This week has been a strange one for most Dutch people. Last Monday a shooting occurred in a tram in Utrecht. While the shooter was at large, the surroundings were closed. My daughter’s campus is in its vicinity. She sent me a message at 11 am. There were shots at a tram nearby, we are told to stay in the building. She wrote me there were helicopters constantly circling above her school.
I followed the news closely on social media and could not really focus on my work. A couple of days after the attack in Christchurch, people could not believe it. Not in The Netherlands and specifically not in Utrecht. Around 11.30 am Utrecht mayor and police issued a statement all area within X km radius from where the attack took place, were in total lockdown until at least 6 pm. Luckily this was lifted at 5 pm. My daughter came home on time.
Two days later, yesterday there were elections for the Provinciale Staten (upper house of the parliament). The result: a new far right party won. I feel gutted. If you are not familiar with the Dutch politics, please read this article from the Guardian. I rarely write about politics hier but populists are on the rise in Europe, not only here in The Netherlands.
So yeah, this week is not an ordinary one. I still need to digest it further together with my friends and family. Meanwhile, we all wait what this really means.
Featured image: Gemeente Utrecht