sábado, 11 de febrero de 2012

Walking on the ice!

Today I witnessed how Dutch people live a real winter: Skating on the canals!! Wow, I have to say it is a wonderful spectacle: See all kind of people skating, walking, playing and even cycling on the icy surface of the canals. Youngsters and old people seemed normal, but then I saw little kids not older than 4 years skating like they were walking, the first thing I wondered was how could they skate so natural, and after leaving my astonishment, I got even more surprised with the parents – if there were any to see -. if the little kid would fall – It happened rarely – the father or mother wouldn't stop to help him or her, perhaps would wait a bit further but in no way would give any extra attention to the child. Under those circumstances, the toddler would only stand up and continue skating. That would explain the naturalness of Dutchies on the ice and water, and also what I saw afterwards: People cycling on the canals, grandma with grand child walking and playing sliding like in a sand playground, people walking their dogs out and even little shops on the icy: Yes, they were selling drinks on the canals! They had their table, their show-board with the specialties (coffee, chocolate-milk and soup), but that was only the beginning... We went out on a normal Saturday to buy some things, among them, a top-mattress :). Well, my handsome husband had to proof himself his Dutch-nature and, lacking skatings, he was cycling on the canals, carrying the top-mattress, and holding my hand while I was walking also on the canal in front of our house. Downtown the canals were even crowder, and we could even see an old man walking with his shopper-walker, then it was not weird any more to see people shopping on their skates.. Cafe's on the shops were the rule and walking on the ice-water became normal. It was a complete life on the ice. Arjan told me that this was real Holland, his parents have skate all winters in the polders to be found every where in this country, or when it gets really cold, in the canals itself. Now I've seen, and certainly enjoyed, another way of this my beautiful host country. To honor my love to my host city, I finish saying that Leiden represents perfectly all what Netherlands means! Happy to be here in spite of the cold!!

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