Salt baths, windmill beer and Bob Marley

I couldn’t believe Stela and Kalen’s apartment. It was a fine balance of discarded and stylish, but for Dutch standards it was very spacious. The perspective lines were crisp, and the furniture was well-worn. I took over the attic upstairs which also housed a bathtub and was the only method (save for climbing into the kitchen sink) one would wash themselves in the apartment. The first day I arrived, I took the obligatory bath, and Kalen was thoughtful to add magnesium salts, enough to preserve me for a transoceanic journey. Well-pickled and clean, I came down from the attic to join the hosts for a deliciously healthy (or healthily delicious) dinner.

After dinner, Kalen and I rode out to town for a late-night cycle and a chat on the canals. Somehow in my enthusiasm, I managed to snap the chain on Stela’s bike, and as we were quite far away from the home, we decided to construct a bike tow. After trying various unsuccessful versions with the bike lock, we figured the easiest would be an arm tow, with me holding Kalen’s hand while he powered on his bike for the both of us. It turned out surprisingly successful, and it must have been quite a romantic sight to behold in the wee hours of the night.

The following morning, while Kalen fixed the bike, I rented one myself, so all three of us could pedal around the town. We cycled to craft brewery Brouwerij t’IJ, where we managed to offend the staff by ordering a shanty (beer and lemonade). They were simply outraged by the fact that anything else could be added to their beer. After a few half-pints under the windmill, we headed down to hear a random Bob Marley cover band in the park. Actually, considering this was Amsterdam, it really wasn’t that random.

We finished off the day with some good ol’-fashioned one-handed frisbee (the other hand always had a beer can). I tried to teach Kalen how to throw a flick. I think we have been having the same conversations about how to throw a frisbee for the last eight years. I love that.



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