Numb fingers, biting hands, split lips, freezing eyeballs/frozen contacts, frozen bells, wheel lock key too small to handle with your mittens on, fatal 20 seconds getting circulation back on as quickly as possible, changing the song on your iPod, tricky slippery tram tracks while overtaking gridlocked cars, jumping every red light on purpose, stopping to take pictures along the way, winter has you sing as loud and often as during the summer, sound of crunch of your wheel traveling over snow, the city looks pretty much like Hogsmeade. Deluding yourself with 'spring is around the corner'.
It's the feedback I got from my housemate Izzy when I put to her, after having captured her morning routine: "Cycling in Amsterdam in winter. Go."
January is wrapping up, and I'm behind on my posting, life getting in the way and all. One thing that caught my eye, which has created quite some debate in the Netherlands, is last week's launch of the national ad campaign 'Pas Op, Aardig', or in English 'Watch Out, Nice' by SIRE, a Dutch publicly funded, idealistic institution that promotes topics that go 'beyond political agendas', touching on societal developments, issues that involve us all, on a human level. Not my words, theirs.
'Watch Out, Nice' states that too many people are loosing touch with kindness, or in their words: "Nice people. How do we deal with them?"
It's the most ridiculous campaign I've seen in a long time. Many would shout 'Nanny state!', but I'll stick with pointing out that this campaign was decided on a survey that said that 17% of Dutch people (sometimes to often) feel awkward or suspicious towards nice gestures or help from strangers.
Yeah, very alarming. Not.
PS, while sipping our warm and spiced up whiskeys, Izzy's closing remarks were: "We are practically in february, which is the short month, March can have some sunny days, April is often as good as summer and then you're home dry until September. Oh well, it's still Amsterdam...and you're still cycling."
Home Is Where The Bike Leads Me
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