Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 3 in the Netherlands: Cows and Windmills and Pygmy Goats... or maybe they were just baby goats

Sunday morning.
Wake.
Bread and sprinkles.
Shower.
Shave legs for the first time in months.
Feel legs.
Get dressed.
Feel legs.
Comb hair.
Feel legs.
Unlock bicycle.
Ride bicycle.
Laugh on bicycle.
Take pictures.

And then go to church.

Church was rad. I was introduced to this women who handed me a pair of headphones – she would be translating the sermon for me. I sat in one of the chairs with headphone jacks and put them on. “Can you hear me?” she asked, and I looked back and nodded. She would be translating in a back room, but there was still just a sheet of glass between us.

It was sweet having an in-the-ear-translation. People have translated for me before but, normally they're just sitting next to me. Then, the hard part is finding the balance of how loud to speak. Sometimes they speak so loud I'm afraid they're disturbing others. Sometimes they're so quiet that  I feel it's a waste of time because I can't even hear them (I usually say something). But, in this case, I could hear loud and clear and no one was disturbed.

The worship was good.

At the end of worship, they sang the “Children's Song,” and that's when I lost it. When the music started, I started sobbing. It was so.. beautiful. I lost it when the youth worshiped in the Roma village too. My heart just sort of snaps and all of these feelings overwhelm me. But, overall, there's a joy that backs it all. In the song,they talk about making a joyful noise for the Lord. I laughed because in two different verses, they mentioning worshiping God with your bike bell.

After church we had tea and cookies to power us for the bike ride home. Jess came over too. Music was played. I danced. We danced. I danced some more. Lunch was made (egg sandwich) before heading out on our windmolen journey. I was determined to see a windmill in the Netherlands.

Getting on that bike again.
Oi.
It gets me each time.
Each time I feel elated. I feel a liberty in rushing forward. I feel comfortable with hair down, short sleeves, and sandals. The weather is fresh and before long, we were out of the city.

Ynette directed us to the country where we biked by fields and cows. The houses here were likely worth more than I could ever afford, but were adorable cottages, all the same.

We found ourselves crossing canals/ditches/creeks and railroads. We sang melodies, call and response, and rounds. A field was found to roll around it. It was our final destination our host declared after a few wrong turns.

This was what I wanted from the Netherlands. I wanted to ride a bicycle.

The afternoon quickly disappeared and we headed back home.

Dinner was Indonesian fried rice with peanut sauce.

Dessert was ice cream – I put speculaas and speculoos in my cup with the creamy vanilla frozen dairy dessert and mixed it all up. Speculaas are delicious chai-tea sort of flavoured cookies – reminiscent of gingerbread men. Speculoos is a spread made to taste like speculaas. Yeah, the Dutch figured out how to make a cookie-spread for your bread. Crazy-sweet and crazy-good. This with the ice-cream made for one of the finest desserts I've ever tasted. It almost, almost trumped peanut butter ice cream.

After Simone left, Ynette and I popped in a movie and decided to take the evening slow. We watched the Notebook – that infamous, famous, beloved film that, even at 22 years of age, I still hadn't seen. Unfortunately, a movie so well known had been discussed enough that I already knew the plot and the outcome. No, I didn't cry. Yes, it was sweet. I still think carpenters are rad.

And that, right there, was my third day in the Netherlands.
Hupp Niederland!

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