18
   

Dagmaraka goes Dutch

 
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 01:55 pm
@dagmaraka,
50, ha!

I match your 50 and raise you an embarrassing number of scarves.


(and then I started sorting my bellydance collection ... about a dozen silk chiffon veils already ... I don't even dance professionally yet)
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 02:25 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
...I don't even dance professionally yet


Very Happy
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 02:39 pm
@Eva,
but i only worked on my collection for the past, what, maybe 5 years (stomps foot).

still, the point is that EVERYONE and their mother and her poodle are enscarved these day. that's very demotivating.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 03:43 pm
@dagmaraka,
Don't worry your little head, scarves will be passe in fashion in almost no time.

I enjoy fashion, sort of a kernal of solipsism, well photographed.


0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 05:43 pm
The Church of the Bad Omen
There are higher powers. Indeed there are, and they are trying their damnedest to send us signs when we are supposed to do something, and especially when we are NOT supposed to do something. Sometimes they are beating us on our dumb skulls with the signs and we tank right on ahead, dull-eyed empty-headed muttons that we are.

I was running late. As always. I was also sickly, but no matter. This stubborn goat decided to go biking and canoeing (or was it kayaking?) in Amsterdamse Bos (the "forest," though it really is a pimped park). Five minutes into my ride to the train station, my water bottle holder broke off and landed on the ground. That's a sign straight from heaven or hell, whichever has these things in their immediate jurisdiction. By the time I affixed it back onto the bicycle, and made it to the platform, it was five minutes before 1pm. My group - the Netherlands Adventurists - were meeting in five minutes at the gates of Amsterdamse Bos. I called V. to tell him not to wait, I'll be late.
The train that was supposed to bring me to Schiphol did not come. "Defect...something something ...all in Dutch of course". I should have taken my cues and head home. No. Mutton head.

I and my bike have schlepped each other along clumsily on local trains through Leiden... I never know how to fit into the train with my bike and not be in the way of others. I knocked another bike down, stabbed a lady with the brake handles, smeared bike grease all over my new pants (which had to be worn, since they were, you know. new.)
I got of at Schiphol, which is a very large airport. I felt a little silly there, pushing my bike around fashion shops and food stands. I walk outside, no idea how to get the hell out of this jungle by bike. But, amazingly (not in the Netherlands, just anywhere else), a bike path begins RIGHT at the airport. 6km to Amsterdamse Bos. I get there, try to call V., but he's not picking up. Omen upon omen. I wait. Try again, nothing. I decide to bike through the Bos a bit, it's so lovely outside, and then maybe bike all the way back to the Hague or something, we'll see. I tried V. one more time, and this time I got him. They just rented canoes (or kayaks?) and were headed out for about an hour.
Great! I'll catch up with them. I kept getting lost, since all the signs consist of at least 25 unpronouncable letters, but I found it. I had no cash. Omenomenomen. But, the lady suggested I can borrow some from my friends once I find them. Sure, the inner dimwit agreed with glee. The lady did NOT suggest that I leave my bag with her, nor did she give me a waterproof plastic bag like she apparently did to everyone else. No matter. I am a street-smart worldly traveler, surely I can navigate a silly solo canoe (or kayak?). I squeeze myself in, stuff my bag between my knees towards the nose of the canoeyak. On we go. Wee!
I paddle something fierce. I am so good at this, slicing through water like knife through buttah. Sun is glistening and jumping off the ripples in the water, so I bust out my trusty old camera and snap away. There is a big furry bird up on the tree and I try to zoom in as much as I can before it flies away. Snap....snap...and....oops! There's a tree right ahead of me. I veered too close to the bank. No matter, I am a street-smart worldly, and strong, traveler, few fierce strokes with my paddle and I'll be out on the open water again.
Another thing that the lady did not tell me is how unstable the solo canoeyak is. Two fierce strokes and I felt the center of my gravity was dangerously leaning to the right. It felt like it was all in slow motion, and suddenly the world was surprisingly wet and cold. I am frantically thrashing about with my arms, dog paddling but failing, sputtering water all about in a bit of a shock. I latch onto the canoeyak and try to turn it around and haul myself in....this is of course utterly futile.

A lovely Dutch couple pedals by on their water bicycle.
"Are you alright?" they ask.
I am utterly startled. My posessions are swimming in an area of 20 square meters, I am up to my neck in muddy cold water looking rather insane.... do I LOOK alright?!?!
"No, I am NOT alright. I think I need help," say I.
"Can you swim?" the lady part of the couple asks.
...at this point I am genuinely pissed off. YOU get into this water and look suave, you daft cow, think I.
"Yes, of course I can swim," say I.
The man part of the couple suggests I try climbing onto their bicycle and off of it into the water filled canoeyak. That is not working, since when I try to climb on, the bicycle tilts and starts to drown. He asks me to get off and suggests that I swim to the shore. They leave. They pedal off while I'm still in the middle of the bloody river thrashing about and choking on water.

