The Mystery Machine

This post is to wrap up some loose ends and to solve some mysteries. Some mysteries will continue to linger, however, maybe never to be solved.

Hamburgers – the streak is broken. I was going to hold out until the perfect opportunity presented itself. Instead all it took was an actual opportunity. I ate my first burger in months in the shadows of a cathedral in Middelburg on a sunny, warm spring day. It wasn’t that good and now the quest is back on for the BEST burger in Europe, not the FIRST one.

Flee mount/mound – I was sent an answer to this one from one of my relatives, but I’m not sure I understand it. I can’t tell if it is a real answer or they are messing with me. I have further speculated that the flee mount is a built up area near the canals of Holland whose purpose is to be a safe have or a place to “flee” in the event of a flood or breach in a levee. For animals or humans I suppose.

Lack of ice cubes in Europe – still a mystery. In fact it leads me to my next subject and the introduction of some additional mysteries. First…Ice cubes will get you dimed out as an American right away. Here are a list of things that will get your cover blown as an American in Europe…if you’re hiding the fact that is.

  1. Asking for “extra” ice cubes or ice cubes at all.
  2. Wearing tennis shoes. This one isn’t hard and fast, but anyone over 15 probably isn’t wearing tennis shoes and they definitely aren’t white.
  3. Wearing a baseball style cap. Again this one isn’t fool proof, but combined with either of the above and you are definitely American.
  4. Eating waffles with whipped cream (slagroom). This one I don’t care about. The waffles are delicious and I love whipped cream.

Now for the additional mystery.

Why don’t the Dutch, a people whose lives seem dedicated to the proliferation of bike riding, wear helmets? Even the small children don’t wear helmets here. I know we have become a bit of a coddled society and protecting our brains has become a bit of an obsession, but what’s the story? The bike rental guy pretty much barely held back his laughter when Jen inquired about a helmet for Sam. Even if you have bike lanes and have been riding bikes for thousands of years the occasional collision between car and bike is bound to leave a mark. I would rather it didn’t leave a mark on my I.Q. Ok…back to your jobs people.

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