Thursday was another day to work and stay on top of things. It was also a good day for me to cook a curry for dinner. This is a standard of my normal working day routine at home. I work and cook during the day so it’s good to go when everyone is ready. Also just nice to break up the work day with a trip to the supermarket and chopping things that then have to sit in a pot for hours.

I had pretty much finished the curry when I got a message from Nina letting me know she was finishing work and would come by in a bit. As Nina didn’t have the car today it meant learning to ride a bicycle again! I messaged Twan to find out about picking up his bicycle which was at his Mum’s house. Which was all fine and arranged so we could pick it up on our way to check out the Zaanse Schans. Once Nina arrived and collected me, when made our way to pick up the bike. It was nice to meet Twan’s Mum, as I had obviously heard about her, and to meet Chico! The puppy I was told about at Modem before he was even taken home. He was a lot smaller in the photos I was sent a few months ago.

Nina was very patient with me as I figured out how to get on a bike and make it move. I was having a bit of a tough time with my short legs really reaching the peddle. We had a quick look and figured we should be able to drop the seat a little bit. So we made our way to Nina’s house and found an allen key to drop the seat! Oh yeah, that made a huge difference.

We were then on our way! Slowly… It was still faster than walking. I fell/jumped/triednottocrashintotheground only a couple of times. I was so grateful for Nina’s patience, guidance, and assistance. She was super lovely to share this experience with. It was a lot of fun.

This was the first time in about 12 years I had rode a bike. The last time I rode a bike was also just a one time thing. Before that time I probably hadn’t ridden a bike in 10 – 12 years either. My longest bike riding days were before I moved to Melbourne – that was when I was 10. I loved that Nina told me that after hearing this, in her head she was thinking “if I had a kid how would I talk to and teach that 5 year old to ride a bike.”

The bike was fine. I didn’t break it. I also made it to the Zaanse Schans in one piece.

Once we locked up the bikes we went for a wander around the windmills. There are a few cute little shops in the windmills and around. Some are museums – like the one for the paint making windmill. There is lots of hot cocoa. In fact you can smell chocolate through the streets of Zaandam. As we were riding I was hit with this smell and Nina pointed out the cocoa factory telling me that this is what the area does. Not a bad place to live when that’s the smell in the air.

It was really great to get to know Nina a bit more and have some awesome chats as we walked about. I really appreciated the time she was giving me as we hadn’t even met 24 hours ago. She is planning on going to Modem next year too so it will be nice to catch up again there. I am grateful I got to have a bike riding experience in Holland to look at windmills with amazing company!

After checking things out and just as it was starting to get dark we jumped back on the bikes. I was doing alright on the way back, I seemed to find my cycling zen, until one point where I was obviously getting cocky that I hadn’t fallen, I lost balance and I fell. I love though how cars watch out for you and that other cyclists could clearly tell that I did not cycle. Everyone leaves a wide berth.

Nina dropped me off back at Twan’s and continued her bike journey home. I just went back to doing some work as it was time to get ready for the launching of Bruha Bee’s latest track Nue. After Twan got home we ate some curry and then hung out with Dieuwke when she came over. This was the first time I met her and she was super awesome too. She pole dances, so we instantly bonded over that, and the vodka she shared with me! It’s been really nice to get to know more people and just level up the friendships started a few months ago. I’ve really enjoyed the conversations I have got to have with people so far this week. All very different and super interesting.