The Dutch Zwolle in My Eyes

  • Sean Longfellow
  • 26 Oct

Speaking of the Netherlands, Zwolle must be the first one to talk about, because it feels like home there. Speaking of home, we will talk about Hotel Fidder. It was a small family hotel, with a fat proprietress, a fat son of a fat proprietress, and a fat daughter of the fat proprietress. They were the Fidder family. There are many such fat people in the Netherlands. Fat girls, wearing cropped clothing, and fat children pouting their small mouths will give people the feeling of sunshine.

When going to work early in the morning, the fat lady boss always says "Have a nice day!". After getting off work in the evening, the chubby boss’s chubby son always says "Have a nice evening!". On weekends, the fat daughter of the fat proprietress always says "Have a nice weekend!". Everything in Hotel Fidder is really nice.

Living in that row of small buildings from summer to winter; drinking coffee and reading in the study; rolling up his sleeves to fix a bicycle in the yard; listening to music in the sun in front of the window; dozing off with saliva in a rocking chair. I'm thirsty, take a few minutes to steam a cup of strong Espresso with a coffee machine. I'm hungry, I fry some decent dishes on the electric stove. I have nothing to do and walk around with my backpack.

Traveling in the Netherlands, train, and bicycle should be the perfect means of transportation. Because almost the whole area is plain and the city is small, bicycles are extremely popular in the Netherlands. Most roads have red bicycle lanes. I often see a family, parents riding a big bicycle in front of the road slowly, children riding a small bicycle in the back leisurely, a perfect panoramic view of family happiness.

In Zwolle, when you have time if you have no travel plans to other cities. I always like to ride my Peugeot sports car and go around. It is difficult to say whether Zwolle is a big city or a small town. She has both the bustling downtown area and the small villages of pastoral pastures. The central city is a small island surrounded by a moat. From the corner of the broken city wall, you can still vaguely distinguish the glory of this place.

I live in the southwest corner of Zwolle and the company is in the northeast corner, so I always choose to cycle through the old town on the island every day to and from get off work, cross the wooden suspension bridge, look at the fountain in the middle of the street, and face the rising sun on the other side of the river. Take a deep breath of the moist morning air. There are people running and walking dogs on the street, people fishing and boating on the river. On both sides of the road are towering trees, and the early waterbirds are flying in the sky.

If it is rainy, the stone-paved old streets will look particularly bright, cars sizzling through the stagnant water, and people are not in a hurry under the protection of various rain gears, strolling leisurely around the market in the central square. There is a burst of fragrance from the bakery on the street corner as if you see all kinds of snacks smiling and waiting for you to taste. There is no crowded and noisy subway, no traffic jams, there is only peace and hope on the way to work, turning the old water tower in front, the company is in front. On a brand new day, how can you realize what you want without confidence?

On weekends, if the weather is good, I often hang around in the pasture on the outskirts of Zwolle. There are lush birch trees on both sides of the road along the riverbank, and cattle and sheep are low in the wind and grass on the other side of the road. When the autumn breeze rises, there are fallen leaves all over the ground, and the road becomes a landscape painting, gorgeous and mottled, deep and long, to the distance. On that road, I had a bicycle tyre. Fortunately, I met an old man who was nearly 70 years old and her girlfriend. They took the necessary tools from home and spent nearly 20 minutes repairing the car for me. When I wanted to give them some small gifts, they only said "Nothing, I just hope you have a good time in Holland!"

In the Netherlands, due to many factors such as religion and law, marriage has become a thing that takes a long time to consider before doing it. Therefore, people often live together without getting married until they can fully identify with each other. Friends in the Netherlands often lament the early marriage of Chinese people, thinking it is too casual, don't you know that Chinese people also feel too casual about their unmarried cohabitation. Words are so strange. The same words and different positions have completely different meanings. Just like many Dutch friends said that Zwolle is too peaceful and even a bit boring, but for me who is tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, Zwolle's boring is exactly what I wanted at that time.


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