Thoughts and memories of living and traveling abroad

6 months…

Can you believe we have lived in Amsterdam for 6 months already? Time flies! Sorry for the hiatus in blog posts, but I started an intensive Dutch course that was 3 days a week and practiced with group members the other 2 days. Spreekt u Nederlands? And now I have started working for Greenpeace International part time. Alright enough excuses.

So a co-worker of Heath’s moved back to Australia and left him the keys to this:

Heath wave

A bicycle! And what does Heath do?? Hops right on and rides it… everywhere! (Flip flops and all) I was shocked and very impressed. For one who swore off bikes he sure did ride right into the swing of things. Well, since Heath was “certain” he would not be getting a bike, I bought myself a tram card and accepted the life of waiting for trams, finding the right tram line to get me close enough to my destination and learned to balance myself as the tram whirled through the city.

WELL… that is no more! One of Heath’s friend’s from college, John (aka Pootie), moved here last week to take some classes at the University of Amsterdam and he was just as determined to get a bike as I was. Luckily, he found a great fiets winkel with lots of  tweedehandsfietsen and was able to get a bike (that looks brand new!) and I was able to get the perfect bike, too. My idea of the perfect bike? Well… I am in Amsterdam, so I figured I would go with the Dutch style (I know, I know, I swore of the Dutch style bike!), hand brakes were a must and I wanted something small so if I do fall off it’s not such a long fall.

So here she is! She even has 4 gears (for those huge mountains around here).


And since Pootie is a student we got 10% off! Thanks Pootie!

As you can see I’m very excited. (We had a little photo shoot in Vondelpark. Figured that would be a good place to get used to our new bikes)


And here’s Pootie’s bike. (He obviously did not think a Dutch style bike was necessary)


Don’t let the face fool you, he was excited too! (True.)

So now we’ve got a boat, some Dutch lessons in and bikes. Could we be any more Dutch? 😉

I’ll be posting some more about bikes here in Amsterdam. It’s all very amusing. For one, people ride on the back of the bike like this: back of bike

(Note the heels too!) And I was crazy enough to ride on the back of Heath’s bike only days after he got it. I survived though!

Here are some great bicycle quotes I found fitting:

Why should anyone steal a watch when he could steal a bicycle?  ~Flann O’Brien

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.  ~John F. Kennedy

Get a bicycle.  You will not regret it if you live.  ~Mark Twain, “Taming the Bicycle”

The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a gun being cocked.  ~Amy Webster

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.  ~H.G. Wells


4 responses

  1. Dan Ackerman

    True. Haha

    September 10, 2009 at 12:46 pm

  2. Stephanie

    That’s awesome! Great exercise for sure! I was thinking of getting a bike to ride around NYC with, but I am so afraid I will die!

    Good luck and be safe! 🙂 I’ll definitely see you guys around the holidays.


    September 8, 2009 at 8:41 am

  3. samsonite

    “I want to ride my bicycle” ~ Freddie Mercury

    September 7, 2009 at 10:14 pm

  4. Mamasita

    You are so funny. Fully emerged in the culture now! How about a basket on the front(or back) for Monster???!!! She would love it…not too sure about Molly though.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm

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