Of Cricket, Americans and God

Posted by on 9, Jul 2013 in 2013 - Cycling from Med to Atlantic, Benelux, Europe, Western Europe

Of Cricket, Americans and God

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Sun, cricket and England... errr Holland

Sun, cricket and England… errr Holland

Holland are one of the better non test match playing teams and Ireland are the best. As they were due to play an international in Amstelveen we headed north to just outside Amsterdam to have a day with our feet up, drinking wine and commenting “Good shot old chap” in between naps and sandwiches. The game itself was entertaining – and live on the Internet with a full crew of cameramen etc and live commentary, the around 100 spectators barely outnumbered the ICC Officials and TV crew. Ireland eventually won comfortably and we returned to taffy via a lovely cycle through the parks and one of the many outdoor concerts for the Amsterdam festival.

The more we see of Holland the more we love it, canals, great modern architecture for everything from houses to factories, load of individuality and of course cycle paths every way you look. The towns and villages are lovely and their doesn’t seem to be the chains everywhere like we get in the UK. And, this being a Sunday, the canals were full of boats, the banks full of picknickers and the paths and cycleways heaving too. Perhaps that’s why you hardly ever see anyone over weight here.

Back home, we were sitting outside Taffy lazing in the sun, books in hand desperately trying to look productive whilst sneaking 40 winks, our neighbours arrived home.
“Hello” I remarked to which one of them replied
“I’m sorry I don’t speak English”, which I though somewhat strange given that she was American, An English teacher and had been merrily chatting to her friend in English for a while.
“That’s ok I’m English I replied”. She looked confused and her friend added, just to clear things up ,
“You mean you don’t speak Netherlands”
“Yes that’s right” she said to me “I’m sorry I don’t speak Netherlands”
“That’s ok, I’m English” I repeated
“Oh” she said now slowly getting to grips with the situation,
“You speak English, where are you from?” she asked, clearly not understanding what the GB stood for on our number plate.
“England” I said desperately resisting the temptation to reply “clearly not the same planet as you my dear”

Later on in our conversation, which did improve when her partner arrived and was able to act as a translator, they explained they loved God – which I don’t think was meant as an explanation for their conversational confusion but as they all seemed a little spaced I gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought perhaps she was just hearing in tongues, or having spent all day in Amsterdam perhaps they had the wrong sort of cake for tea!

The 4 of them were travelling in a small Hymer (6.5m) with a Dutch relative which to Americans must have been like being sardines in a tin, especially as back home they had a ‘5th wheeler’ (a caravan that tows from inside a pickup trucks pickup bit) that was 4ft longer than Taffy and had more slide outs than Taffy has wheels – just for the two of them. And to add insult to injury the shower was broken in the Hymer and they had to use the dog shower at the Stellplatz! We actually began to feel sorry for them till they started telling their host that ” her Christianity was all well and good but…”

With that we shut the windows and retired to bed!

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