Sunday, June 9, 2019

012 #blogjune - Everything's the same back in my little town

"I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village."  - Gina Bellman

Back in the 70s I was a big fan of a charming, but hapless anthropomorphized chicken called CALIMERO. There were comic books that my parents got for me and there was an animated TV show about this cute little fowl that I watched all the time. When it was announced in 1971 that Calimero would come to Scheveningen, a place close to where we lived,  I begged my parent to go there. I remember there were a LOT of people but my four year old self could not understand why Calimero was SO big. Because, in the program he always said: "They are big and I am small and that's not fair"
Due to the character's popularity, "Calimero" became a European slang for a person who feels unhappy and misunderstood to a childish extent. While it is true that Calimero often felt misunderstood in the series, he had actually a strong and upbeat personality and always managed to get over his problems.

Wait a minute ... THAT CHICKEN ain't Calimero! He's way too BIG !!!
For years I even had a T-shirt with the character on it. Back then T-shirts with characters weren't as common as today, I think. These days people wear all sorts of pop-culture references on their shirts. But back then I was proud of my Calimero shirt and if we would go somewhere special I just HAD to wear it.
Which brings me to the time we went to Madurodam, a great little themed area in The Hague (Holland) that has a collection of miniature buildings from around the country.
Every year we would go here as a family, sometimes a cousin would come along or my grandmother. Back then, because you hardly took photos, you always bought the one they took when you arrived as a memento of the trip.

Madurodam was a magical place for me, growing up. You felt like a giant amongst all the buildings. I would often come back there later on in life. Once they had a special replica of the White House on loan, that really made a big impression on me and sometimes they had special evenings in the dark when all the buildings had there lights on.
In 2004, when I took my wife to Holland for the first time, we visited Madurodam and as Simon & Garfunkel sang: "Everything's the same back in my little town..."
I am still taller than most of the buildings.

If anyone wants to know more about Madurodam: and or Calimero:

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