A sudden change in weather prompted that we take advantage of it. After biking for some time, we ended up at a typical Dutch backyard beach where we took to some contemplation at the sight of the evening blues and winter hues.
Am often keen on doing things I have never done before. Sailing was one of them, which I jumped onto when an amazing colleague offered a spot on a sailboat he was borrowing for a day. We set sail from Monnickendam on a chilly weekend morning.
The feeling of cutting through water, wind and the elements in an non-motor-powered craft; through the waves up and down; rocking in the ripples emanating in the wake of other boats; the feeling of danger yet with calming knowledge of fact that the boat cannot topple; sounds of silence, of water splashing against wind and itself; was oddly relaxing, meditative while being thoroughly exhausting.
I was feeling adventurous, so I carried my drone, which in hindsight, could have benefitted from preparation of a flight plan. The take-off was easy, but the landing was fraught with difficulty, leaving us with some bruises as we barely recovered the machine. It brought back vivid memories of how I lost my previous drone
As we sailed, we took turns amongst us three, handling various duties onboard such as: enjoying the sun, steering and enjoying the sun; punctured by an occasionally call for all-hands for a huddle to perform tacking or jibing manoeuvres with the sailboat.
The notion of using headwind to sail upwind often did not compute in my head. I spent significant amount of time staring at the geometries of the various connected components in contemplation. I was in awe of physics and the classical perspective, triumphing over my romantic worldview.
After a frustrating bout of boredom as we had no winds for a long time, we started up our underpowered motor to make a pit stop at Haven van Marken for lunch.
Wind as a form of fuel on a sailboat combined with calories expended in human effort resulted in momentum for the boat and contentedness for the soul, leading me to speculate an imbalanced situation for the laws of thermodynamics. I thought to myself “Take that, physics”, as we entered the haven towards the end of the day.
After being snow-deprived in the past few years, except for that one time in some January, the first snow came in early this winter. While I thought I was going to miss the first snow in Amsterdam, little did I realise that a much grander treat would await me when I reached this little town called Enschede.
The views out of my friend’s window, the UvT campus overlaid in a carpet of trees and wooded parks, were fast filling up with snow. The smell of hot Indian food and Chai started filling up the tiny living room. It made us ecstatic and filled the air with this unexplainable feeling of joy and cheerfulness. Suffice to say; I had to, in anticipation of a hot brew, step out in the blistering cold to make some pictures.
Lights dazzling through the falling droplets, the dim ambience with latent moisture in the air, light reflecting off puddles, crowds flowing with umbrellas, leaves a feeling of poetic romance lingering in the air. I love it when it rains in Amsterdam.
Sunday morning, there was no sunrise, for the whole neighbourhood appeared to have disappeared, cloaked under a veil of thick fog. Visibility was low, so I decided to go out biking. No sooner than I got out, the sun was out and fading away the fog to reveal the colours. I stopped at a narrow walkway with trees arching over to take in the spectacular saturated greens.