Netherlands – Delft Blue Shoe

A wooden shoe charm in delft blue.

Because one of the companies I worked for had an office in the Netherlands, I have been many times. My Dutch colleagues were fantastic – open and friendly. All of them spoke great English. One of them took me on a tour of the blooming tulip fields: great swaths of vibrant color. Not to be missed. But my first visit was with my family.

In Amsterdam we bought a Volkswagen bus. There were to be 6 of us and it made getting around more economical. I assume it was purchased on the continent so the driver would be on the correct side for driving at home. When we picked it up, there was a lesson in shifting: a four in the floor, but for reverse, you had to push down and slide the stick to the right. It was known to be tricky and the salesman patiently showed Daddy how to work it.

Away we went. Oh, look at that windmill over there. Let’s drive to it and take some pictures.

We got on a road that seemed to head in the right direction but no. The windmill receded. Daddy needed to turn around. No traffic. He pulled the bus across the road, which was bordered on both sides by canals, but couldn’t find reverse.

Suddenly, there was traffic. Cars stopped in both directions, not honking you understand, just blocked and gaping at the crazy Americans. We couldn’t pull forward (into a canal) and reverse was elusive. I believe there was some silent swearing (Daddy never swore out loud) and much sweating.

Finally a kind Dutchman got out of his car, into our bus, put it into reverse, and then led us to the windmill. A typical Dutchman, I might add. I do love that country!


  1. It makes me smile to think of people friendly enough to reverse your bus and take you to the windmill. PS — I left you something at my site. Enjoy!

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