Anybody need a bike?

One of the things that has always astounded me about Amsterdam is the incredible amount of bicycles in the city. It is truly the way most of the residents seem to get around. It also can be a dangerous city to traverse as bicyclists are constantly coming up on your side. They approach so quietly that you really don’t realize how close they are until you start to take a step to your right or left and then being shocked out of your wits by the driver’s frantically sounding warning bell. I’ve been caught off guard by this so many times over the years and will never get used to it.

Another danger in the city are the trams which run up and down so many streets. They, too, operate very quietly (I think they could do more damage to a baritone’s body than a bicycle.). I sometimes have the habit of standing too close to the street corner when I’m out on one of my walks. I’ve had the tram driver ring his bell at me a few times to warn me to back up a few inches. If I didn’t, my toes might be tram chow.

It’s strange how few cars you actually see running up and down the roads and streets along the canals. That’s just fine by me. I truly appreciate the modes of transportation in this very unique city. I wish some of our great American burgs would follow the example of the Dutch. Just think how much easier it would be to get around NYC, Washington, Philly, or Chicago if there were fewer cars, more bikes, and less taxis. Think how much healthier we’d all be too.
In the meantime, I’m just happy my life insurance is all paid up in case a bike or tram gets in my way--or in case I get in theirs.

Rehearsals continue to go well for “Fidelio”. We open on December 2 and I’m more than ready to get the show in front of an audience.