Friday, 27 May 2011

Holiday Snaps: The length and the cycle

The name of that thing

Continuing on from where we left off the conservation, the last place where I was accosted included introductions that left me thinking there was something sinister and obscene about the name.

As I returned there this morning, I asked after the chaps I met earlier in the witching hour and the waiter laughed out loud, he was the most silent and detached one of the few I saw before but he recognised me.

It transpired that two African-Americans had fallen for a manhood confidence trick. A particular race is on average blessed to a mythical standard but that does mean that there are none of other races that could be exceptionally gifted.

You’ll always draw the short straw

Their mythical status got the better of them when a dare from this young chap that he had more of length and girth was taken up with money on the table, the African-Americans left with less of a tail between their legs as money went to the chap who could call anyone’s bluff and walk away with the money.

Whilst one has had no reason to complain, it has never been the most gentlemanly of stances to attempt the dare of drawing the shortest straw, there is nothing to prove and the entertainment value soon wears away in deflated egos.

In the spirit of Amsterdam

I crossed the street to get a few bottles of water and then hired a bicycle to ride around town just as the spirit of Amsterdam allows.

Mmy Englishness sometimes got the better of me as signs prohibiting riding in certain areas were first obayed and then when I realised the rules meant nothing or no one was enforcing them, I got on my bicycle and rode the whole length of the promenade to the East first and then to the West some 10km away to another little village.

The pedestrian path was unevenly laid with cobble-stones I felt I was on a bone-shaker cum penny-farthing with hardened tyres of metal and no shock absorption.

Tossed and lost

The freedom to ride can lure you into a confidence than ends in defeat; I thought I had the mountains on the right side when I tried to return via another route, in the end, it appeared the mountains were on all sides, my sense of bearing completely lost.

After marauding for some 30 minutes, I found a tourist office and in the process realised I was caught in my own version of the Israelites’ sojourn in Sinai.

I was nowhere on my way out of the village that I returned more or less to the end of the promenade where I first thought I could veer off on another route – lesson learnt; return by the way that lead you there.

Some 8km later, I was back at my hotel, not too spent, not worse for wear but really quite relieved, I have the bicycle until later, I had better get a decent map before I find myself marooned on an island just because the tide came in when I was trying to be geographically smart.

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