On Nov. 23, 2005 I moved to The Hague from Washington, DC. This is my new Dutch life.


Transition Neighborhood

I didn't mention it before because I didn't want to spoil Christmas, but my bike was stolen! Like B-'s seat, I had it for a whopping 10 days before it vanished.

I discovered the injustice on Christmas Eve. Not even the remnants of my broken lock could be found. It seems that shady characters skulk around in vans, break the locks and drive off with the bikes - probably selling them in Amsterdam. So the rub is that if I cut my losses and buy a used bike, chances are that some other woman not so unlike myself (a Lilliputian among giants) is probably secretly searching her block hoping she just forgot where she parked.

The sad thing is that just the day before I was thinking that I should rough it up a bit to make it less interesting to thieves. A lot of good thinking does.

We realized we're living in a transition neighborhood. A few blocks to the North, the streets are cleaner and the window boxes well maintained. Head a few blocks to the South and it just goes downhill. Cafes and cute shops to the North. Coffee shops (they don't sell coffee) and car stereo dealers to the South.

It bothers me that our little square with its very own olie bollen stand is littered with cans and wrappers. My plan is to get one of those litter spears and start cleaning it up. Wonder what my neighbors would think of that.

The upshot is that renovations are underway in many of the buildings on the square. My immediate neighbors are young professionals, some with new babies. My hope is that the transition will happen quickly and we'll soon enjoy a nice cafe-lined square. If DC can clean up 14th street, surely The Hague can just spruce up the fringes of Duinoord.

As for the bike- Seems my insurance deductible is more than the cost of the bike, so it's not worth reporting the loss. Unfortunately, I need to replace it and soon. Ouch! Between that and Dutch lessons, I'll soon be properly broke.



Blogger Reid said...

Damn, Jen! I'm really sorry to hear that. The next bike you get, just put USA and American Flag stickers all over it. No one will want to steal that.

And what you lost in a bike, you gained in a nice new template. Swank!

2:57 PM GMT+1

Blogger akaijen said...

You're definitely on to something there. I'm thinking, "spray paint."

3:07 PM GMT+1


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