Shopping in Amsterdam!
Car Mates in conversation
We call her Mrs. Jansen, because she does not want her name in the newspaper. She has great difficulty with the fact that she has lost some of her independence due to her illness, but others don't need to know that. This morning Mrs. Jansen, together with Theo Vredeling and Margreet O'Connor, visited Oosterhoutvoorelkaar to talk about their experience with AutoMaatje. An animated conversation quickly ensues.
Theo has now ridden 3 rides for Mrs. Jansen. Her daughter lives at a distance and Theo allowed her to visit her on her birthday. She is grateful to Theo for doing this for her, but she also modestly wonders if she is not a burden to him. Theo vehemently denies this. "I actually love taking a longer ride! Then you get to know someone a little better, because you have longer contact with each other and nice conversations arise. It is just as good for me, as it is for the person I drive. a trip". Theo likes to photograph and sees the ride as an opportunity to photograph in a different place. "I now come to places that are nice enough to go back at another time".
Margreet was recently supposed to go to Amsterdam with Mrs. Jansen, but unfortunately that could not take place. Now that she gets to know Mrs. Jansen personally, the monkey soon comes out of the sleeve. Mrs. Jansen canceled the ride because she felt guilty towards Margreet. She really wants to go to the Bijenkorf in Amsterdam one more time. She used to buy her clothes there and it is her great wish to be able to do this again, but she needs someone to guide her during the shopping and she does not want to do this to Margreet. "What a pity that people feel guilty about this. I would love to take this trip with Mrs. is very nice and when I see that I make her happy by making a long-cherished wish possible, that's nice."
As far as Margreet is concerned, AutoMaatje may become even more famous in Oosterhout. She notices from the responses she receives that more and more people are aware of the possibility, but are sometimes hesitant to step over the threshold. "No need! We are all volunteers and do this precisely because we enjoy it ourselves. Recently I brought an elderly lady to her sister, whom she had not seen for 4 years. During the visit I had a nice time shopping and I walked a bit, so it was certainly not a punishment", Margreet laughs. "When I went to pick up Mrs., I actually thought it went too fast." Theo adds: "By the way, that is a point that I sometimes find difficult. Something arises with your customer on a longer journey and as a result you are sometimes asked to stay with family, for example. It's great that you notice that you are welcome, but I myself would like to keep some distance to protect the privacy of my customer. When Mrs. Jansen asked me to go in with her daughter's birthday, I did. Her daughter also found it no problem , but I only stayed a short time. It was too private for me."
The rides for AutoMaatje are of course not always pleasure rides. Often it also concerns practical things, such as taking someone to the hospital for a visit to the outpatient clinic, or for running an errand. Or like the other day, when someone had to go to a funeral. "I had to cancel because the window of my car was broken," says Theo. "And I found that difficult! Because you don't want to disappoint people in sad circumstances, but luckily there is always a colleague driver willing to drive the ride after all". For Mrs. Jansen it is very important that she is ridden by a familiar face. "I think that's the big advantage of AutoMaatje. Even when I call a taxi, they are extremely correct, but it feels a lot less familiar to me".