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  • Writer's pictureNigel

Double Dutch ダブルダッチ

Updated: May 5, 2023

2023 年 5 月 1 日


Last week I lost my bicycle. 前週, 自転車をくしてしまいました. "How the did you manage that?" I can hear you say. The trouble is that I am an absent-minded lateral thinker. I had stopped at my local bakery, parking my bicycle outside before going in. Then, happy that I had found and bought my favourite bread, I walked straight out of the bakery, crossed the road and entered my house. Half an hour later a thought drifted into my conscious brain....er........ my bike? Oh, of course, I left it outside the bakery didn't I? So out I go and......oh....there is no bike there. And here is the crunch sentence: I had not locked it. 施錠してなかった! Bang, it was gone. Langen. Such a nice town..

In Memoriam 😥 ついとう......追悼

I had become too casual on my home patch. Now I have lost the one mode of transport which I need every day. Luckily I have good neighbours,こううんのことに、私には良い隣人がいます...... and have since been offered the loan of at least two bicycles. Breath out, Nigel. 😔 息を吐いて、ナイジェル。

 

Time to get on a tram.......now that's a funny accent.....where are we now?........

Holland. オランダ. Den Haag to be precise ("The Hague"). Yeap. A 5-hour train trip from Frankfurt has deposited me at the Dutch coast. The wind is cold, and I am glad that I have brought a scarf and hat.🌬 風が冷たいので、🧣マフラーと🤠帽子を持ってきてよかったです I walk down to the beach at Scheveningen.......There is a stiff breeze coming in off the North Sea........

I head for "De Pier"......it's actually quite hard work walking over the soft sand....砂は柔らかい...

From "De Pier" I notice how rough the sea actually is.......海は荒れています......

The cold is made bearable by the sunny intervals.....lighting up the beach and casino.....a bit like Brighton really....ブライトンに似てる.......

There are hundreds of restaurants and cafés 何百ものレストランやカフェ on the lower deck of the pier, and all along the sea front. I get the impression that the Dutch really know how to enjoy life. And if this is your thing, you can even have a ride here......


Den Haag デン・ハーグ is a strange mixture. Back in the city centre the sights are different.....there are quiet canals......静かな運河........

.....and 19thc pomp......The International Court of Justice (not to be confused with the International Criminal Court, also in Den Haag).

...and of course the beautiful 18thc Mauritiushuis and government buildings of the Binnenhof.........

I took this photo in April 2022

But there is a lot of daring and uncompromising modernism.....多くの近代的な建物.....

On the left of the next photo we see the theatre and music college......the Koninklijk Conservatoire.....🎶

...which faces the Niewe Kerk. On the right you can see new artwork in hommage to the Dutch illusionist artist M.C. Escher. 2023 is the 125th anniversary of his birth, a date being celebrated in The Hague this year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._C._Escher

Near the station we see this......駅近.......

...and of course this......もちろん.......

..........🚲

The station itself is smart.......駅のデザインが良い....

....with some very King's Day passengers....



 

But hang on, I didn't come to Holland to see just this did I? This is springtime, which in Holland means.......🌷 time!


WARNING : TULIP ALERT. If you don't like tulips then log off NOW. 😅

( 警告! チューリップ)

What's more, I need to take a break from online language lessons and see my tutor live. So we hatched a plan to hire bicycles for the day, picking them up in Van Dam Fietsen in Nordwijkerhout. No, don't ask me to pronounce that. The guys in this bike shop were very helpful and friendly.....here we go......私たちは一日自転車を借りました....行こう!

Smart, modern, lightweight bikes.....

But first........The small town of Nordwijkerhout is centred around an old white church. Needless to say there was no shortage of cafés here. We squeezed into a popular one, ordering applecake and cream....tea and coffee. Children ran around under the tables, families chatted, old friends laughed. It was a nice place. サイクリングの前に、カフェに行きました....

The tables were decorated with peacock feathers, which I found rather unusual.....but maybe there is no shortage of peacocks here....it would not surprise me.....孔雀の装飾.......

Parking outside the church.....pedestrian zone of course (why can't they do this in Langen?)

We set off. Suddenly, after about a kilometre, Mikiさん cried out to look to the left. Like two huge slashes of vivid oil paint on a canvas, there it was, our first tulip field. Even if you are not a fan of commercial mass flower production, the sights here are truly astonishing......私たちの最初のチューリップ畑.....驚くべき....

We left the road and parked the bikes on the soft earth.........

Our first stop of many. We had this map, but were not always sure where we were on our route.....どちら?

........endless lines of colour....色の無限の線.......

getting down close......

...or looking from above.......

........but always photogenic.......(the tulips, that is....😂) 私じゃなくてチューリップがフォトジェニック......

And not only tulips, but also daffodils......すいせん......水仙 "suisen". Couldn't help thinking of all those "suisen" which I planted in Japan last November......I wonder if they ever came up?.....

Shonenji Nov. 2022

By some capricious quirk of language the Japanese use a "loan" word for tulips, and therefore spell it in the special "alphabet" for foreign words- katakana. So we get チューリップ "chuurippu". Here are the daffodils.......

Waterways run everywhere. Unfortunately I don't have the camera for birds, but they were everywhere...geese, swans, great crested grebes, moorhens.....iPhoneで鳥の写真が撮れない

.........a small settlement....小さな村....

.......a matching pair........orange of course....the national colour...........おそろいのペア....もちろんオレンジ....国の色....

Time for another pose.....this time Miki さん 😊

For some reason this field had a variety of colours......

Now look........ looking at tulips all day is quite hard work. So later in the day we stopped off in the nearby town of Leiden for a bite to eat. Here is a random scene....in Leiden 😅

In the centre of town the streets were heaving with young people (the university here is huge for such a small town), all gearing up for King's Day. Turning a corner you would be hit by the tangy smell of weed (マリファナ) issuing from some coffee shop. I'm not sure which I like the less, weed or tobacco. I suppose neither are much fun unless you actually smoke it yourself. Anyway, eventually we found a cosy pub at the canal side.........which inevitably meant eating croquettes.....it seems to be a sort of national dish! コロッケ……国民食みたい!

...washed down of course with the local brew......もちろんビール.....喝采 Kanpai !

There is only one way of ending today's blog. With this: "Hana" = flower


 

Thank you for reading "Double Dutch"

私の「ダブル・ダッチ」を読んでくれてありがとう


This week you are going to get two special Dutch blogs........

Feel free to share them with friends.

よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください😊


I send out the blog pretty randomly to whoever I think might be interested. Either by email, LINE or WHATSAPP. If you don't want to be sent this blog, don't hesitate to tell me and I shall take you off the list. No problem.

この投稿を読んでいただきありがとうございます。 新しい投稿のお知らせを受け取りたい場合は、上部の購読フォームに記入してください。

ありがとう!

Nigel.



THE END

🚲

終わり



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