I participated Taxi Castricum, a television program in which Rutger Castricum plays the taxi driver who takes you to a destination of your choice. Along the way he hears you out, occasionally interrupted by director André van der Toorn, who has been the voice of for years Road abusers.
I didn’t think they were an unpleasant duo.
I am always fresher than the taxi driver, but not this time because Rutger was sitting completely fresh next to me in the company Tesla that was filled with cameras for the occasion. Rutger likes to work from the car as an interviewer. During election time he drives through the country with B politicians and he also drove the ‘Klimaatkar’, in which he held talks about sustainability.
We drove from Wormer to Arnhem, where I was going to do book promotion, so the ride worked out well. I had several books with me, but it was no coincidence that the conversation meandered in the completely different direction.
I used to do everything to promote my books, but there was hardly any program that invited me. The reality now is that I can go anywhere with my book, the disadvantage is that the book is secondary.
The interviewers think it looks beautiful, they sometimes even grab it, like you grab a sandwich when you’re not hungry, but are mainly interested in everything else.
I had several books with me, but the conversation meandered in the completely different direction
The question arose whether I had made any progress with all that interest. I thought I had outsmarted the television makers by demanding André in advance that I would be filmed for a maximum of half an hour so that it would be impossible to cut out the book. The plan was to change cars at a carpool lane near Amsterdam. The plan worked until Zaandam, where we ended up in slow-moving to stationary traffic.
André, who had experienced a lot on highways professionally, said that traffic was the way it was, then we had a whole conversation about the advantages and disadvantages of driving a Tesla. He also had a pack of Snelle Jelle’s, crackers and water. We started to eat that after an hour, when we were stuck on the highway of regret. I swallowed the defeat silently and, with my book on my lap, discussed all the nonsense I’ve gotten myself into. I was promised that the cover will come out nicely. In a head-to-head confrontation, television always beats the book.
Marcel van Roosmalen writes an exchange column with Ellen Deckwitz here.
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of May 26, 2023.