Cycling to work here isn’t quite the ordeal that cycling to work appears to be at home. I’m certainly no expert on the matter, being afraid to cycle where there is any kind of foot, auto, or other cycling traffic, but when I offered the netbook to Nathan, he demurred to guest-post.
Nate’s 100-euro used fiets has served him well. He loves biking to and from work, and now plans to buy and use a bike when we get back. It’s an easy thing to cycle here, with none of the perils familiar to city bikers back home. Lately, though, Nathan’s had two basic problems. First, he can’t find a bike pump that fits the socket on his bike tire. (The one he’s trying above still doesn’t fit, despite all my lame “carry your pump” and “handle your pump” jokes.) He’s been stuck at work with a flat only once, but I suspect as it gets colder, he’ll have to figure a way to fix it.
Nate’s second bike problem is a little sadder. We’re well into September now, and fall in Holland means rain. Even on a sunny day like today, rainclouds pass over and dump heavy showers of cold, cold rain from which it’s best to take cover. I was pleased to have a tiny, convenient excuse not to leave the house in August because the rainshowers became rainweeks, which became a whole rainmonth. After only one day of sitting in jeans cold and wet from his morning commute, Nathan decided he needed a pair of regenbroek. (Let’s put rain pants into the category of Things We Didn’t Know Existed, Let Alone That We Needed, Before Holland, a category that also includes the raamwisser.) After a week of wet jeans, one of his colleagues started telling him, “Dude, you really need to buy some rain pants.” After several weeks of wet jeans, you’d think a Ph.D. would have figured out an alternate solution–but he didn’t, and there were still no rain pants.
Six weeks later, we spent an hour downtown, and found some at the Hema (the Dutch Target). Behold, complete with reflectors, at the low price of 29.99, regenbroek. Now it probably won’t rain for weeks.