Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A few random updates and oh I bought a bike

Let's see, where shall I start from. Not that my life here is sooo more exciting than yours. But I like to share my quirk thought and Dutch findings here.

Well, first things first. Autumn has arrived. Rain and cold had preceded it, but leaves have just started to fall, and it's beautiful. Splashes of yellow and orange brightening up the streets.

You might also have heard that a couple of days ago a storm hit us..  It did not have a fancy girl's name as its US sisters, but was nicknamed "St. Jude," after the patron saint of lost causes. Ahah - how ironic. St Jude brought winds up to 160km/h and 20 to 40mm of rain in just 9 hours.
In Amsterdam, 2 people died, hit by a falling tree. It's so sad and tragic, because it's such a surreal and improbable death.
All trains to and from Amsterdam's central station were blocked and many flights in Schiphol were cancelled. 

Me, I did not even realize how bad it was. Except from a little difficulty cycling to the station in the morning, I spent the day at the pc and was safe inside.

Photo credits Tamara Bok
The weekend was nice. Lots of nice people, places and things do see and do.

On Sunday afternoon I decided to inaugurate my new Dutch grammarbook and I went to study to Utrecht University's Central Library.
It's such a beautiful place!
Back in my university days, I was studying in a small city of Italy, and the university buildings were all small, old and sad. I am not used to fancy classrooms and libraries. Imagine my surprise when I saw THIS!
Free wi-fi, a cool bar, couches, a beautiful view...the small-town girl that it's in me could not believe her eyes.

Here is another Utrecht highlight that I photographed on my way to the library: Nijntje zebra crossing! You cannot really tell from the picture, but the shape of the traffic light it's hers!

But here we come to the highlight of my incredibly adventurous life: ik heb een fiets!!! I have a bike!
I really needed to buy one after using J's bike for almost a month. I was looking for a classic "omafiets", one of those vintage bikes - the name literally means "grandma's bike" - that you were almost run over by while wandering one of Amsterdam's narrow streets.

I could not find the bike I wanted in one of the many second-hand shops in Utrecht, so my colleagues suggested that I check - the Dutch ebay. It's all in Dutch, but thanks to my friend Google Translator and J I was able to locate a few that I really like. The price is cheap, I paid 70 € for a bike in perfect conditions, and I was willing to pay more because I am a silly Italian fashion-victim who really wanted a pretty bike over a bargain ahah. Dutch people usually pay 30 or 40 € for a used bike, so I know I was naive, but I don't care! I love my bike!

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