In August you live in anticipation. It’s a gold-plated problem, really, living in the anticipation of four months worth of life in Europe. But it’s still stomach-turning, and trying to picture what days will be like a few weeks out only yields fogginess. So you do what August lets you do. The logistics, the passport photos, flounder under complicated Dutch pronunciations. But then it’s the day. And you wake up, and you drive, and you say goodbye, and you fly, and you take the train/bus/bike. After tripping on your shoelaces many times, you finally hit your stride. And here you are at November. Autumn is both the same and very different in Holland. The leaves don’t hold their color like their friends in the mitten do, but it’s been a beautiful sight nonetheless. I’ve always been a fan of season changes. I think our bodies change, too, and we evolve necessarily – right along with the earlier sunsets and crisp mornings (and the arrival of brussels sprouts).
It’s getting chilly here. When I’m lucky, I can smell fireplaces burning on the bike ride back to my apartment at night. Garland hangs across the city streets, from building to building. You see the twinkle lights twice: once on the branch of every tree, and a second time in their white reflection on the dark blue canal waters at night. It’s like the trees are dancing.
And when your knuckles get too cold from gripping the handle bars on your bike, you pull to the side and find a warm pub and slide into a cozy seat. Then each person orders a beer they’ve never tried before and you split an order of dutch patat. Sit and talk, sit and talk, and it’s November.