Remember how I wrote my father about the Blaak House? I just visited the beautiful building when it was still being renovated. Today, the interior is transformed into a Tribes location, and we’re going to open my father’s property. Cause it’s ‘his building’, where he worked as Director of the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (Dutch Trading Company) in the 70s.
It's still early when I walk through the oak doors. I prefer to walk a last round through the brand new location in the early hours, when it’s still quiet and peaceful. I start at the new offices. Once again, the design teams have created beautiful rooms with all amenities needed by business nomads. They offer a great view of the ground floor, where the flexible workplaces, the tribal table and the library lounge are located. I stroll through the hallways, where impressive Asaro tribe photographs decorate the walls and where the meeting rooms are ready for the many inspiring meetings that will be held there.
Everywhere I go, I take a minute to admire all the work that has been done over the past few months, and I end my tour at the historic entrance of the Dutch Trading Company, with the original marble floor and the large vaults. I imagine that the hallway is filled with men and women, waiting in line until it’s their turn to store their money. In my mind, I picture my father, with his hat and his suitcase, greeting the people and walking towards the large vaults, up to his own office.
I follow his footsteps and walk through the dark vault, when I notice that I had stepped on something. Curious as I can be, I turn on the light of my phone and see a little object lying on the ground. ‘This can’t be true…’, crosses my mind. On the ground is a small blue pawn, one of the Monopoly board game (a very, very old edition).
At that moment I knew my father had been watching over my shoulder. We’ve played that game so many times, and we’ve had quite some heated discussions about the best strategy. I’m just as stubborn as I was when I was young, I still want to purchase the green street first, and I've even got it in real life (Blaak, Coolsingel and Hofplein) J
I think of my father every day, but at this location a little more often. And as always, I wish I could have walked this tour with him, and that he could just be here for today. That we could celebrate the opening of Tribes Rotterdam Blaak together, and that we could play one last game of Monopoly.
The first app of the day comes in and wakes me from my thoughts: "Congratulations with the victory Eduard! I did not expect anything else from Tribes as a defending champion!’ I start to smile, and tuck away the blue pawn in my pocket, realizing that I don’t only have the green street, but also a golden plate…