Ah, Amsterdam

I’ve just returned from my first visit to Amsterdam. Of course, the first thing on my to-do list was to indulge in some…  pannekoeken. No really, I love pancakes. Any type of cake really. Especially when buried in a certain chocolate-hazelnut spread.

But after I checked that off my list (three times) I went to see about a bike.

Amsterdam

Now, Amsterdam is a known bicycle city. But more than that, it is a tiny city. Every thing is small and efficient. From their apartments:AmsterdamTo their tiny streets. But while you’d think I’d be most impressed with all the biking, I was actually more impressed by the driving.

Amsterdam

But it was great to ride on safe infrastructure that doesn’t make me feel like I’m running with the elephants.

Amsterdam

Instead, I found myself alongside a completely different species: my own. AmsterdamI think I prefer biking with people more than biking with cars. It makes it as easy as walking. Now can we get more of these cycle tracks back home please?

 

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18 Comments on "Ah, Amsterdam"


July 12, 2013

The illustration I could really relate to above is the one about living spaces. When I lived in Japan, I would wake up in the morning, turn on the heat, get the coffee going and put my toast in the oven, all without leaving my cozy futon. By the time the apartment was warm, the coffee was made, and the bread was toasted, I would jump out of bed, pull the equivalent of the dining table out of the closet, put the folded futon in, and sit down and eat breakfast. Does a single woman really need more than a “six mat” apartment? I didn’t there!

Aster
July 12, 2013

I keep forgetting how lucky we Dutch bikers are. Because there’s still quite some horrible drivers out here. But the plus side is that most of them have to bike some of the time, so they know the fear. The fear of riding with the elephants. Which makes it that much worse that more and more Dutch people are getting those gigantic Hummer-esque monstrosities that fill up the entire road next to the canal. Because those roads were built centuries ago for walking, and maybe a tiny horse-carriage, but not the Toyota Ginormous, or whatever’s the new thing. We have exactly no mountains in our country, every road is perfectly maintained, no mud, no terrain to drive on, so why do you need 4 wheel drive terrain vehicles? WHY? But I digress: everybody bikes in the Netherlands, and there’s nothing quite so nice as biking together.

sheridan
July 12, 2013

The living space is similar in London too (though usually not so well-thought out – more like converting houses designed for a family into two or three flats).
The people driving motor vehicles in Berlin are friendly too (and from what I can tell, other German cities, though Berlin is the only one I’ve had to share the roads with).

hamish
July 12, 2013

Nice cartoons thanks. And there’s a great book on the history of biking in Amsterdam by Pete Jordan called “In the City of Bikes”…

Don
July 12, 2013

Alright! I’ve been following you for a while… Finally you came to my hometown. I’m happy to hear and see your interpretation of this city, because ofcourse you have to find out for yourself, but nobody here draws as nice as you do, except for maybe Jan Cleijne:
http://www.bol.com/nl/p/helden-van-de-tour/9200000010029285/

But thanks a lot for your review of our cycling city, next time let me know when you’re around!

X Don