This entry shall BRIEFLY cover a few topics. I am not messing around here. I’ve written this flippin entry TWICE and forgot to save it TWICE. I poured my heart out on two separate occasions and have nothing to show for it. TWO times I crafted beautiful sentences chalked with wit, whimsy, walliteration. But I’m done now. This final draft is like, that the third marshmallow you cook over the fire after you mistakenly roasted the first two because you were spacing out thinking about the hotdogs your dumbest friend threw into the fire without considering that we are about to camp in bear/Sasquatch country. I think what I mean is I probably had legitimate things on my mind when I forgot to save the previous drafts. Like a gruesome squatch attack.
I am going to talk about the first things that “shocked” or more aptly, “mildly startled” me when I first arrived in the Netherlands. Then if I feel like it, I will talk about the goals I have set and the habits I am trying to form so I may reach them. That’s it. If that doesn’t sound fun or interesting enough, I hear Jane Birkliend’s blog is pretty entertaining.
Dutch people are down for any vehicle powered via the human leg. Here are some examples.
Bike: Obvious, but worth mentioning. There are more bikes in the Netherlands then there are people. There are also more more mopeds then there are stroopwafles.. but that doesn’t further my point.
People bike everywhere because it is a cheap and casual form of transportation. Cheap because dutch babies exit the womb holding a barbie sized trike that develops with them. Casual because the bikers here are granted wide, colorful lanes that are comfortably sandwiched between the road and sidewalk. Plenty of space to chill and ponder simpler times.
The bikers clearly hold the top position of the vehicular hierarchy. They enjoy flat and level land, ideal for cruising side by side with a homey or two. No one wears helmets, including the children, so they seem to be very confident of their ability to avoid collisions. They do not factor in the exchange students.
It is also common to be cursed with the plague upon cutting off some of the older Dutch men.
Biking tips in the Netherlands:
Brakes are to function ONLY as decorative ornaments. Any biker foolish enough to stop for 500 kilo vehicles will immediately be swerved into by said vehicle, in order to conserve the purity of the bloodline. As is tradition.
Stick to the right side of the road unless, like you don’t want to, or whatever.
When no bike lane is present, ride on the road alongside traffic and allot two feet of breathing room. Engage your core and pretend you are doing something else.
Yus queen. Dutch people blade and they rock itttt. They cut and glide with the whimsical grace of your favorite ice dancer. All the while sporting cashmere gloves and Burberry scarves. Do not be surprised if you see me shredding the fruit boot during next spring quarter.
A big reason why I came to the Netherlands is because I figured it would be a fun way to get to know myself a little better. I have lived in Bellingham, Washington for 21 years. By exposing myself to a crazy different environment, I hoped the contrast would be stark enough to illuminate some of the bad habits that keep me from slamming through my goals. I hoped coming here would be enough to spark a powder keg of motivation that would blast me into, idk, personal fulfillment? Something like that.
We all have crazy amounts of untapped potential within us. This trip has forced me to recognize this. The fact that I CAN really do whatever the !@# I want. It was hard to admit, especially since it’s been a sec since I’ve really put a challenge in front of myself just to prove to myself that I can overcome it. The more I see this realized in day to day moments, the prouder of myself I become. It starts with getting out of bed, and going. Just pick a direction, and go. Short term micro goals that eventually should assemble into a fulfilled life, maybe? Either that or an illuminati triangle, which would be hilarious and fulfilling in itself.
So I am setting a few goals to prove to myself that I can do things. One of the larger goals I have set for myself is running the Chuckanut 50k when I get home in March. So I have been running and preparing for that. I am also surfing, traveling, and maintaining eye contact with the ladies.
SO there is a lot to look forward to! I’m gonna try and write this thing more frequently so to provide a holistic update to everything I am comfortable sharing with all of you! Thank you for patient eyes and pandering to these ramblings. Good day, and may the moon reap you bounties beyond comprehension!