Count to five, slowly. There is mud beneath. It is gross, but I stand in it. I sink into it upto my thighs. Brrrr. I drag the caneoyak to the shore, relieved to see my bag still in it. But my digital camera and my beloved Nieman Foundation sweatshirt are gone.
It's a good thing I didn't die, that would be bloody expensive! I think. I am not insured yet, or at least don't have any papers about it yet.
When on the shore, I tip the canoeyak upside down, as well as my bag. I pace back and forth, still furious at the couple. I check my digital arsenal.
"There is no response from phone," my phone says, but at least there is something on the screen. The iPod is just dead. You can see water inside.
I undress, I so don't care if the Queen herself paddles by right now. I wring out my t-shirt and pants. Sanity assembled back, I push myself into the canoe and canoe back into the water and launch successfully. I look like Hell and I smell worse.
The highligh of the trip were praises from the rental people at my calmness and level-headedness. But, what am I gonna do...we worldly street-smart travelers don't cry and stomp our foot in front of the populace.

I meet my group. All of them (Sixteen, count'em) for the first time in my life, except for V. After about an hour of perfectly ineffective attempt to dry in the sun I excuse myself and head home. Bike, train, bike.... 3 hours since the refreshing dip, I finally get into a hot shower and wash the fishes away. My bag still smells of the mud when it rains.

I really trully pledge to pay attention to bad omens and heed the advice of the higher powers, working tirelessly to guide us despite our blindness and deafness towards them.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 06:30 pm
@dagmaraka,
Yikes! I know two guys who died after tipping their boat into a swampy pond type thing. Of course, they were wasted at the time.
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 06:32 pm
@littlek,
I know a fish that died from a stress of being eaten.

Bad things happen in muddy waters.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 06:48 pm
@dagmaraka,
Oy, you poor thing, that certainly was a bad experience. Just stay out of the
waters from now on - you're probably not meant to be canoeing your way
around Holland.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 09:17 am
Yikes I'm glad you made it out in more or less one piece. Omens, yes. Car trouble is often an omen, for example. I should pay better attention to omens, m'self.
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 09:22 am
@jespah,
I think I'm getting real good with stoicism in the past 5-6 years. REAL good. And once you see it work, there's no going back, because life is so much easier and more pleasant when you don't freak out for things you can't even influence. I'm having a Very Lovely Sunday.... reading the ENTIRE Life at home thread.... and laughing my ass off. I never thought this could happen. But there's an occasional comedic gold in there. It's raining outside (of COURSE), i ditched work yet again (was supposed to finish a chapter) and am having cereal with chocolate milk, wrapped in a blanket. Life how I like it.
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 09:35 am
@dagmaraka,
In fact, I had tears rolling down my face every now and then, that's how hard I was laughing at Life at home....oh boy, sure feels good to be able to see it as someone else's **** of a situation.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 09:53 am
The cereal is wrapped in a blanket? Smile

Good that a little time and distance have made it easier to take. Couldn't have been fun at the time.

Do you need toothbrushes? I kid you not, we have lots of 'em (it's not that we don't brush our teeth, we jus t don't like the ones we get for free from the dentist).
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:06 am
@jespah,
haha, i do. i was gonna buy one today, but see, the supermarket is all the way around the corner. and it's soooo grey outside and so cozy (gezellig - one of the most used dutch words, since the whole country is so cramped with people and stuff...but i digress) inside. even a vision of Nutella wasn't enough to get me outside. now they're probably closed already.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:22 am
@dagmaraka,
Well told canoeyak story..
glad you're cereal wrapped now.
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:43 am
@ossobuco,
i still need to get to the supermarket. ow. SOOOOOO far!
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 01:47 pm
@dagmaraka,
I failed. I made pasta with tomatoes and pesto....again.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 02:40 pm
@dagmaraka,
That's what I'm going to do too. (Made a new batch of pesto last week..)
dagmaraka
 
  3  
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 02:16 pm
@ossobuco,
So, I thought that American children are the brattiest, most spoiled and loudest creatures on Earth.

I was WRONG. Very wrong.

Dutch children are off the charts spoiled. In fact, they are given absolutely no limitations or direction...not by parents or passerbys. They hang off of things, they scream, they bump into you and yell so much that your hair stands on end and the core of your being is frozen with shock and chagrin. Call me prejudiced, but I just shook off three of these little joys of life off of me at C&A, and had to flee the store for my life.
I guess I will never own a business suit.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 08:57 am
Any new Dutch verhalen, mythen, sprookjes en legenden ? Wink
0 Replies
 
Dutchy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 01:27 pm
@dagmaraka,
Yours truly turned out a well behaved, educated and highly respected citizen! Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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