The whole last week I spent in Amsterdam/Ijburg to keep an eye on Grandson Toby when he came back from his football (soccer) summer training course at 4 pm !
Here you can see him in full outfit, with thick stockings and shinbone protectors underneath, despite the heat he didn't bother. He stands in front of the house, which you can see at the left, the houses are high and narrow, I put an arrow there were the neighbor house starts.
The house front is good for everything, bike cleaning with Dad for example
or when it was too hot on the terrace, also barbecue, as the neighbors did one day. Toby's ball was almost flat so he pumped it up with all his strength, helped a bit by Daddy of course.
When I was alone and it was not too hot I walked a bit around and discovered a little shopping center with lots of shops, but open air. I also saw a few of these little electric cars, much more than I do here at home. The houses are very modern of course since they are all not more than about 12 years old.
It's funny to see when you step out into your "garden" where a boat is anchored !
There is also a beach nearby about 10 min walk ideal for parents with children and in this heat ! Toby swims like a fish, he had to learn it at school since he was 3 or 4, because of the many canals around. Now he can even swim fully dressed with shoes !
One evening when it was not too hot we could eat outside where my son had prepared a barbecue and grilled seafood. (not Toby's guinea pigs !) It was a delicious plate mingled with spaghetti !
There is also a harbour at 5 min walk where we had supper in a nice restaurant, unfortunately I forgot to take a picture ! There are many private boats ! I even got the impression that people buy rather a boat then a car as everything is done by bike !
Toby went to his course by bike together with a friend and his mother. The mother accompanied the children (by bike of course) to the place. Children learn biking nearly at the same time as walking, because I saw very little once on very little bikes. As I haven't used a bike since at least 30 or more years I didn't dare to sit on one, I was afraid to fall. So I had to walk. Most of the people living there ride per bike to work, bring the children to school, do their shopping etc. of course this is only possible because the country is flat like a pancake ! and in this area there is not even the smallest hill !
Time flew by so quickly, and I was a bit sad when I had to leave. Toby and I went very well along and he speaks French better and better. We had no communication problems. He is a sweet and friendly boy and very social. Of course he now has his own will and discussions with the parents !
All good things have an end and my son had ordered a taxi for me to bring me from home to the station where I took the bus to Brussels. Outside it was very hot 35 ° but I didn't feel anything because it was nice and cool in the bus. When I arrived home I was knocked out by the heat ! In Amsterdam being at the see, the heat was supportable but in Waterloo it was as if you sit in an oven ! No air at all. On top of that, Mr. G. had put the ventilator away because the last years we didn't need it and he couldn't find it anymore !! Finally I found it this morning in the garden shed behind a chair and he had turned over the whole house !
It was the first time I really saw how people live at least in this area. I haven't seen this way of living nowhere else in the world, at least in all countries I have been. Now it's probably different in other parts of the Netherlands, but one thing is for sure bikes are everywhere !!
more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.