Monday, August 22, 2011


I looked around me as I walked, thinking about what to write. How do you put images, smells, and feelings into words? Especially random, disconnected moments in days like that one. Above me in an apartment building, two women in Muslim headscarves sat on a balcony and watched the world - the calm, sunny for the moment, world in the Netherlands. How many thousands of kilometers from home are they? Or have their families lived here for generations. Next to them sat a solid 'quad'- a four wheeled road-ready vehicle. What a picture that would have made, but I didn't have my camera with me.

I kept walking. Bikers in tight-fitting spandex - 'snelfietsers' - passed me by. One, paused to check his bike, smiled at me; a girl in rolled up jeans and a tank top, who decided on a whim that the day was too pretty to waste and was walking the 9 kilometers home from her parents-in-law. Her Dutch parents-in-law. Her own parents were hundreds of kilometers and an ocean away, not quite walking distance. Next Sunday it would likely be rainy weather again - typical Dutch- and she'd bike home with her husband and hurry to get into their own cosy apartment.

But that day, it was sunny and clear, and her Converse sneakers tapped contentedly on the road home while she thought about writing a blog, or even a book, some day. Dutch-in-Law.

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