Pink Sneakers versus the bicycles in Delft

Spinning, spiralling and whizzing, spokes racing towards me, I could only pray that the impending impact be swift, painless and blood-free.  After all, I hadn’t banked on spending the first hour of my long-anticipated overseas vacation bandaged from head to toe in the most unflattering of mummified attire, killing time in a foreign hospital, all because I had foolishly placed my pink-sneaker clad tootsies directly in the path of an oncoming deluge of bicycles.  Yes.  Bicycles.  You know, those oh so dangerous two-wheeled contraptions of the stay out of my way or risk injury type of kind.

Where's my bicycle?

Meandering along the picturesque canal-lined rues of Delft, oohing and awing at the postcard scenery and hell-bent on procuring that million dollar digital snapshot, my thoughts were in the clouds, a zillion miles away from the more pressing issues of potential calamity and peril located just mere inches from my feet.

Ever so diligent about not leaning on the wrought iron railings that separated the banks of the canals from the cobblestone streets, lest I inadvertently topple on over and tumble head-first into the murky aqua below, I made certain to keep clear of the rails and thus avoid the potential embarrassment of floundering like a fish out of water, a crazed woman bawling and screeching hysterically for her rubber dingy and water wings. 

It’s quite the shame then, that so focused was I on not swimming with the sharks (in the canals?) that I had neglected to watch my back and should have paid a tad more attention to the ruckus that was going on behind me.  In my zeal to capture that highly coveted one of a kind image worthy of National Geographic status and one that could possibly garner a potential bidding war from travel magazines worldwide, I inadvertently stepped backwards - directly into the path of a cavalcade of speeding bikes! 

Now, let’s be perfectly clear, as being mowed down by denizens of racing cyclists had not been on my “Top 10 things to see and do while in the Netherlands” agenda, but alas, this was now my reality, a mash and gnash brawl between flesh and spokes, a bloody altercation of the most unpleasant kind.  Caught in a showdown between the King of the Road (aka The Bicycle) and a clued-out flash happy stumbling dingbat of a tourist (who, me??), it was left to the fates to decide on ultimate victory.

As luck would have it, the Lady herself was in quite the upbeat mood, granting this ol’ Auntie a much-needed break, convulsing in fits of laughter as my pink-sneaker clad feet scrambled their way to safety.  Hugging the curb, and with just a few minor scrapes and gashes, I could only thank my lucky stars for my good fortune, vowing never ever again to get in a duel with Le dreaded bike.  After all, there were 14 more days of potential calamity and misadventure lurking in the wings, eager to spring into action and throw a bit of havoc my way.

Crisis averted.  Lesson learned.  Or, should I instead say, lesson learned? 

And, speaking of adventure, where exactly was that “Bicycles for Hire” shop located?

If you can’t beat them, might as well join them.

Come traipse, oops, meant to say, bicycle along the canal-lined paths of picture-postcard Delft, on the lookout for somewhat clueless pedestrians, as I balance precariously on two wheels, camera in one hand and vino tinto in the other, scribbling my way around the world.

Next post – In two weeks!!  Wednesday, January 21st!! 

Stay tuned for more on cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora’s escapades in northern Europe in the middle of October, in somewhat undesirable weather, caught in a hailstorm or two.

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