Skidding towards my destiny

A month has passed since I carelessly packed up my entire life and jumped on a flight to The Netherlands (I was filled to the brim with sedatives, regardless of the flight duration of course). My only regret at this point, is that I wish I had taken a little longer to pack my suitcase – if I had considered this and ignored the impetuous, carefree elements of my personality then perhaps my outfits would not be on a vigorous, repetitive cycle.image4

Let’s start with the comical. In The Netherlands, for most residents, it is imperative that you own a bike as this is seen as one of the most popular modes of transport. Of course, after initially purchasing a bike, the rest is free and that is the magical thing about it (although, the laws here regarding lights and so forth are quite strict – I’m currently ignorantly bending this law to suit the needs of my bank balance). Plus, the exercise makes you feel all giddy on the morning commute, theoretically segregating all of the miserable commuters to the tram and train (I soon learnt that bikes weren’t exclusive to happy people). So, after being stood up once (it hurt), I managed to purchase a bike and before I could even learn the Dutch word for bike (fiets), an old-school silver gazelle with a traditional gear system stood in front of me. (I managed to break the gears as soon as I trial rode the bike of course – leaving the seller’s hands covered in oil and dirt after he eventually fixed it on the side of the street for me). So, after a bit of a bump in the road, I was the proud owner of this beauty.

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Prior to the purchase, I was borrowing my aunt’s bike, to get me to and from my beach bar job. One evening, myself and another newbie friend decided to cycle into Den Haag and meet up with some others for some drinks (only a ‘quiet one’). After an entertaining evening meeting the funny locals, whilst slowly becoming more cheerfully intoxicated, and briefly rowing with some Dutch police, out of no where, the heaven’s opened. Ignorance was pure bliss as we embarked on our short journey home, whilst absolutely drenched without an ounce of fear or worry about the trip ahead of us.

As I was attempting to blink the heavy raindrops out of my eyes and wiping the tip of my nose with my already soaked through silk jacket, I gazed down at the floor to see my friend skidding past me in the road, shoe-less and in a fit of laughter. She had indeed fallen off her bike, rather gracefully mind. I tried to stop myself from screaming with laughter (I failed), so she threw her broken shoes in my basket and jumped straight back on her bike. Again, I arduously blinked, but this time it was me skidding to my destiny half way down the road. Opening my eyes, the ground was in my eye line and I could just about make out my own arm stretched out in the road. Clearly, our pathetic appearance screamed ‘help us’ and an onlooker ran out of his home to help the two tipsy girls who had fallen off of their bikes. Obviously, we both found this irresponsibly entertaining and continued to cycle home, holding back the tears of laughter . This accident was rich in riveting memory until the following morning, when my friend woke up in bruises and missing her shoes, whilst I awoke with an open wound on my hand and a broken phone.

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In reflection, the last time I remember confidently riding a bike was when I had a bike crash at the age of about 13 – no wonder I walk everywhere, I am completely accident prone and balance is not my forte. As you can imagine, I am now engulfed by terror every time I mount my bike. It is now my responsibility to gently increase my confidence, so I can eventually become used to the devil piece of apparatus – who knows, I may even be able to turn a corner without coming to an almost complete stop. Once I have that mastered, all I have to do is be alert for constant idiot bike riders, cars, trams, tramlines and pedestrians. Oh, and the huge, aggressive, appropriating seagulls, who are constantly out to kill – never eat, drink or move around a Seagull when in Scheveningen, they rule the streets here and will eat you. I saw one eat a plastic bag at the beach last week for God’s sake.

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Moving to Holland – travelling

I thought that it would be interesting to document my hectic experience whilst moving to Holland in order to perhaps offer some information for others who maybe going through the same experience – I also thought that my blog posts could come in handy when some personal reflection is due. 

Last night I attempted to pack my entire life into 23 kilos worth of suitcase – even after shipping the majority of  my belongings home to France and cramming the remaining possessions into a couple of carry-on bags, the struggle felt truly real. God knows what my wardrobe is going to resemble whilst I live in Holland, but I guess that’s the beautiful thing about European people, they truly don’t seem to care or judge when it comes to clothing or belongings – based on my own experiences anyway. Moving abroad with just one suitcase, means that one needs to learn to be a bit sparing with particular items – something that I am awful at, I’ll happily admit. 

After I gazed at my life that had been carelessly squashed into two bags, (self inflicted – I have 0 patience when it comes to packing), I waited for the emotions to aimlessly run, the personal reflections to promptly surface, but nothing brimmed towards the top like I had preempted. Nonetheless, this was nothing to be disappointed about, I would rather keep my eyes dry for this is an exciting time for me. Although, It was difficult saying goodbye to my sister and my beloved friends, I take reassurance in the fact that Holland is not too far from everyone’s own comfort zones. I simply told myself to ‘just think of it as if you are going back to university’, that way I can deal with the distance on a more rational level! 

  
Due to the fact that I am an EU resident, this takes some of the pressure off when it comes to visa applications and so forth. However, there are many anxieties pointlessly circling my brain, for instance getting a bank account when I start working (do I need to be a resident?), sorting out healthcare (you can be fined for not taking out coverage), getting a bike (it’s the only way to get around in Holland), possibilities of getting lost and of course  worries of being that strange English loner. I’ve never been the kind of person that naturally enjoys risk or new environments, so it’s been a challenge to get this far but I’m heavily relying on my ability to practice positive thinking and hone in on the law of attraction in order to provide the best experience possible. 

One of my close friends suggested messaging some au pair groups on social media in order to potentially meet som people of my age, living in the area. Surprisingly, I’ve already had some positive responses from some people near where I shall be living, so this is quite promising I hope! This trip is really about pushing myself from my comfort zone, because that’s when life truly begins. 

Once I arrive to Amsterdam airport, I shall be getting a train to The Hague where I will be residing. Hopefully, this process is quite self explanatory as I have only completed this journey once before – being an individual that relies on numerous apps to simply get around london, I consider this to be a little challenging for a simple soul such as myself. Finally, tomorrow I have a meeting for a potential bar job – something I have no experience in, so fingers crossed for me! 

Watch this space as the journey begins…

Baby Monkey Wearing Shearling Coat Spotted Wandering Around Toronto Ikea

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NewsFeed


Photo credit: dzd_lisa / Instagram

Amid the carbon-copied TV stands and self-assembled couches at a Toronto Ikea, a master of style was spotted this weekend, in the form of a baby monkey wearing a fitted shearling coat.

The 7-month-old Rhesus Macaque, sporting the beige coat and a diaper, was found wandering near the Swedish furniture store on Sunday afternoon, reports CBC News.

Shoppers first spotted the tiny creature in the upper-level parking lot. “It was the weirdest thing,” said Stephanie Yim, who saw the tiny monkey peering at her from behind another car. “I thought I was going insane,” she told CBC. Her photos, outlandish as they may be, now grace the website of the CBC.

She and other shoppers began to tail the animal, who was apparently dressed for the near freezing temperatures in a tan double-breasted shearling coat, as it raced around the parking lot. “It…

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