This morning I first cycled to the harbour to wave bye-bye to my men (yes, I have two, since my son is already 21 yrs. old) and then to the shops to get some essentials for my upcoming cycle tour of my country.
Right. What do we have here?
* a special pair of cycling pants. They are totally unglamorous, with a thick padded crotch, to prevent blisters and other nasties on my tender parts. According to people in the know an ab-so-lu-te-ly essential part of my outfit. (What I forgot to ask is if I should wear underpants...? Logic tells me no...Hm.)
* a "knooppuntenkaart" of The Netherlands. This is a series of 22 maps which show all the existing cycle paths, in a system of numbers. So, starting at number 86 at the border of Hellevoetsluis, I then have to cycle towards the next point (48), and so on. I have never used this system before, so that will be exciting. Hopefully it will also be logical and practical, since I tend to take written instructions literally (and it wouldn't be the first time I am left totally bewildered by them because some inapt translator in China has used the wrong word)
* a set of small blank "knooppunten" cards which I can fill in every day (using the large "knooppuntenkaart"), so I will not have to stop at every crossing to see which turn I should take to what "knooppunt" and thus lose valuable cycling time. Not to mention valuable eating and drinking time.
* a small "knooppuntenkaart" holder that I can mount on my handlebars, so that I can see-whilst-I-am-cycling (! cool, eh?). For some reason they have called this gadget the Bikepointer in good Dutch (:P). We have our own inept translators right at our own turf, indeed.
AND you now have learnt a new Dutch word (perhaps your very first Dutch word?):
Remember it well. You never know when it may come in handy.
(Yeah....Like when the Russian tanks roll through Rotterdam, and people ask the driver of the front tank "how did you know where to cross the large rivers?" and they proudly answer "hey, we know our knooppunten!").
Humour is my way of battling pain.
Okay. I am going to put my swimsuit on and dive into my private pool. Enjoy your day!