Number of days without a bike theft – 396-399
Days since it last rained – 0
As mama shipped back off out of the country for work – this time to Lyon, the Kitten and I settled into a few days of routine. Work, play, sleep, eat, repeat.
Routines aren’t a bad thing, they do provide a holding pattern, and a place to turn to when nothing else is going on. They’re good for a baby as well – even an “on demand” baby who makes her own schedules seems to thrive on certain things that are pretty similar each day.
That’s not to say that it’s not a nice thing to break routines – which seems to be what we’ve done a lot of lately. With a week in Italy, a weekend in Paris, and Mama in Lyon for a few days, the only thing routine around here is sometimes the lack of it. It’s an exercise in self-inflicted adaptability, and we rise to the occasion.
Which is why, rather than take a weekend and lie low, we packed up and headed to Maastricht with the Kitten’s friends (and their parents as well).
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. In order to head to Maastricht, we first needed to head out of the house. This severely delayed at first by a Kitten who got up at 6 am, crying, no shrieking, inconsolably. It seems that a tooth had decided to break from its own routine and push through at that moment, a moment where Mama and Daddy were not yet ready to roll out of bed and greet the day on any terms, let alone these.
So I took the early shift, from 6-7:30. Mama took over from 7:30-9, when the Kitten, more out of exhaustion than anything, decided to go back to sleep.
And so did we.
Then, when we were ready to trek to the station, the skies opened up in a torrent that is really rarely seen here. Granted, it does rain almost everyday here, but these morning washes seem to appear, make bike seats wet enough to be uncomfortable, and then move on. This one was more like the North Sea had been magically transported to a place above us and let loose, where it proceeded to take a while making it’s way to the ground.
Eventually, it lightened somewhat, and we made our way to the train station, and on into Maastricht.
Maastricht is arguably the oldest city in the Netherlands. I say arguable because some say it’s Nijmegen. But those people are wrong, so it’s of little point to quibble. Maastricht is an ancient Roman city, with city walls and all sorts of historic things to see. I’d like to see them sometime, but this visit was about parents relaxing, babies playing, eating, drinking and dodging the constant and sudden downpours.
Our hotel was the Chateau Bethlehem, a design hotel, which meant that each room had been handed to a different designer to do with as he saw fit. Ours was all black, meaning the walls, floors, ceiling, bathroom, furniture and even bedding was all black, with lights on the walls, and blackout curtains to increase the effect. It was intended to feel like space or a nighttime sky according to the guy who took us to our room, but it really felt like a dressing room, which made me feel like an awesome rock star – which of course I am.
And the overnight was fun and relaxing, devoted to good food, and good wine and just having a night off with parents and babies. The night off continued into the next day, where the Kitten slept until 10:30 (note to self – get her some blackout curtains) and then we moved to the hotel bar until such time that we needed to take the train back to Amsterdam.
I was of course, still feeling very awesome from my rock star room, which means that it was time for a karmic shift to occur, to take me down from my rock star status.
On the train, I made my way to the restroom. A train restroom, if you’ve never been in one, is like a plane restroom. Small and devoted to the basics.
And it was there that I dropped my glasses in the toilet.
OK, these glasses were quite stretched out, and had a tendency to fall off my face should I look down. I’d dropped them playing with the baby, cooking, unlocking my bike, etc., any time I looked down while not paying attention to keeping them on my face. And I wasn’t paying attention at this time.
And they fell into the toilet.
Now, never having glasses fall in the toilet before, not even this pair, I only assume that, should this happen, one would fish them out, wash them off thoroughly, wash one’s hands thoroughly, and never speak of this again.
Remember when I said that a train restroom is like a plane restroom? It is, with one crucial, and somewhat disgusting difference – it opens directly onto the tracks. This is why they’re closed while the train is in the station, so the grossness doesn’t pile up by the platform.
But while the train is moving, drop anything in there, and it’s dispersed beneath the train and gone forever.
Which means my glasses disappeared and were miles behind while the shock of the moment set in.
I finished up, and walked back to the seats, where a sheepishly embarrassed confession took place.
OK, in retrospect it was a bit funny, especially since I have a second pair of glasses here, one which actually fits. But I no longer felt like a rock star.
I did still feel relaxed, though.