The street lights come on at 3pm this time of year. In fact I'm not sure they ever turn off when its a particularly grey day like today. The lights come on inside at 4, and I find myself lighting candles all over the house for the warm glow they give off.
So it comes as quite a vibrant release to see the city all done up for christmas.
A hint of glimmer from a Christmas tree. Stands selling "city size" Christmas trees. Lights hanging across the main streets.
There is something magical about the twinkle of Christmas decorations against a cold, grey, rainy backdrop.
|This happens to be Lille, not Amsterdam...but you get the idea.|
In fact its so magical that today while I was biking home from downtown, a beautiful christmas stand caught my eye. I slowed my bike, gazing at it --trying to savor the moment-- while simultaneously trying to make a left turn and not get killed by traffic.
|The scene of the crime|
I guess I was savoring a little too much because the next momemt I was on the ground. The roads were wet, and I was making a left turn over the tram tracks. Tram tracks are the exact perfect width for a bike tire to get stuck in. Which is exactly what happened.
That two people came rushing over to check on me and I had to explain that indeed I'm an idiot and got stuck in the track (like everyone warns you not to...) was more than slightly embarrasing. (Don't worry, I'm fine. The basket on my bike, however, has seen better days...)
You may call it a rookie mistake. A clear sign that I am not dutch-borne, and haven't been riding a bike through all kinds of weather and situations my whole life.
But I call it a causality of the beauty of Christmas. So be it :)