Bike + Phobia of supermarkets

Okay, I haven’t been posting. I’ve been up and down emotionally more than I will ever be able to describe in a blog post, I’ve known around 70 people in this last week and I already have a TON of ancient greek philosophy to read. But I wanted to share some highlights.

Highlight #1 – Buying a Bike.

I learned how to ride a bike a month ago. Yes, you read it well. I had lived happily for 25 years without the need of using any bike, but of course, that’s not very practical in the Netherlands. For real, this Dutch guy, Quinten, just told me they have around 2-3 bikes per person in the Netherlands. Now, I haven’t really cross-checked that information, so you may want to google that before repeating it. Truth is, there’s a ridiculous amount of bikes around here.

And I actually practiced a couple of times in a park in Mexico before my trip to Enschede but this is nothing like riding in a park. Dutch bikers are a thing to admire, you have the tiniest lane for riding the bike between cars and people walking by, you sometimes have to share lanes with motorcycles, there are traffic lights for biking, you have to keep right in case another biker wants to go faster on your left. It-is-scary.

I thought of getting a bike Lore had but then it turned out I was too short for it (there’s not a lot of Dutch adults 1,49 meters tall). Some people told me I could have managed to get on that big bike, but c’mon, if I’m going to suck at riding bikes I want to suck in a bike that fits me. So I got this cute little bike I feel very comfortable with, and I’ve been riding it for about 5 days. The 3rd day we were riding in a group from the river to the city center and Angela, my new Greek friend, told me she thought I was really brave for taking my bike to the street even though I had just learned how to do it. I felt very accomplished and immediately realised I was an asshole to myself for trying to let everyone know that I suck so much at biking and somehow make it up for the time it would take me to get used to it.

But it’s done now, achievement unlocked: I can move by bike.

Highlight #2 – Going to the supermarket

Going to the supermarket in the Netherlands for the first time was surprisingly even scarier than riding the bike. I was depressed, sitting in my room. I had lost all appetite and knew I had absolutely nothing to eat in the fridge. I had to drag myself out of my room and walk across the street feeling I was going to die inside the supermarket, and I’m not even kidding. My brain has this real weird way of processing things when I have fear, I don’t know why I thought “I’m going to the supermarket and I’m not coming out”. It’s basically the result of not knowing dutch and realizing I won’t understand what’s on the labels (though I prepared myself by translating Carbs, Koolhydraten, Fats, Vetten and Protein, Eiwitten). I did not work on a list but I figured everything I would get would be something that wouldn’t require a lot of time and effort to prepare, that would not rot within a couple of days, and that I could eat for at least a week.

Here’s the complete list of things I got.

  • 2 Tomatoes – €0,50
  • A mix of lettuces – €1,12
  • 3 apples – €1,24
  • 3 bananas – €0,92
  • Sliced bread (multi-grain) – €0,99
  • Around 7 slices of ham – €1,56
  • Around 7 slices of Gouda cheese – €2,43
  • 6 Eggs – €1,29
  • Olive oil – €2,49
  • About 400 grams of chicken breast – €4,09
  • Peanut butter – €0,99
  • Mayo – €0,89
  • Pickles – €0,69
  • What I thought was yogurt but it turned out to be fat from cottage cheese (?) – €0,69
  • 1 pan – €16,49

For a great total of €36,38! Not too bad, huh? And the best part is I didn’t die at the supermarket. I did, however, fucked up in the weighing-the-fruit system because that’s something the Mexican cashiers do during the check-out. But my cashier had to stand up, go to the fruit area and weigh my tomatoes, apples, and bananas. I promised I would do so myself the next time. That fat from cheese wasn’t very kind in my stomach either, but I’m pretty sure I’ll survive. This is a picture of my latest creation in the kitchen. And you oughta know I now consider Dutch pickles to be the best pickles in Planet Earth.

And that’s it for Today because I should be reading Plato’s Symposium!

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