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Tuesday night scavenging in Amsterdam

I go to school on Tuesdays and come home late at night. On one of these Tuesdays I noticed a white van in our street and two people on the curb, checking out some stuff that was left there. Maybe I should clarify: Wednesday is garbage day in our neighbourhood. Not just regular garbage, but furniture and big stuff gets hauled off by the city workers.

So on Tuesday nights people leave their old furniture, tables, chairs, laundry racks, refrigerators, tvs, sofas, etc on the stoep. And other people rummage through the things that are there, to see if there's anything good they'd like to haul back home. Tuesday nights in Amsterdam are like a big garage sale. And some perfectly good things are left at times!

It's one of the things I love about living in Amsterdam. Truth be told, if I had a bigger house, I'd have a wide range of different chairs by now, the cutest set of drawers, etc. But as we don't have any room, all I've salvaged so far is one simple wooden chair.

But I'd never heard of people driving around town in vans, purposefully looking for things to take away! I know I shouldn't be surprised, not everyone is as haphazard about these things as I am. I take it as I go. If I'm lucky, I will run into something, if not, then I guess it was not meant to be. I only just now realise that there are people who go about Tuesday nights on the stoep in a very businesslike manner. I understand it, but it's just so... unromantic!

Tuesday night scavengers with white van in Amsterdam (red circle is where the scavengers are, white circle is around the refridgerator in question)

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  1. I find it strangely fascinating when the shops in Amsterdam throw out all their stuff and you see loads of women searching through the thrown out boxes outside the all the shoe shops.

  2. Saying I find it strangely fascinating sounded more perverted than I intended it. I mean I find it amusing.

  3. hahaha people do this on my street!! last weekend there was a woman with a motorized wheelchair next to her…it made me slightly uncomfortable to bike around the “vehicle” as she clearly was able to get around (read: dig through piles of trash/’treasure’…)

  4. People have been doing this for many many years. I presume it’s still the custom, if an electrical appliance is still in working order, to leave a note to that effect on the item.

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