Bicycle status: bad. The chain is rattling. The brakes are weak. The front brake line has a hole in the protective plastic and is starting to rust. The handlebars are already rusting, which is visible through the gum tape that’s sliding off in some places. In other words, it’s ready for a good old adventure trip!
Well, except for the leak in the tire. After a couple of days I find myself with a flat rear tire, yet I cycled for an hour today and didn’t notice any trouble. It’s just slowly deflating. Fortunately I’ve still got a spare inner tube. Unfortunately that spare inner tube is a used one that I replaced because it was also slowly deflating. I guess it’s time for a new one.
The weather here is getting better. It’s been storming for almost a week non-stop, but finally the sky is clearing up a bit and the wind is slowing down. The sunlight is harsh. Bleak. It’s one of those hard-to-place things that I don’t like about Holland. The sun might be shining at its brightest, yet it doesn’t make you feel warm. It doesn’t make things look warm, even. It limits photographic opportunities and it limits my excitement to go out and take photos. The sun plays no tricks here. In Holland, the colors are always the same.
I tend to prefer warm colors when I take photos, and I usually edit them in if they’re not there in the first place. At least to my own perception this tends to make places look nicer than they really are. In the next two photos, rather than just slapping on a bunch of warm colors, I tried to represent reality a bit better.
Webster says this about ‘bleak’:
1. exposed and barren and often windswept
2. cold, raw
3. a: lacking in warmth, life or kindliness
3. b: not hopeful or encouraging
3. c: severely simple or austere
Without a doubt, all of these definitions apply to the part of Holland that I am living in. If only it could be more colorful.
I’m going back to Holland soon. While I enjoy the time I spend with my friends in London a lot, it is in fact cheaper to visit them once a month than to live here. As all my friends are quite technical, talking to them always leads to interesting areas that may lead to a profitable business. Be it iPhone applications, ideas for a website or service, Android, hardware, anything. The ideas flow freely and I’m free to take my pick and try to develop them. The feeling of freedom is great.
So I’ve got plenty of time, the ideas started flowing in, now I need to set up my working place. I rather regret that I bought a new PC just before I quit my job. It’ll come in handy for whatever I’m going to do next, but I’m really thinking about going ultra-mobile. I guess I just want to go back to that cycling-trip feeling of being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want. I may consider swapping my PC for a powerful laptop. So if anyone’s interested in a brand-new i7 950 system with SSD and Radeon HD6870 let me know.
On a side note, I recently had the opportunity to play with an iPad. I tried it before when it first came out in the beginning of 2010, and also a while back at the Apple store in London. As much as I would like to hate Apple for being evil and too expensive and whatnot, there’s just nothing bad I can say about the iPad. It really is incredibly good. Everyone I know who has tried the iPad has become addicted to it immediately. I might just have to get one for myself…
Travel plans have been made! This summer is going to be another fun holiday to an exotic destination! I can’t wait till summer…
San Francisco left a very good (and hopefully lasting) impression on me. This is the view of San Francisco after crossing the Golden Gate bridge.
Aforementioned bridge. Who would not recognize this sight?
A random street in SanFran. I’m still amazed at how much it looks like GTA San Andreas.
It was a bit busy in SF, but honestly the driving experience has been brilliant. Everything’s huge. Wide roads, big parking spaces, there’s always enough room for everybody, even in the city. And the mountain roads are just excellent. Driving is fun in California.
A bit south of San Francisco, looking towards the bay.
California was great. I’d love to visit there again.
(I’m sure I will 🙂 )
Five months ago I was here. I threw away most of my worldly possessions, sent my remaining stuff home to my parents and cycled 2000 kilometers from Tokyo until the southernmost tip of Japan, carrying with me nothing but the bare necessities. Four side bags of survival items and a backpack of electronics. No time limit, no pre-set course to take. I have never before in my life felt so free, and I’m not sure if I will ever feel that free again. I really miss that time right now.
Two friends I made on the trip, relaxing in the shade
Of course I realize that most of that freedom is just an illusion. For one thing, it’s pretty much impossible to get away from civilization in Japan. A second limitation was money and my visa status, which limited the duration of my trip, although I finished it long before either one became endangered.
A great area to walk around in
Leaving everything behind and going on a bare-necessities trip with no time limit. I’m not sure if I will ever be in a similar opportunity again, but to those of you who will: don’t hesitate! It will be the best experience of your life!
Travel the path!
Went to Dartmoor national park and nearby Plymouth last week. Today I finally spent some time to upload the remaining photos. Picasa holds all my Dartmoor pics.
I’ve been annoyed at my attempts at producing decent HDR images recently. Either my valuation of HDR changed, or I am producing photos that are simply not suited for HDR. The above photo is in fact HDR, but the colors were so messed up that I decided to sepialize it instead, which fit the grainy nature of the original. The full size image is a bit abysmal though. Here’s another gritty one.
And here’s two panoramas of Plymouth, a very agreeable city.
Nice park. Quite cold though.
I like the UK. It has more character than the Netherlands. I think it’s the hills.