Saturday, October 27, 2007

My New Ride

Day #4: Friday, 26 October 2007

Every good Dutchman needs a good bike to get from point A to point B.

Today, Stacey and I visited one of the many local bike shops. Ringo, the proprietor of the Jan Van Wijk shop, located just 2 blocks from our house, was happy to assist us. Since it was the guy’s 47th birthday, he seemed in especially good spirits. I selected a nice used model—something with a little character, and with a few miles on its wheels. Mijn vrouw opted for a newer, comfortable model that will serve her well upon our return to the states. Photos to come later. My “serious” (?) road bike and Cole’s mean machine arrive in a few weeks with our shipment, making nice complements to the stable. Maya will get her new bike next week.

The kids enjoyed their first full day of school, just in time to transition to their first full week of vacation (next week). At this rate, the truant officer might know our house number by heart.

Another governmental meeting awaited us this morning as we visited the Amsterdam town hall to register as citizens. This, in order to apply for our parking permit. Unfortunately, we won’t be “in the (computer) system” until mid-next week, thereby requiring us to pay for parking until next Thursday or so.

A hotel three blocks from our house is actually named “The Gresham Memphis Hotel.” I don’t even know where to begin with the jokes. Perhaps the person who named the joint noticed the similarities of the two American burgs and decided to combine the best of both worlds.

The wine (“wijn”) shop located just steps from our place carries an exceptional selection of French, Italian, Spanish, and South American wines. “Ria” (short for Maria) was helpful with her recommendations for both a dinner wine and what I like to call my “everyday drinking wine” (don’t draw any rash conclusions, please). As I commented that a 2004 Tempranillo (she offered a taste) needed another half year to rest before being really ready to drink, the shop owner overheard and came running, emphatically saying that this is exactly what he has been telling other customers. I think that Ria, the owner, and myself will get along just fine.

An odd sport observation: Field hockey is enjoying a wave of popularity that is similar to what’s going on in the U.S. with lacrosse. Field hockey sticks are in the hands of all the kids or sticking out of their backpacks as they cycle to and fro. Our relocation assistant du jour even commented that she participates in an adult league in her town, and that leagues are popular for adults of all ages.

Tomorrow: The start of our first weekend in A’dam.

No comments: