Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zaan Dann, Alkmaar, and the Beach

The prosecutor continues questioning the witness.

PA: “So what was the rest of Holland like?”
Dutch house out in the countryside
RB: “Aside of waterlogged, quite beautiful. I had seen most of what Amsterdan had to offer, and decided that I would venture into the countryside, although, at least originally I didn’t plan to go too far, just to Zaan Daan which is maybe 10 minutes by train outside Amsterdan.”
PA: “Something took you further?”
not many forests in Holland, we'll call this a wooded area
RB: “Well, at this time I had too many bags. I got onto the train wearing my backpack, my computer bag, and lugging two suitcases. My backpack had almost nothing in it, ninety percent of my items were stuffed into only one of my suitcases which weighed approximately a ton. It was hard work moving everything around, and after boarding, I slumped down in my chair, tired. I noted they didn’t give you a lot of time to get off and on, so when my stop arrived, I gathered up all my things, and trudged off the train. I realized right as the doors were sliding back shut that I was not wearing my weightless backpack, and that it must have fallen off my shoulders onto my seat. I slammed both my hands on the glass hoping this would get the train to stop/ get them to re-open the doors, but the train was bon voyage. My backpack, camera, and three hundred dollars cash was going to God knows where in Holland. Actually, God and the ticket counter, which I raced to, and explained what happened. The lady told me to come back in ten minutes. I went to my nearby hotel, checked in, said a prayer, and went back to the ticket counter. The woman was pleased to tell me the conductor had found it exactly where I described I left it, and that it was a few stations away in Alkmaar. I boarded the next train headed to Alkmaar, where I gratefully picked up my pack.”
PA: “Lucky you.”
one of millions of rivers in Holland, I meditated on the right bank
RB: “I have been lucky 98% of my trip man. I decided that I would walk around Alkmaar, and found it to be an absolutely charming town. After meandering through a shopping arcade, reminiscent of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, I decided to sit and meditate by a partly wooded canal. Aside of a few cars passing, it was very tranquil and calm.”
PA: “Sounds nice.”
RB: On the way back, I found a grocery store and decided I would stock-up on supplies. They didn’t offer to bag any of my items, so I figured it was self-service, and grabbed some plastic. The guy behind me tried to tell me that I had to pay for the bag, but the girl working the check-out stand waived at him, non verbally telling him not to worry about it. The guy wasn’t being a stickler or anything, I felt he was really trying to help. All of a sudden I found myself in a conversation with him and two other Dutch (also known as Hollish) men. We spoke for at least an hour, about topics ranging from drugs, sports, to why Hollish men are so damned tall. The 6’5” guy, who I figured would have some basis for an opinion, unfortunately didn’t offer much conviction behind his theory of dairy consumption. I found them all tremendously warm and nice. One of them invited me to a festival that was in town that evening. I decided that I would go back to Alkmaar, and possibly journey to the ocean, the next day as well.”
PA: “How did that turn out?”
RB: “Wonderful. I returned to Alkmaar by train, a good fifteen minutes from Zaan Daan, rented a bike, and began my 20km ride to the beach.”
PA: “How was the countryside?”
a cow intensive field
RB: “Green, lush, beautiful, and extremely cow intensive. All that dairy has to come from somewhere. That was one of the most pleasant bike rides I have ever been on, aside of getting a cramp in my foot on the way back, and writhing on the ground like a diseased worm. Fortunately the cows didn’t say a word about it. The entire way, I was gazing upon green fields, canals, and a combination of old windmills, and new wind turbines off in the distance.”
PA: “So did you reach the beach?”
RB: “Indeed I did.”
PA: “Is it okay if I ask you a few questions about what transpired there, as there are numerous eyewitnesses?
RB: “Go ahead.”
PA: “Did you go out onto the sand?”
RB: “Of course.”
PA: “And do you know the name of the body of water touching the beach?”
RB: “The North Sea.”
PA: “The North Sea?”
RB: “The North Sea.”
PA: “And then what happened?”
RB: “I took off my shirt, and took what I had in pockets out.”
PA: “And someone commented on it?”
RB: “A woman told me I was insane. That the water was too cold. That I risked catching pnemonia.”
PA: “Did you jump in anyways?”
RB: “Are you kidding me?? I’d have to be the dumbest person in the world to actually jump in after that warning! What type of idiot do you take me for?”
PA: “So was it cold?”
moments before hypothermia set-in
RB: “Very.”
I urge all of you to visit Holland. It is a wonderful place, and in my opinion, for all the reasons I have mentioned here, “The Most Advanced Country In The World.” And the jury agrees.

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