Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Netherlands - Day92

Exactly 3 months now in Netherlands. We had arrived on 21st march 2013 and today 21 June 2013. I use this link to calculate the number of days and months.

Mercury has soared up high. For the first time I feel the need of a fan in Netherlands. The sun is not up all the time - hiding most of the time behind an infinite stretch of clouds... wind has disappeared. today the leaves don't move at all. it is silence outside except for the chirping of the birds. 1st time I got so early in the morning - 5:00 am when I am writing this. I slept early so got up early.

You can't predict the weather here. Even the unpredictability is not predictable. One day it is sunny, the next day windy, the next day windless and cloudy, then rain, then a cold day, then a sunny day, again a sunny day - nothing is known before hand, and so planning for a holiday or an outing on a beach becomes difficult.

Again it's been quite some time now and we have become accustomed to the weather and other things. I had difficulty in getting used to the bus here - the ov chipkart, swipe in, swipe out and the pressing of the red color stop button just before the bus-stop arrives and the custom of saying hello when you get in and ‘bye’ when you get out. But then I was quick to realize that the buses are costly. A 12 km distance is 1.86 euro - approx. 140 Rs. If I could use a bicycle to work, that would save me - 22 X 1.86 x 2 = 74.4 euro a month. approx. Rs. 5728. The Indian mind - which translates everything in Rupees. Can't help it.

But then I thought - not only saving... It would give me the additional benefit of the much needed exercise... An opportunity to all that I eat like a pig all day long to be digested and create further opportunities to hog.

And so I have embraced this double sided benefit idea and quickly bought a second hand three-geared bicycle from an Amstelveen shop - it cost me 278 Euro - with the helmet, locker and the pump. They told me 225 but added some tax at the time of billing. I felt slightly cheated - as after buying the cycle - I found new cycles in less that 200 euros - of course without the gears - anyways - now I calculated that I would need 278/74.4 = 3.7 months of cycling to work - to get back the price of cycle. So I have started pedaling - And let me confess - cycling is a bliss! If you are in Netherlands - and you don't cycle - then you are missing something.

There are beautiful roads laid by the Government only to be used by the cyclists - And in every junction that you need to cross - you have signals you need to press and wait for the green signal. Those who walk have a different button to press and those who cycle have another one. The path for cyclists and the footpath - for walking in most of the places go side by side.

It takes me half an hour to reach office if I exert and pedal fast... and a relaxed journey takes about 50 minutes - one in which I can enjoy the scenery on both sides of the road. The gears have made it easy on steeper roads... but mostly it is plain everywhere - not much ups and downs. 78 kg when I started cycling 20 days back - I will update on my weight after 6 months. I have already started to feel healthy, wealthy and wise.

One more adjustment - I have started taking bath in the evening after I come from work - this also has a double sided benefit - all that sweat from cycling is washed away and I sleep clean and in peace. 2nd benefit is I get to leave for work early - because I don’t have to take bath in the morning. Also there are certain things that you need to enjoy and not do in a hurry. Taking bath, shitting, brushing your teeth - all of these comes in this category. (You can add more to that list and I know what comes to your mind). Relax and take your time - rub all parts of your body from tip of head to toe without bias and clean all areas equally - and this takes time - while the morning hours go away fast and you need to leave for work early - you can't really enjoy all this. And so the change in plan!

And yeah… suddenly remembered that there also is an update from Romir – he has started using the toilet now. He goes to the toilet all by himself whenever he has to attend nature’s call. This is a good development as we parents were struggling to make him aware of the existence of bathroom for such activities.

He has also migrated from mother goose club to Tele-tubbies. No idea how he discovered though…  and no idea why he likes – because couple of time I found that really boring – tried to judge that from a 2 year old kid's perspective as well.

He sits on the laptop and tries to use the key board just like we adults. He doesn’t know which button has which function now – but if the YouTube video pauses he manages to play it somehow – he has realized that learning a skill on his own is a better idea than requesting and shouting for parental assistance. A lesson that should help him in the coming years. He will be 2 years on the 1st of July – 9 more days to go.

Now it’s 6:31 am – 1 and a half hour of blogging. I don’t know what to do next – I might catch up with some more sleep. Morning time is best for lazing – It is a stupid idea to do yoga, meditation or may be painting, exercising or whatever. But today I don’t feel sleepy. I don’t know why.

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