A rite of passage – my bike was stolen

I wasn’t going to put the theft of my bike out there, because I suspected it would be met with comments such as: “You left South Africa to get your bike stolen?” or “But I thought Amsterdam was safe?!?”.

And you’d be right. But apparently bike theft is the biggest crime in Amsterdam, and if you’re going to be foolish by not locking your bike on a rack or pole overnight, you can expect to not find it the next day. We hopefully thought that maybe we had parked it elsewhere, or forgotten what it looked like, but alas… the thing was gone.

I hadn’t attached it to a rack, and only the back wheel was locked. I had naively thought that no one would nab a half-locked bike in the middle of the ‘burbs. The same bike that I had done a little trial run (ride) on round and round the block until 11.30pm to try and get familiar and confident (as confident as I’ll ever get) with riding.

A new bike has been ordered, lessons have been learnt, and I’m still planning on doing nightly practices until I’m feeling confident, and more importantly, until I can steer straight and use the pedal brake efficiently.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • No matter how organised I was in ordering things and setting up our apartment, there is still more to get. Bathroom dustbins, iron, craft glue, scrubbing brush… and more. We’ve been ordering some indoor plants and decor items, as decorating was “phase B”, but I’m too impatient to wait for phase b
  • Everything from IKEA has so far been decent quality and comfortable.
  • Fries and mayo in Netherlands = peace, nurturing and happiness (something I discovered in January when I had my first taste of their fries).
  • I quite like playing house-house (for now), and I’m enjoying neatening, tidying and cleaning the bathrooms later. I’m not sure how long this honeymoon phase will last, but it feels nice for now.
  • If you’re not home, packages will be left outside your apartment door (or at least they have been in our case).
  • Walking home at 11pm with the kids feels strange, and I’m still on high alert and anxious. I’m sure this will pass with time.
  • You can find Marmite in stores here.

It’s still so surreal that we’re actually here. And at least 10 times a day, I say out aloud that I can’t believe we’re here. Home’ish.

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