Sunday, August 2, 2009

Biking along the canals - a weekend Dutch activity

Summer is leaving and it has been a long time not writing anything again here. Life in the Netherlands seem to have reached to a stage of balance and peace. I more and more value the weekend, after stressful working days. It is the time you really want to totally relax, not thinking of anything relating to the work.

We are here on this orange journey for two years. Another family who came together with us left back to US last week. In these past two years, we regularly get together and gossip on things we like or dislike about this country, mostly using US as the reference point. Now they are gone, sold their bikes here and plan to buy a car back there, a life style quite different, but will have to adapt to soon. It is a little sad feeling for us, kind of leaving alone . We do not seem to have somewhere that we really belong to, that is not so good feeling while you feel you are getting older.

As the last gathering to see them off, we planned to go to a bike ride together. They have a long to-do list before they leave and a short time left to do all of them. So we will together do one item on the list, a bike ride from Gouda to the west. The weather forecast showed that the weekend would have rain, however the Saturday rain lasted only during the early morning. So we decided to make the decision on Sunday morning, after checking the radar forecast. It turned out there were only sporadic rain clouds around, and there won't be rain longer than 10 minutes. So we decided to go. True, it rained several times during our bike ride, and each time no longer than 10 minutes.

The bike ride was along the canal, and we finally reached the town called Schoonhoven. When you are here for longer, you feel many places are similar. They look like each other, with similar buildings, but you can not describe each building well, they are together to form the image in your mind. Maybe that is the beauty of European towns and cities. I later found out this is a city famous for its silversmith.

Last weekend, we two again had a bike ride along the polders between Delft and Schiedam. My Dutch colleague heard this and commented: you two are real Dutch now. We both enjoy this kind of outdoor activity. It is also amazing to see, biking for leisure is not common among other social groups here. We were the only non-White, when we were sitting in a busy cafe along the canal in a quite Sunday afternoon.

The image is a painting of Gouda from here.

1 comment:

tunahan said...

I had somehow come across your blog more than a year ago when I myself was there in Holland. It was really nice to read your experiences there..
I have wanted to find your blog again; but did not remember the name at all. I googled few times, no use. But finally managed in last trial :)
It was nice to read your last experiences (although I see that you do not blog that often anymore)