Thursday, August 20, 2009

There is more to life than cycling

Oh my god, it is HOT, un friggin bearable hot and humid.
Right there is a thing with Dutch summers, they hardly ever are hot and when they are it is humid. I live in an attic, so staying in was just not an option and also to go out biking when it is like this, really not my top of the list fun thing to do.
Today I decided to do other things to cool off. I was noticing that all I was thinking about was my bike, so I needed a break from that one, after some heavy withdrawal I was able to come with a fun thing to do. I went into the city to look for cool things. Coolness is what keeps me going on a day as hot as this. Cool can just be so many things really. It is really subject to opinion, scene, personality, culture and age. So what is cool?

Like a true bike addict I first went and asked for help from my specialist in cool bikewear at Lohman (a bikeshop in Amsterdam, that hopefully will have a good website soon). See I fully and completely put my coolness in bikewear presentation in the hands of a tiny, somewhat chubby, bold guy who works at the bikeshop. Why? He'd never sell me bullshit when it comes to
bikewear. Now cool in terms of warm weather is something fresh, cold a relief from the heat. In biking terms there is something that can offer something similar.

This sizzling sense of relief. Something that makes every biker wanna go oooomph. I have seen it happen in that shop that several grown up guys get all excited about this product.
It is ... BUTTCREAM. Right, okay.... I am just guessing that today, the regular bike scene will not offer me the ultimate coolness. Time to move on.

Living in the capital of my country, a bigger city, there is always something cool to do. Many people have an image of Amsterdam that is very much defined by the hashbars and the hookers, but there is more to Amsterdam then that. In the area of the city where I live there is a sculpture show going on. I didn't know that until I biked passed this wooden fellow.

And he is not alone.
There is onion girl.

We also have the mom of Jack the Ripper. (lil' Jackie wasn't happy)
And some sort of muppet car.

I am not trying to make fun of art here, I really loved the sculpture of the woman with the chopped of head. It is also so very Amsterdam to do that next to a school. I was happily surprised to find this in my neighborhood and I find it cool. However I can imagine that there will be people who find it complete pulp and who much rather go to a hashbar and after that visit a hooker. Or just hang at Museumplein and be one of many on a highly unique vacation picture.

The thing with coolness is really that there is no one way to be cool. For one it can be relief from the boring place where he grew up, for the other it can be the relief of self. The way I see cool has changed really. For a long time my cool always was related to other people, how they would see me. Today hanging around in the city, making pictures of what I liked, that was cool, that was fun. It is cool in relation to myself. Ten years ago being cool was for me being part of a group, not having my own identity and copy catting the shit out of what they did, just to belong. I wanted to be like other people. What I know now is that I wanted what they had, they were who they were and that was attractive. Their coolness wasn't all that much in what clothes they wore, what parties they'd go to or how they talked and walked, it was in their acceptance of self and freedom in moving on this planet feeling good in their own skin. My friend Mira has that, she is okay with herself and has the courage to share that. My friend Jonah has it, part of his self is that he loves goodies, so he always has funny things, cool stuff. I stopped copying him, the stuff is cool on him, because he is cool not because of the stuff.

Tonight I am going to watch a bunch of guys playing polo on their bikes. Pretty cool. They are riding on fixed gear bikes. That is such a hype world wide. I almost got myself one of those bikes, because I felt that that would make me cool. So I looked at how to build one and how much it would cost me and then I realized that I was only getting it to look cool. And I asked myself what I really wanted, that resulted in my latest roadbike. Glad I do not need to be cool anymore.
I am comfortable with the fact that I can be a bit nerdy, that I bike in a tight outfit and pink glasses, I like that I spend the afternoon by myself making pictures of sculptures. And that is my coolness, I like being me. And tonight I will bring all of that to watch these guys ride their bikes and in all my coolness I will make pictures and post them here later.

It is still hot outside, my quest for coolness didn't change that, but I sure had a fun day!

1 comment:

  1. I remember going to Lübeck, germany a couple of years ago during a heatwave.

    NO air-conditioning -anywhere-, and the shops did not sell fans. :(