It was another sunny day here. The boys and I enjoyed a nice walk in the park. The boat owners are out now, bailing their boats out. Surely that is a sign that spring is on the way. There was even someone fishing. I am curious to know what kind of fish live in the canals. The crocuses are all blooming in the park. The daffodils are slowly making their way out as well. Overhead in the trees, the birds are building very large nests. There is a bird here that is almost the size of a swan but I think it is some kind of duck. Anyway, it can fly and it apparently makes it’s nest at the top of trees. It also has a brown head unlike the geese. If you have never been up close to a swan, they are really big birds.
After the boys had their daily investigative journey, I decided that I would make a trip out to the suburbs on Beatrix. I received a toaster for my house warming and I really want a toaster oven – or as they call them here “mini ovens”. The closest store I could exchange it at today, since most are closed on Sunday, was in Buitenveldert. So, after loading up Beatrix with the recycling, the toaster, the landlord’s mail (to drop off at his parents) and with a good coating of sunblock – off I went. This was the first time that I had to navigate some very busy intersections. And I nearly got run over by a speeding BMW. Of course, if you have to be in an accident, better to be hit by a good looking car I suppose. Anyway, I screeched to a halt and he careened wildly around honking his horn. I finished crossing the street, taking a very deep breath and reminding myself that at least that fear was out of the way now and since it had happened, I could just move forward. I also made the mental note that I should avoid that particular intersection in the future and use the shortcut through the park which is much more bicycle friendly.
I have been relying on Ms. Nokia to get me from point A to B. However, she gives me directions like a car, there’s no bike mode. Sometimes, the directions take me out of the way because you can’t go everywhere here with a car. I am learning to navigate without Ms. Nokia so I can save some blocks and avoid dangerous intersections. And since I will be biking to the train now, instead of taking the bus, it helps to know how to get there without going the long way through the intersection at Beethovenstaat and Stadion Plein.
Beatrix and I made it to the ‘burbs of Buitenveldert without further incident. Sadly, they did not have my desired mini-oven in stock so I’ll make another trip out there next week to pick it up when it comes in. While going through the exchange, I had a nice cup of Nespresso from the Nespresso demo lady. They have a new line of coffeemakers and she was showing them off.
Coming back into the city, I wanted to stop for some lunch but my first two choices didn’t have any bike parking available that I could fit Beatrix into. With her two dog basket upfront, she doesn’t fit very well. I need the last space on bike rack and those are hard to come by. So, we journeyed further to De Pijp to Bagels n Beans. I sat outside and enjoyed a bagel and tea. I also couldn’t find any end place to lock up Beatrix so I had to lock her up solo and that meant I needed to sit within vision range. I think soccer season started today because there was a lot of cheering coming from the bar next door and I think they were cheering for Ajax, if the amount of red clothing was anything to go by.
On the way home, I stopped for some tulips and got some amazing dark purple ones called Black Jack. I had never seen that color before. I made it home without further incident, until I got to the front door. Apparently, I wasn’t paying attention and while trying to park Beatrix I knocked over the bike already on the post and then Beatrix went crashing to the ground as well. Made me glad to realize that it didn’t happen yesterday when I had the bottle of olive oil in the basket. Anyway, after trying that all again and hoping the owner of the bike didn’t hear me do it, I was glad to be home.
I just bought myself a ticket to Tom Jones on the 21st of June. I will go and sing along loudly, even though he really doesn’t need my help. I remember my mom being shocked when she discovered that I liked Tom Jones. Of course, she did too. I am not sure which of us was a worse singer but we certainly gave it our best effort, especially when it came to “Delilah”.
Speaking of torturing my mom with music, tomorrow is my first banjo lesson. I will tell that story another day.