Friday, August 01, 2008

Holland

I wasn't counting on posting, but I am sleeping in a room with a computer, so I figured I'd take a couple of minutes to update.

I have to say, it's funny to see friends who had no kids the last time you saw them who now live in a house full of toys. It's great, really. I like toys! The kids are adorable (no surprise), but there is a language barrier with the older one, who is near three. (The younger one is ten months and isn't talking yet, so we communicate perfectly.) I realized a few days before I left that she probably wouldn't speak English. Somehow, we work it out, though. I speak to her in English, she speaks to me in Dutch. Sometimes I know exactly what she's saying (it's all about context) and sometimes her father translates. With all the kiddie books around, I'm learning a tiny bit of Dutch but it's unlikely that any of it will stick. It's also funny to hear my friends, Katrin and Piet, the parents, speaking so much Dutch. All the other time we've spent together, I've only heard them speak English--even to each other.

Yesterday was Piet's day home with the children, so I hung around with him. He apologized a few times for it being boring--but I enjoyed myself. We took a little bike ride to a nearby windmill. That was something--Piet transported both kids on his bike! One upfront on a little seat attached to the front steering column and the other (the baby) in a trailer behind the bike. I had my own bike (Katrin's second bike!) and felt a little bad for getting the better end of the bargain.

I am still amazed by the bike culture here. In every single town there are dedicated bikeways (fietspad) and in heavily trafficked areas, even in Piet's smallish-town, traffic signals just for the bikes. Paris is ok but Holland really is bike heaven.

We had great weather the first two days, but today it's raining. Piet suggested that we go to a small town in Germany, since we're near the border, and I think we'll still go, despite the rain.

I have to stop writing now because this room is getting a little muggy and it's time for a shower! I'll be sure to update sooner or later...but probably later.

Grateful for: communication.

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