Kidding Myself

14 May 2011

Rotterdam, Nederland

I didn’t think I could, but I am. It’s probably because this seat isn’t just a moulded brick. I’m riding a bike to the shops to pick up groceries, and it’s stereotypically windy for all those over-worked windmills around the place. It’s funny when stereotypes work out, right?

Speaking of right, I think I’ve adapted to the traffic now because I’v ebeen on the bike with traffic and obeying all normal rules of the road – though I still am always accidentally bumping in to the driver as we’re getting into the car.

The civilised little bike lanes weave through green grass and rivers, all under sea level, which is more mind-bending than you think when you’re simultaneously looking at three rivers all at different levels. Something like [x] of the country is under sea level, so a lot of Holland is of their own making, which is quite cool. Then, of course, you see the purpose of the windmills, which were used to pump water out of the land. It’s all very clever, and even now the Netherlands is exporting their water management knowledge around the world.

My cousin’s husband and I get an ice-cream and are told many travel stories by the ice-cream man who seems to have been to every corner in Europe except Itlay. I wonder whether all these ice-cream men have a secret doule life – one so different from the smiling, scooping and silince (on weekdays – think about it) of their job.

On the way back, my back pocket feels wowrringly epty. Turns out I’ve lost my little notebook with all sorts of numbers, books, and little messages from other people in it. There’s probably a lot more in there that I don’t remember, but that’s definitely a good thing. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still angry about losing that bloody thing that never left my pocket in over a month.

Back at base, the sun beams down onto the deck with the occasional shout of a child, in between the pitter patter of light running on the wood. I’m invided to join in on the games, which Ithink is a perfect way to forget about whatever I’m thinking about.

In broken English of three Dutch kids, I get the general gist of a hide and seek variant. Unfortunately, there isn’t much variety in the game round after round so it’s not all that fun… But I don’t know if I was expecting anything more from people seven years younger than me. More unfortunately, being ‘the older kid’ was very anticlimactic. This’older kid’ in my mind a memory of there always being some older boy with a borken voice, amazingly more knowledgeable and physically able than myself but is somehow not an adult. I had always looked up to these people during the game playing, and could never imagine myself in that phase of life. Yet, here I am, playing games but imagining no longer, because I am the older kid now. Strangely, I’m wishing that this hide and seek game would be as fun as it used to be, but absolutely not wishing to be 11 or 12 again. Being 18 is better than I could have ever expected, because here I am in Holland thinking and realising these things.

The game inevitably ends with someone getting cranky and pissed off – people are going in for their meals made for them.