Step 2: Purchase Fiets

[Editors Note: It would have made for a great blog post to have a picture of said fiets, so I’ll try to remember to post one later.]

Once we secured an apartment to live in, we decided to go ahead and get our bikes. At first I was set on getting a bike with gears and hand breaks, since this is the type of bike I was most used to, but once I saw the price difference in just a regular old pedal break bike the accountant in me couldn’t spring for the more expensive option. The guy at the bike store picked out a good sturdy bike for me and I took it on a test spin. Afterwards we spent the equivalent of what we paid for one bike on two locks since bike theft is the number one crime here (don’t fact check me on this, it may be a tall tale that husbands tell their wives so they will in fact lock up their bike, even in the rain).

I felt good about my purchase and was confidently riding to our new house when the next thing I knew I was going too fast and couldn’t figure out how to break (dang pedal breaks!) and ran into a tree thing. The lady behind me almost ran me over with a string of what I assume was Dutch curse words. Only had the bike for 5 minutes and got into my first wreck! I was pretty sure I would never get the hang of it, but I tested my luck again two days later and decided to try the 15 minute bike to work. It definitely went better than my first try, and I am slowly starting to get the hang of it – minus getting lost on my way to work and somehow doubling the 15 minute bike ride into a 30 minute one. But oh well, it’s nice to have a means of transportation around the city now.

The only bad thing about biking being the main source of transportation is that it rains just about every day. I think I’ve had one dry bike to work in my two weeks of commuting, so I’ve decided that drying my hair in the mornings is somewhat optional – which is a great time saver!

Despite the sometimes crappy weather, we are really starting to adjust to the city and our new jobs. My Dutch is also slowly getting better, especially due to my coworkers instituting a word of the day program. We’ve covered a wide range from ladybug (lieveheersbeestje) to Friday (Vrijdag). I must admit my accent needs a lot of work, and I still have trouble following their conversations, but I’m trying!

Here are a few pictures from the first few weeks in the city

 

 

 

I’ll leave you all with the phrase I learned today…

Ik houd van je!

Kaitlyn

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