Photos 2002

Enschede, the Netherlands

For the first time since the Peace Corps in 1993, I left the U.S. In May I flew to Amsterdam and took the train to Enschede, near the German border, where I visited Job Elders and his family.

I loved Holland for its peace, order, and rationality. Enschede was small and flat, and so easy to bike around. Bikers have their own separate lanes and even their own traffic signals. How great is that!

The language was a lot of fun too. To an English speaker, it sounds a little like German but it looks hilarious. It's full of double vowels like ook, kaas, een, voor, aanbieding, naar, naam, gaat, eerst, aan, graag, maat, geen, and kookboeken.

They've got some kick-ass chocolade, though.

Enschede, The Netherlands

Enschede Theater building A colorful street in downtown Enschede
Here is Enschede on market day, Tuesday. The theater building has statues in front of and on top of its building.
A street with colorful buildings in downtown Enschede.
Brick alleys A street scene in Enschede
A lot of houses were made of brick. Even the alleyways were neat and orderly. This is an ordinary street in Enschede. It's hard to explain the feel of a place. The tiled sidewalks and brick buildings' textures, the pink bike path, the bedding hanging out the window to air, the neat and tidy trimmed bushes...does it add up to the experience of being there?

Shoes and windmills

Man with wooden dutch shoes
One of the few people I saw wearing wooden Dutch shoes. He was cleaning off the moss from the sidewalk in front of his house.
Lonneker Molen Lonneker Molen plaque
Molen (windmill) at Lonneker, a short bike ride from Enschede. I had some kind of perverse desire to play tourist, in an anti-tourist kind of way. I went to a non-touristy area, but I went out and looked for tourist cliches of Holland -- wooden dutch shoes and windmills. I missed out on the tulips, though.
Lonneker windmill I wish I had been able to see more windmills while I was in Holland.
These windmills are pretty cool. This is the only one I got to see close up. They look a lot bigger close up.

Transport solutions

Bike racks at the train station A public trash can that encourages recycling
The first thing I saw in Enschede was the huge line of bicycle racks at the train station. And the bike underpass. I knew right away I was going to like the Netherlands.
This was in Dortmund, Germany. Check out the trash can that lets you sort trash for easy recycling. Is it the just the German penchant for order, or is it that the Europeans really get the environmental picture in a way Americans don't seem to? Either way, I totally dug the mentality behind this train station trash can.
Canta, an Italian-made car An Italian-made car
Because space is at a premium and gas is expensive, even the cars are compact. This Fiat looks like it is only half a car.
Here's the side view of the same car.
A yellow Smart car Smart car - side view
This is a "smart car".  Why don't we have them in American cities? Because they would get creamed by our ungainly SUVs and ridiculously outsized trucks. It's adorable!

Downtown Enschede limits car access

To limit car access to the town center, certain streets have these metal posts in the middle of the street that can sink down to let select cars pass through, then raise back up to prevent other cars from passing through.

Downtown Enschede traffic control post Downtown Enschede traffic control post - going down
Here's the post in the middle of the road. As the car approaches, the post sinks down.
Downtown Enschede traffic control post - all the way down Downtown Enschede traffic control post - restoring height
The post has completely disappeared so the car can pass through. Now the cars have gone and the post raises up again.


Cheese stall at the market Cheese the size of drums
A cheese stall at the market.
These cheeses were the size of Taos drums. I loved the shapes.
A trip to the grocery store
I finally got the hang of the grocery store and got some great food.

Grocery receipt
Prices in euros, at the time it was comparable to dollars.

Job Elders

Job Elders enjoying his backyard Dylan Elders
Job Elders in his backyard in Hengelo. Dayla Elders, 3 years old.
Job and Dylan
Job and Dayla in the backyard


On the last day I was in Holland, I took the train to Amsterdam's airport, left my luggage in a locker, caught the bus to Floriade, and ran around the park for a few hours. I envisioned seas of red, yellow, purple tulips. But I was too late. The tulips were out of season by the end of May.

Floriade, even without the tulips, was neat. There were landscape displays and quite a few were environmentally-oriented. It spread out over several acres and it seemed there was something for everyone.

I barely made it back to the airport on time. I was racing through the airport hallways and must have been the last one on the plane.

A demonstration playground at Floriade horticultural show near Amsterdam This playset was like a work of art, visually interesting and fun
Why there weren't a ton of kids crawling all over this playground set I don't know.
Trees tied down with iron balls Outdoor couches
These trees with huge balls and chains showed a whimsical sense of humor.
These outdoor couches were delightful and practical at the same time.
Water feature at Floriade A small corner of Floriade -- small but well done
This interactive exhibit invited visitors to compete against each other to get water to spout into a funnel. A visitor standing, (1), could aim a set of solar panels to power a stream of water (2). The other visitor, (3), pedaled to get power for their water stream, (4). The water ended up in the metal funnel (5). Even the smallest details were impressive at Floriade.

The next month I visited Chris and Sharon and Kaya in Moscow, Idaho.

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All contents   Leanne Yanabu All rights reserved.
Last updated: March 20, 2009