Not too long ago I realized that I have been driving a car for more than half of my life. As a girl growing up in the boonies of the rural Midwest, getting a driver's license was a pivotal moment. I can imagine teenagers living in densely populated urban centers also feel a great sense of accomplishment when they pass the driving test--a milestone moment in American culture to be sure--but it's so much more than a rite of passage when you live in a sea of cornfields. It means that you finally have the freedom to get out of those cornfields. I don't live in rural America anymore (or Los Angeles for that matter), and my need for a car has been drastically reduced. In fact, I'm not legally allowed to drive a car here. The Dutch government has deemed that my American driver's license is not transferable, and I'd have to go through a rather expensive process to get a Dutch license, so I just don't drive our car. This has never been an issue for me, because I absolutely love my bicycle. Correction, it never was an issue for me until I had a baby and could no longer hop on my bicycle to run errands or basically go anywhere.
Funny thing about babies, you can't leave them at home even just for a quick trip to the store. Also, newborn babies can't ride their own bicycles. This leaves me with three options for getting around: walk and carry her, walk and push her in a stroller, take the tram. I utilize all three of these options, although walking takes a long time. Public transportation in Amsterdam is pretty good, and I can get just about anywhere, but it still takes longer than riding a bicycle and something about the hustle and bustle of it all exhausts me. Last week I needed to go to the store to get cabbage for a recipe. It was a lovely fall day, and I enjoyed the walk to the grocer, but the whole process took about an hour. I could have accomplished the same task on my bike in about fifteen minutes. I am happy I got out of the house and got to enjoy all of this, even if it felt like it took forever to run a simple errand:
|Super cute baby, just hanging out in the stroller.|
|The park I have to walk through to get to the store.|
|Enjoying some nice color on the trees.|
Happy Halloween, everyone! Enjoy the costumes and candy! No costumes in the Netherlands but here is a picture of me and Johanna hanging out in our cloud pjs, which are kind of like costumes, right?