Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quite a Ride

It's been quite a while since I've ridden a bike much. Tuesday, I was encouraged to ride from Diemen (outskirts of Amsterdam) to town,
aka Amsterdam. That called for bundling up as if I was going skiing! Here in Holland, it's in the high 20's to low 30's now. Often foggy and cloudy; very occasional sun. Riding is interesting especially along a long canal out in the open approaching downtown Amsterdam. By 3 p.m. it can get pretty chilly and bleak out.

Wednesday I rode 5 miles from Venserpolder, the Metro stop by the Catholic Worker House to the Concertgebouw. with Fritz for a noon time concert. A young Cuban whom I'm tutoring English to passed us and we never caught sight of her!

After the concert, I was on my own to explore Amsterdam by bike. I have to admit it's fun and almost hard to believe that at almost 65, I'm riding amidst the trams, cars, and people. There are many, many cyclists. Roads have separate sections for bikes. There are even traffic lights for cycles. -Sitting on your bike, they stand about head tall. You often cannot proceed when people can. On major roads, there are separate divided lanes for bikes. Pedestrians watch out. You'll get run over. Bikes have the right of way in those lanes.

If you know Amsterdam at all, you'll now how picturesque it is to be able to ride along from the major museums through the
Spui and onto and on to Central Station.

Locking your bike to go into a store is often a challenge as you must find a spare spot at a rack, pole or a skinny tree!

Some other fun images:

Forget where you parked your bike?

Need a lift?

That's a GO !

Our own private roadway (lanes)

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Motorbikes can use the bike path - mostly pedal bikes though.

Motorbike on path by wind turbine aka windmill

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.