Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happiness and misery on one extraordinary night

Doing nothing has never been something I'm very good at. So also this vacation I'm not exactly glued to the television. I divide my time in arranging necessary financial stuff, learning Swedish and meeting friends.

Saturday was everything but a normal evening. A friend of mine, Dave, proposed to his girlfriend on a party he organised. In front of all the guests (which included the family of his girlfriend) he performed a striptease for her and had the engagement ring in his underpants. I was too late to see it, because I first had to meet some friends in Alkmaar and then I had to cycle for half an hour to get there. When I arrived Dave told me I was too late, but that it doesn't matter because his girlfriend said yes.

I kind of underestimated the Dutch weather that evening, because after the party I had to go home again by bike. I was warned already that the weather would be bad. Now I thought I'd be able to manage it, but I forgot that 'bad weather' in Holland means: 'hell on earth'. Rain fell from the sky like a cold shower and on top of that I had the cold storm against me. Regularily it was even faster to get off the bike and walk. So there I walked soaking wet on a bicycle-road along dark meadows and the ice cold rainstorm in my face. For about two hours! I'm lucky to be in a good physical condition, because otherwise I would have collapsed before I got back to Alkmaar. No, I'm not exaggerating. I've had some bad bicycle trips before, but this was probably one of the worst ever. Could it be because I'm not used to the Dutch rain climate anymore?

Although I was as wet as someone who just jumped in a pool with his clothes on, the trip didn't make me ill. I might be the living prove of what scientists already know: that you can't catch a cold from being in the cold alone. Anyway, I learned my lesson. I'm staying inside with a warm cup of tea as long as this stormy, rainy weather continues.


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