Today while I was browsing dutchnews.nl (an English speaking news site), I read about a mistake which ended up bringing good attention to a Dutch town called Wijchen — the town council ordered more paint for the traffic islands but mistakenly used the wrong color code on the order form.
The result? Pink traffic islands.
When I first read the article, they said the mistake would be corrected next week as it might otherwise might be a distraction. However, due to the public liking the accidental color choice, the news article was updated to state that the color will stay.
This photo is from a few months ago, and shows the bike area of Holland Spoor. That’s a lot of bikes!
Holland Spoor is one of the transportation hubs of The Hague, along with Central Station. The latter is bigger, although that is mostly because Holland Spoor is classified as a public monument and can’t be expanded.
As you know, the Netherlands is notorious for having a lot of bikes in its country. Unfortunately, this one has since been cannibalized – it is (was) a bike right outside where Marco works.
The wheel has been outside for at least three or four months. Apparently the owner didn’t even care about taking his lock when he realized his bike was stolen. So the leaves just keep building up underneath…
Roger was gracious enough to send me some pictures of Amsterdam’s in-water boat show which starts today, September 4, and runs through Sunday, September 9. He has been watching the construction of the marina over the past few months, which will house all of the boats this week. Apparently most of the marina will stay after the boat show wraps up, which is nice.
Location: Amsterdam Marina, NDSM Shipyard; Werfstraat 4, 1033 SN Amsterdam
Of course, it does mean there will be more traffic in the area, which hopefully won’t put a damper on Roger’s commute to and from work each day. It’s only four days, at least! Here’s a floor plan of the boat show so you can see the amount of boats that will be docked there. As Roger noted, it is kind of weird to see “Manoeuvreren voor vrouwen” in the lower left of the floor plan (maneuvering for women)… as if men don’t need any help, or all women need help. (I would!)
You can also see a list of activities broken down by day — though it seems like a lot of activities happen on all of the days.
There will be 200 exhibitors and 300 boats. You can read more about the facts & figures of this event by going to the press section of their website.
There’s just something very ironic about the following photo which Marco gave me a few days ago. It is taken from the inside of a bus, and focuses on an advertisement.
1. “Summer schedule returns next week!”
2. We’re going to promote this with a picture of a smiling happy family at a beach!
3. Don’t look out the bus window, or you might see the dreary rain-filled day which lies in stark contrast to this promise of sorts.
Okay, I have a dirty little confession to make.
I, a librarian, have not picked up a book in at least 8 months and sat down and read it. Even after my post in early May bemoaning this fact.
Crazy, I know. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes. My favorite is when people hear I am a librarian and the first thing they say is Cool! You must get so much reading done! If you count reading over emails and proofreading notes for the library resources class I am about to teach, then yes I do a lot of reading.
When Roger came back from Amsterdam yesterday, he found something missing.
His bicycle seat.
One bicycle, no seat
Apparently they really do take whatever isn’t nailed down. The bike was nailed down, but the seat wasn’t. I am happy to report, however, that the problem has already been fixed (at cost to him of course :/) ! And this time with a seat that isn’t quite as easily removable…
Sometimes you come across some very interesting street art within the Netherlands. This one is no exception.
Dutch train station art
Yes, that’s three guys – on each others’ shoulders and standing on a ball. At least the guy on the top looks like he is willing to experiment and spread his wings a bit! Perhaps they didn’t have enough money for the train so the one friend suggested that they should all try climbing onto the ball and riding it to their next destination…
In the background the pyramid shaped building is a train station near where Marco works.
Dutch tram in the tunnel
And here’s a picture of a tram in motion within a tunnel. Not sure if this is the underground tunnel in the Hague or not. You can even see a second tram in the background, heading in the other direction.
Today’s work day was punctuated by moments of craziness sandwiched between long hours of…relative calm? I knew it would be an interesting day when I came back from donating blood and found out that someone from Kaplan test prep wanted to hold a presentation about the NCLEX nursing exam. That’s the licensing exam for nurses in the U.S.
Due to some miscommunication between them and their nursing student representative, they ended up downstairs in one of our group study rooms… which is designed for about 10 students max. More than 20 showed up and (somehow) squeezed into that room. It was quite impressive but not the ideal place to be. Thankfully the actual presentation was only about 20 minutes, or I would have told them to go back upstairs to the lab.
And then the student I was supposed to see at 5:45 arrived early, so I was able to squeeze in everything we needed to do by 5:55 and then dash outside to catch the 6:19 bus that tends to come at 6:04. I barely made it, but I still made it! It’s the difference between getting home at 6:30 or getting home at 8PM.
That’s one thing I am looking forward to in the Netherlands, though I am sure it’s not that easy everywhere in the country. But I don’t have to worry as much about buses (or trams) which run only on the hour. Though I do have to say that the system I use right now is fairly reliable – In my 2 1/2 years at this job I figure the bus hasn’t shown only 5 or 6 times.
Here is a picture that I took of the inside of a tram (including the swipe pad for your OV chip card). I mentioned it back in this post.
Dutch tram door
On the left side you have the OV chip card machine which says Kaart hier. Like I said, I always forget to check out by swiping my card there before I leave. On the door itself, the pink part says Check uit, or check out. The white lettering on the reverse side of the door warns people that the door opens outward and extends outside (outside = buiten).
The nice thing about trams is you can enter them from any available door. For buses you need to enter by the bus driver, even if you have an OV chip card. And of course there are still people who get in trouble for trying to cheat the system. I am just glad there is no more strippenkaart! I am not sure how much longer that link will work, since the strippenkaart has been phased out completely, I believe.
Today’s first two pictures come from Roger, Amsterdam’s #1 train commuter! It’s a long commute too: first biking to the Hague bike station, dropping off his bike, getting on the train, praying it’s not 15 minutes late again, and then sprinting from Amsterdam Centraal Station to catch is ferry to get across the river IJs. Crazy times.