Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Netherlanders of necessity usually use their bikes to go to work, shop or visit neighbor, but if it was as hilly and windy here, as in Iceland, everyone would drive. And while on the subject of driving. On frosty mornings both nations make small clear window in the front windshield and then drive on, trusting the defroster to finish the work before they hit something.
I've noticed that peoples use of bicycles, scooters and cars is defined by sex, age and the time of day. Those who use bicycles during the day are mostly teenagers and middle age people on their way to work (the middle aged people are going to work, not the teenagers). Young men, who work, drive cars no matter what time of day it is. Those who use bicycles in the evenings are almost exclusively young women. The young women who go around in the evenings and don't ride on bicycles are driving scooters. It is a sort of fashion statement and one of my favorite sights here. A trim young women in dark-blue or black jacket, zipped up to her scarf, sitting with her nose five centimeters (2 inches for those few who don't use the metric system) from the windshield on her scooter wearing an open helmet. The young women are the only ones who use helmets here. No one uses helmet on a bicycle and the guys who drive scooters don't bother either. Most scooter drivers drive on the red bicycle roads that are parallel to most streets here. For bicycle and scooter riders a red light on the traffic lights is used for occasional guidance, not as rule, but since no driver here seems to be in a hurry it all works out in the end without accidents.

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