Making friends

Yesterday, we went to the Nederlands Openlucht Museum in Arnhem . Arnhem is about an hour out of the city and since the Auto show is happening at the RAI, the whole neighborhood is a bit overcrowded with people coming to drool over cars and all the things that go with them. It also means that we have lost our parking spot for ten days while the hordes descend. With good weather and all of us loaded into the car, we on our way out of the city and into some of the highest spots in the Netherlands 😉 I actually saw hills. Well, two of them.

We each took a dog, Henry was with me and George made his choice for Marjo – figuring someone new would be more likely to let him get away with things and give him treats. We had a great time. Perhaps George enjoyed it more than any of us because he made friends with every type of livestock they had there. He went up to the chickens, until the rooster warned him off. He exchanged very long nose greetings with a sheep. He checked on the pigs and inquired as to what they were eating. The best part was watching him with the big cattle. Their heads are big than George. And they were very curious and so was he. Until he communicated the wrong thing and then they started mooing and getting agitated so we quickly ducked out of the barn to avoid notice and let the Japanese tourists that were trying to pet the cattle take the blame.

What is really cool about the museum is that all of the buildings are original and over the past century or so they have been moved to that location. So it isn’t a recreation of the history of the Netherlands but rather actual pieces of. It was fascinating to see the evolution from the early farmhouses that families lived in with their livestock to the grand land houses. We only covered a third of the museum because it is all out doors and we didn’t get there until 2pm. I learned that people painted their houses blue and their walls not because they liked blue but apparently it repels flies. I had no idea!

The dogs also had their human fans. We were sitting in the square on a bench, people watching and eating pastry, when random children started coming by and stopping in front of us and staring. Luckily I can translate this behavior. It means that they really want to pet the dogs but don’t know how to ask. So I always ask them if they want to pet the dogs and they immediately do. It is a good thing I can translate this because it could be rather awkward when a strange child is standing in front of you and staring.

Today we had a very lazy day since we had walked far more than 10,000 steps by the time we left the museum. We stayed with Beatrix Park and spent nearly thirty minutes just lying in the grass in the sun. I had to memorize a new song for my banjo lesson tomorrow so that has kept me busy this evening. I was hoping to finish my test for my language class but I can’t access it and so it will have to wait until their help desk can send it to me tomorrow. Two weeks from today, I will be going to Vught for the week. I am bringing my bike this time. I am pretty sure that I can fit her in Astrid. Actually, I think I am just going to take my bike on the train. I can strap my carryon baggage to the back and put my computer bag in my basket. And I am set, I can ride to the train station here and from the train station there. And the best part is that it will cost me 8 euros. I am definitely going to do that because when I went last year, I only used the car to get there and leave.

Marianne called today. Our birthdays are approaching next month and she wanted to know if I wanted to celebrate jointly with her again. Of course I said yes because she throws a great party and I benefit 🙂 And this time, I will have more people to invite. With the Dutch habit of scheduling everything months in advance, apparently the invitations have to go out at least one month in advance. This Saturday we will be exploring locations.

I forgot to add that the 30 kilometer roundtrip commute on the bike was successful. My time was not so good compared to last year but we will get there as the good weather continues. Grateful for a sturdy bike and a good massage therapist 😉


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