Singing on the bike path
It’s relatively new, here in the Netherlands. I have no idea if this is an idea they took from abroad, but somehow I don’t think so. It seems to me as a typical dutch thing. We have, since a month or so, a bike path that encourages you to sing while riding your bike. ‘Singing on the bike path’, is especially for people who love to sing and don’t dare otherwise.
In other words: They need a sign. Yes, here it is perfectly OK for you to belt out a song. I think the idea in itself is sweet, but I wonder about the rules and regulations. It’s just meant as an encouragement but it sort of feels like ‘Only here and now, as soon as you leave this path you better keep your mouth shut! They probably won’t fine you, yet’. Especially the line where it literally says that it is officially allowed for you to sing on this path, got to me. What does it say about a local government, to feel the necessity to tell me when or when not to sing, officially?? I know they all mean well, and it’s kind of a joke, but still, where will it end?
As if the sign at the beginning of the path isn’t quite enough, they also painted music notes all over the pavement. Just in case you missed the point. Yes, it is allowed to sing. Here, on this path, because here, we’ve given you permission. Officially. As soon as you leave this path, however, and the signs stop, please shut up. No more peep out of you! Especially when you wear headphones and sing along with your ipod. ‘Cause it will be so out of tune that we don’t want to hear it.
Funny thing is that ever since the signs are up I’ve yet to hear anybody sing on this particular stretch of road. Anywhere else but here. And I understand. That, again, is very dutch. We are the most stubborn minded people on earth. And don’t anybody tell us what to do, ’cause no matter what and no matter how much we secretly love the idea, we will never, ever, ever, comply by the ‘rules’.
And so I wonder if this will catch on. Personally I really don’t think so. As I’m pretty sure we won’t hear the end of this yet. We will write to city hall, publish angry notes in the local papers, talk about it, whereupon the people in charge will have many conferences about the yes’s and no’s, but by no means will we ever sing a single note on this particular so called ‘singing on the bike path’ path.