Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now I'm Really Living Dutchly

I am more-or-less living in limbo: no apartment, no residence permit (it's pending, of course), no bank account (also pending), etc. I have health insurance, but the policy number is pending. I live in a hotel, which sounds posh and nice, but in reality is claustrophobic. I eat out for every meal, which also sounds great, but in reality is tiresome and heavy. All this feels like some kind of twisted vacation -- it's fun and interesting to be in a foreign country, but I'm spending all my time trying to remedy the aforementioned problems rather than enjoying the trip...

So, today I rented a bicycle from the hotel and rode it to work. That is the essence of living Dutchly! It was a gorgeous, chilly, sunny morning, and the bike paths were chockablock with scarfed Dutch commuters. I biked through the park; I biked by the big avenues without any worry about cars; I biked through intersections with the special bike-lane stoplights; I biked into the complex I work in and locked the bike in the ground floor of the parking garage. Very pleasant, a good way to get going in the morning, and much faster than the walk-bus-walk combination I've been doing until now. I'm sold!

Here are some action shots taken from the saddle. First, a typical Eindhoven intersection with the pink bike path, mini bike stoplights, pedestrian crosswalk to the right, and of course car lanes to the left. Very organized, and very safe for biking.

Next, the approach to the only hill on my commute, the little bridge over the Dommel River.


And finally, approaching the High Tech Campus (on the right, across the road).

As I mentioned, it was chilly this morning. Not cold by upstate New York standards, but cool enough that I wore gloves. I noticed that I was in the minority with regard to manual insulation. I saw quite a few cyclists with one hand on the handlebar and the other in their pocket! Makes sense, I guess -- warm one up for a few minutes, then switch! I was the only one with one hand on the handlebar and the other taking photos, though, for sure!

6 comments:

ljc said...

Envious. I wish bike riding was as easy here in Rochester. Then I could have Rochester Cycle Chic like this... http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/

Steve said...

Yo,

I sent you an email to your murdochphoto.com account cause I can't find your other address, soooo check the account! :)

Maggie said...

yeah for biking to work cuz!!

MJM said...

Maggie - you really need to see the mass bike commute here. I am amazed every morning by the shear number of bikes going every direction, and of course the excellent infrastructure that makes it possible. Every stoplight cycle, 30 bikes herd across any given intersection. It's great! Chilly morning rides are a wonderful wakeup, as well!

Maggie said...

Wow! That is incredible. So does everyone "seem" fit there, too?!

MJM said...

Maggie - I think so. My initial impression was that everyone seems "young," but Meredith pointed out that it's really that they appear "healthy," which seems similar.