Posted by: patriciamar | February 6, 2009

Biking and cell phone usage: An epidemic

Most days in Leiden are fairly rainy. If it not actually raining, then it has or will surely rain within 60 minutes. On a nice day, when the sky is blue, Dutchers somehow know that it is not going to rain. The world goes crazy.  People are trimming trees, driving tractors on the streets, and talking on their cell phones while biking. They buy inappropriately huge things and bike home with them, and they eat long meals outside.

To me, this is all usually quite shocking, because I am thinking, this is the Netherlands, it could rain at any second… But again: They know.

Trimming trees seems to be somewhat of a Dutch pastime, because they truly love to do it.  Clearing branches, cutting down weird trees, clearing brush from the edges of the canals, pruning the trees around the bikepaths so there is Plenty of room for the heads of tall bikers, they love it.  Yesterday,  I saw three tractors driving on the street.  Sometimes with a full bucket.  A fellow international here mentioned this and I didn’t really believe them at first.  The next day I saw a mini-backhoe with tracks driving down Stationweg in central Leiden.  I don’t know what was more surprising: the fact that a backhoe was driving (on tracks!) down the main street of historic central Leiden towards the train station, or that it was possible to make a fully functional backhoe this tiny.  The Dutch really do like things small.

On a side note, until today, I was apparently unaware that there is only one t in pastime. Pasttime.  Pastime.  Hmm.

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