Category: Journal

I Met a Man Down on His Luck

Tonight, as I was cycling home from training, as I was crossing an intersection, a guy on a scooter came up from behind me and yelled some profanity at me. We were both coming from the same street, but he was taking a right, while I was crossing the intersection only to take a right afterwards. We both ended up on the same road, going the same direction, just on opposite sides of it.

As I cycled onward, I saw him waiting at the next traffic lights and I noticed that it was a food delivery scooter. One with a box on the back to keep food warm. I recognised the sign on the box as being the fast food place on the ground floor of my apartment building.

As I continued cycling home, I lost sight of him and started thinking about what happened. I suspected that considering the speed he was maintaining he had to slow down to allow me to cross the street before he could take a right turn. The road that I was crossing, and he was turning into was a priority road, so we would have to yield to any traffic coming from it, but the road was empty as I crossed it. The same traffic rules applied to the both of us, and as I was going straight, and he was turning right, I had right of way. I think he was just annoyed that he had to slow down.

I beat him home because I saw the scooters that the fast food place uses standing out in front, and the one in question wasn’t there yet. I briefly considered talking to the owner of the place to tell him that he’s employing a prick, but just as I decided that I was going to go inside and forget all about it, the guy rides up and parks his scooter.

I had to talk to him. So I waited for him to notice me. The brief exchange that I had with him made me glad that I didn’t end up talking to his boss. It went something like this;

Me: “Hey man”
Him: “Eh, hey…”
Me: “I thought I’d come and say something, since I didn’t really appreciate what you did back there.”
Him: “Oh, that was you? I had right of way!” (He sounded a little bit shocked.)
Me: “No you didn’t, we were both coming from the same road, so the same rules applied to us, except I was going straight and you were turning right.”
Him: “Man, it was nothing personal. I just didn’t see you and what I said was more out of shock.” (He looked miserable.)
Me: “Okay, had a bad day?”
Him: “Yeah, I try really hard, you know,” as he pointed at the fast food place, “and today I had three traffic violations, I hit a parked scooter and then when this happened I just reacted.”
Me: “Oh man, I hope your day improves.”
Him: “No, my day won’t improve. I’m misery incarnate.”

Now, it’s interesting, because that last bit he said in a way that I wouldn’t have expected. You see, he was a guy in his early twenties, probably not very well educated, tall but not healthy looking, wearing tracksuit bottoms and faded trainers. He had a type. And what he said in Dutch was “ik ben ongeluk zelve”, which is old-fashioned and almost poetic.

He apologised again. I told him to hang in there (“Sterkte.”) and he wished me a pleasant evening. I’m really glad I didn’t talk to his boss. I think that guy has been having a rough couple of months. Hell, perhaps even a rough couple of years.

A Sour Mood

Wow, the last few days have been a struggle. Since NYE I keep having a recurring cough, which is a nuisance. This has kept me from training for a little while. Then I injured my finger during training last week, which is painful. And I’ve tweaked something in my neck which keeps lingering and causes me to wake up during the night.

Wah wah wah!

It has meant I have been in an awful mood the last few days. Even though there’s really no reason for me to be so grumpy. I had to get a crown fitted a few days back, and that was surprisingly painless, I had a really relaxing weekend. I am going to go to New Orleans in a few weeks. I have a trip planned to Norway in May. And I’m going to Brazil again in December. I should focus on all the good things in life.

And yet…

…wah wah wah!

Thrifty

I have decided I am going to be a little more thrifty in the coming time. I’ve been enjoying some newfound, personal, financial freedom lately, but now I’m going to have to get back on the wagon and be a little wiser about my expenses.

This after Joasia and I just booked ourselves a nice week away to Norway and I have some dental plans coming up next week. I’ve made a plan which should fit with the upcoming plans, but I will have to see how realistic my plan is in the coming few weeks.

Cyclists in Amsterdam

Of the many frustrating habits that cyclists in Amsterdam have, none is more annoying than people who try to pass waiting other cyclists at a red light, trying to get to the head of the queue, and then being the slowest people to get going once the light turns green, holding up all the people behind them. Ugh. That’s worse than them ignoring red lights, ignoring pedestrians crossing the road at a cross walk, or the ones that look at their phones while cycling.