musings travel

Around the World in 80 Days: Day 52, Dutch Impressions

Today is my first full day in Renkum, Holland.  I was greeted at the nearby train station by the residency concierge, Josien Jonegan, who graciously gave me a ride home with my cumbersome luggage.  I was shown around the house and quickly given a key.  Josien knew I was tired as I had just come off of 28 solid hours of travel.  (Let me tell you how grateful I was for the ride from the train station as opposed to wrangling a bus…)  Had an ok night’s sleep.  I’m fighting jet lag right now and staying awake as long as I can.  I’m eating french fries and fried chicken wings with a sweet chili sauce and drinking a malbec.  It’s glorious.  Wanna see some pics?  Of course you do.

The bike parking area just outside the Ede-Wageningen train station, about 15 minutes away.  If you didn’t know this already, the Dutch are the Rembrandts of bike riding.  I always teased my Dutch friends Rene and Margaret about being professionals whenever we rode anywhere together in Japan, but I was half serious.

This is the front of the residency house in the afternoon.

This is the back of the house in the early morning.

By the way, it’s been raining off and on all day.  I’m told this is the rainiest month.  It’s also COLD.  It’s a crazy contrast from Japan where I was hot, sweaty, and dehydrated.  That’s made it tricky with packing clothes.  I had to have Ryder bring me a few more cold weather pieces and I just got a couple of things at a local thrift store this morning.  They recommend keeping the house at 19 degrees C.  That converts to…. wait for it…. 66 degrees.  Why, you ask?  Well, it’s a gas heated place and gas is expensive.  I’m ultimately the one paying for utilities so I’m going to go by their suggestion.  It’s cold.  The floor is cold.  I am cold.  I’m dressed in layers and pretty much wearing a fur hat the whole time.

Part of my view from the kitchen.  It’s like I never left Japan.

This is a cheese wedge shaped bush in the yard.

Speaking of cheese… my waistline pleaded with me to leave Japan and never go back but I’ve found some new things to get me into trouble here.  This store already has my attention and my money.  Next to it is a bread store.  Yeah.  I’m going to need an extreme exercise program when I get home.  Make that two extreme exercise programs.  I’m thinking full-contact bowling and high-impact knitting.  Hands need exercise too.

These are sausages.  Sausages!

This is a dark chocolate.  I ate his face.  Then I ate the rest.  Why do weirdo food manufacturers keep making food that looks like people?

This cool apartment building is on my way to the street with all the shops on it.

This trained set of trees is very difficult to photograph.  It looks like it was just trimmed.  I bet it’s incredible with leaves and flowers.  Ryder… I have another project for y- I mean us.

An inflatable bird butt affixed to the window of a flower shop.  All that’s missing is the inflatable bird crap on the ground underneath him.  I sense a new purpose in my Dutch life.

Awning in front of a Japanese restaurant.  C’mon Netherlands!  Are you trying to make me cry?




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