I find it absolutely incredible how various people and cultures define what is right and what is wrong and the fervor in which they enforce those opinions once they figure them out. For example; the Japanese were giving out bicycle parking tickets and a pair of street cops would wrap a tag on bikes parked in bad spots, too close to the street or appearing non functional. I could not read the tags but I also saw a giant truck cruising around with a big huge bike pile. Best I could tell that was the follow up crew. Can you say "bye bye poorly parked bike?" The Dutch, on the other hand, have what seems to be a similar strategy and mind set with a few small changes in the details.
Primarily, it appears the Dutch have streamlined the process by eliminating the part about tagging the bikes, got rid of the whole roaming truck thing and instead implemented the "park it anywhere you wish for as long as you want" method of bicycle pollution control. So in the following pics, though you most likely you wont even notice, but in the event you do, I apologize for the occasional stray cycle that has wandered in the shot. So please just pretend they are not there and don't miss the true focus and in depth meaning of each photo.
I call this next picture "Pink Flowers"
"Graffiti" displays the creativity of local street artists
"The Green Door"
"Canal with Spikey Fence Thing Off to the Side"
"The Blue Bike"
"Mommy Can I have a Bike? Shhhhh! No, not yet, you are way too short!"
"My Other Car is a Bike"
And speaking of peddling and riding, there are a few other interesting aspects of Amsterdam that test the limitations of other culture's vision of right and wrong. I of course am referring the peddling of drugs and taking the local women for hire for a quick ride, of course. What other large international traveling hub of a city offers pot, hash and magic mushrooms as an over the counter option at your local coffee shop.
"May I see a menu please?, Hmmm let's see, wow so many choices, is the Amnesia any good, Oh really! well may I have 3 grams of that please, and an ounce of mushrooms as well, do you mind if I smoke it here? And by the way, do you know where I can buy a girlfriend for an hour?"
I find it fascinating that humans select certain things to viciously attack on the grounds of all that is evil while they themselves do exactly the same thing under a differing guise. How ludicrous is the concept that drugs are really really bad and evil unless they come in a little bottle that was prescribed by some quack doctor and a huge portion of the $ ends up in the greedy corrupt hands of an international drug company while the pill popping hypocrites who sell and buy into this scam somehow sleep at night even though they are poisoning the public for profit.
**** End Angry Venting ****
When a good plan works, packaging it and applying to other similar situations is often a recipe for successful repetitions. So as you can imagine, I was not surprised to see that the Amsterdamians have applied the ingenious "park it anywhere you wish for as long as you want" strategy to the issue of boat pollution as well.
How excited was I to spot this flower, hey wait, does that look a bit like
spokes on a bike wheel? Whoa dude! As a closing thought, open doors so often spark curiosity