Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Welcome to Amsterdam"

We're getting there - the living room looks like a living room, and the small bedroom is now a procrastination room.  A room that we've put boxes of things in to sort out later.  

Much later. First things first, Claudia's 'specialized' bike needs to be secured.  In London, this would be a normal run of the mill bike - a bike that thousands commute to their offices on - whilst wearing the latest lycra, bouncing off buses, prickling the pedestrians and cutting up cars.  Here in Amsterdam, cycling is a very different story.  It's commonly known that the Dutch share their wombs wth bikes.  This familiarity breeds a whole number of uses.  In London, bikes are a singular weapon in the war of commuting. In Amsterdam, they're used for pretty much everything - and often modified to suit.   

The couple of pictures here aren't difficult to take - they're images that are so frequently played out that nobody bats an eyelid (see this site - a photo essay on bike usage). Enough photos & surfing - time to get down to the hardware store to get a good lock.  

Thankfully, there's a hardware store nearby, rather than out of town on a ringroad (I'll talk about chain stores later... - no pun intended).  I give the guy some door keys to copy while I browse locks.  There doesn't seem to be your normal run of the mill bike lock - no little U type locks, or little chains with little padlocks - just the gargantuan chains and padlocks normally seen on motorbikes & heavy digging equipment.  Well, I need a lock, so why not get one of these?  The extra weight will keep Claudia fit, and it's better to over deliver - she'll have the best secured bike in the 'Dam.  I heave the lock & chain onto the counter. "Welcome to Amsterdam" the assistant chirps. Job done, I say.

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