage of VVD and CDA with the PVV’s consent, would not last long…
    On an aside note: I seem to have misplaced or probably even thrown away my “stempas” so I’m afraid I won’t be able to vote! 😦

  6. Fortunatey, the wind-up to Carnivale is drowning out the political parades here in Maastricht. There are posters everywhere, mock ballots stuffed into my mailbox, but the streets are given over to costumed bands and balloons (okay, it is a bit like politics).

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