Thursday, December 17, 2009

ninja adventures through the snow

it's snowing in amsterdam. for reals. the fields and canals look magical. my apartment, however, is not so magical, since my landlord for whatever reason decided to remove my heater.

growing up in the Canadian back woods of the Greenbelt outside Ottawa means that i am pretty good with winter. i know how to build a snow shelter and survive through the night if i have to. i am used to driving sports utility vehicles through dark blizzards. i can sense deer approaching the road before i even see it. i wear pajamas under my jeans and still feel sexy.

what these Canadian winters of my childhood have not equipped me for, however, is surviving Dutch winters. yes, surprisingly, it does snow here, and while it's no "-20 degree, 20 centimetre of snow" ottawa, it is actually still terrifying to bike through snow, especially the dark, unploughed wild terrains that compose the town of Diemen where i live.

i don't bike this time of the year in Canada. i either drive the SUV or resign myself to public transportation. in Holland, however, i've got this little rattly bike that i bought for 50 euros, and i'm not sure if bike snow tires even exist. i watched a girl on a motorcycle wipe out right in front of me tonight and go sprawling across the pavement, which was scary motivation enough for me to bike really slow. but still not slow enough to stay behind the snow ploughs. seriously, they go so slow i pass them on a bicycle.

it's also painfully cold. as i mentioned before, the only way i've been able to get the nerve to bike twenty kilometres a day through the frost is to wrap myself up and cover my face like a ninja, and blast Wu-Tang Clan. it helps me get into the ninja mindset. you never hear about ninjas feeling cold. unfortunately my ninja-biking powers got me pulled over by the cops for biking too stealthily. or rather, i need a better bike light. still, all part of the ninja adventures. tiger style.