And Now For Something Completely Different

This bit of news that happened today seems like it should be something from a Monty Python sketch. I follow Utrecht_City on Twitter and they had a few tweets about sirens and fire and police somewhere near the Neude. I had heard a lot of sirens shortly before that, so I was curious as to what was going on. They soon followed up with the following tweet:

brandweer rukt groot uit nabij hardebollenstraat, utrecht. (Het werd er iets te heet!!;-)

This is where things get funny. If you put that into Google translation you get the following translation, which breaks down some of the words a bit too much:

Fire ripped off big hard balls around the streets, Utrecht. (It was a little too hot !!;-)

Hardebollenstraat is a street name, which does translate to Hard Balls Street, but obviously, something got a little lost in translation. I think a slightly better translation is something along the lines of “fire tears through nearby Hardebollenstraat.” (Anyone who has a better grasp of Dutch should feel free to leave a better translation in the comments.)

It all gets a bit funnier — and the parenthetical aside about it being a little too hot makes a bit more sense — when you realize Hardebollenstraat is the small red-light district street here in the city center. A hilariously appropriate street name, it seems! (And now all of you who find my blog while searching for the red light district in Utrecht know where to go.)

Follow Up

I mentioned the red light district in town in a previous post. It turns out that our own house was once a brothel, some time before WWII.

Maybe I should reconsider sitting here by the front window. I guess it’s a good thing we decided against the red lamp we saw at Kikke Spulle the other day!