Lessons learned

Today I learned a pretty important lesson about listening to my instincts. From the time I got up, I was going back and forth with how I was going to get to work today. Instead of making the down the hallway commute, I planned to go into the office. I kept looking outside and at my rain app on my phone. I made the choice to go by bike. But an inner voice kept saying “Drive”. Even after I left the house and was cycling through the park, I had another decision moment and turned off to keep cycling instead of turning off to the parking garage.

Not ten minutes later, as I was cycling past the university, it started coming down. And not gentle rain either but full on sideways rain. I pulled over under a tree and decided to wait 5 minutes or so because surely the weather would change. I was thinking to myself how smart I was to stop riding in the rain and just wait it out –  that this model of thinking represented how I was learning the European way. Five minutes turned to ten and I kept myself busy by moving the gift I had for a colleague out of the basket and into my bike bag so it wouldn’t get ruined.  This was kind of the whole point of going into the office today – someone we have had working with our team on a contract is going to a new job and I had a small gift for her of Tout macaroons and a copy (in Dutch) of “Lean In”. Always useful for a young woman at the start of her next career step.

After ten minutes, it seemed like the rain was only getting worse. So, back into the magic bike bag and out comes my great new orange rain cape, complete with reflective piping. I proceed to cover myself with this fashionable garment and figure it will keep me dry enough to cycle to the parking garage and I will just drive from there. Well, that was a good idea in theory. And it kept me dryer than I would have been but I still ended up with my jeans from the knee down being totally soaked. And halfway through, the hood stopped working due to the wind.

By the time I got to the parking garage, whatever attempt I had made this morning to look presentable was lost. I locked up my bike and climbed into Astrid, cringing at the thought of getting all that water in the car. And off I went to Schiphol. Well, approximately two miles from the exit I realized that I had left the gift for Azaliya in my bike bag. So, off at the next exit, turn around, back to the parking garage, back to the bike, get the gift, back to the car and then it was time to try going to work again. Third time was the charm, I finally made it into the office, still looking like I had just stepped out of the washing machine.  I wish we had those high tech hand dryers in the office. I would have loved to have put my jeans in there. Denim takes a long time to dry, so the whole day it was squish squish much to the amusement of my coworkers.

The office was pretty empty today. I think lots of people were still recovering from the game last night. 2-1 at the very last minute, Oranje will be going to the quarter finals. I watched the game at home. When I took the dogs for a walk after, I could still hear the fans on Museumplein – all 45,000 of them. Saturday is the next match for the Dutch so I have a week to make sure my orange paraphernalia is ready. Hup Holland Hup!

The Viva Las Vegas vegetarian festival yesterday was quite nice. Small but with some interesting stalls. And I had a fabulous vegan burger which had such a great Southwest flavor. I have been craving that flavor because it is hard to get here. I did not find anyone selling vegan fertilizer but supposedly there is a store in Amsterdam that is the equivalent of an organic style Home Depot. But no one can remember the name so I will keep looking. It seems that The Hague has a huge proportion of veg/vegan grocery stores and snackbars. I find this intriguing.

I made the decision today to take some time off in August. The Move Goddess and Rupert and Meredith are coming to stay at different times during the month. And rather than restricting myself to just going out on the weekends, I decided to take a whole whopping 9 days off over that three week period. That still leaves me with 11 vacation days to take for the rest of the year since I have used up approximately a week earlier in the year with day at a time. I tell you, having five weeks a year is a little overwhelming. I really don’t know what to do with myself. Every time someone asks me what my vacation plans are, I start stuttering.

I am still on the lookout for sparklers for Mom’s chosen birthday on Friday. I think I might have to go try some of the dodgy coffeshops/headshops. Surely someone has sparklers.

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