Monday, February 8, 2010

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

I was quite shocked by the cold turn the weather has taken when I stepped outside this morning to take my son to school. The last few days has been a little warmer than most of the last two months; at least in the west of the Netherlands it has been. Suddenly it was time for hats and scarves again.

What has struck me over the last couple of months is the reluctance of the Dutch to give up their bicycles, even in ice, snow and blizzard conditions. Brave souls. I have watched them with curiosity weaving down the local roads that could easily have passed for ice rinks. A few skids here and there, but not deterred, they keep on cycling through weather that I hibernate from.

Then a friend told me about her mother-in-law who had skidded cycling on the ice, landed on her handlebars and broken a rib. Ouch. Then I read on Twitter that one expat has been taking Dutch integration to the upper limits - and cycling in the icy conditions too. Hats off to him, I thought. Then he reported he that he had taken a tumble. Thankfully he lived to tell the tale and twitter about it, but both incidents brought to mind the popular saying about the Brits and the sun, based on a tune by Noel Coward from the early 1930's: Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Perhaps a new version should be written based on the fanatic cycling on ice of the Dutch: Mad Expats and Dutchmen go cycling on the ice..........

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