Let’s do some shots, you know I can’t turn ’em down.

People use water here for everything. The canal system serves as a water park, a great place for a restaurant on a barge, and, for an unfortunate many, an impromptu bike lot. I’ve seen the canal cleaning boat twice since I’ve been here, (without my camera, alas) and both times it’s been piled high with blackened bicycles scraped from the bottom of the grachts.

They probably landed there because some bicycle thieves rode them for a victory lap, then shoved the evidence in the drink when they got bored. Speaking of drink, here’s another theory: inebriated miscalculation. I’ve never been drunk on a bike, but I’m clumsy enough to have trouble parking it sober. Some people probably tried to chain their bikes to a bridge or some other railing, and the bikes went overboard. Or, even better, they cycled right into the canal. I’m not sure how deep the canals are but I think they are easy to escape if you fall in. They’re definitely nasty enough to motivate an escape. I mean, houseboats use them a sewers. Hell, drunken pedestrians use them as sewers! It’s gross.

Anyway, here’s the song of the day: Nosebleed by Illinois. You might know it from an episode of Weeds or from me yacking on about what a good song this is. Enjoy!

Download Nosebleed by Illinois.

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3 Responses to “Let’s do some shots, you know I can’t turn ’em down.”


  1. 1 Vicky September 29, 2008 at 07:04

    Just curious, is bicycle theft a big problem in those parts? I figure if you steal a bike you’d at least want to keep it or maybe sell it or something. Seems a waste to dump it in the canal.

    And I just want to say that I very much approve of the songs included in every post. Your blog is single handedly improving my iTunes library.

  2. 2 Lisa September 29, 2008 at 08:48

    and yet I see a dude fishing in one of the canals in Utrecht, under the Albatross Bridge. Wonder if he eats what he catches.

  3. 3 amherstdam September 29, 2008 at 12:27

    Vicky: Why thank you! And yes, Bike theft is a problem in Leiden, but worse in Amsterdam. Some people just steal bikes for fun there. It’s great skill to have.

    Lisa: I hope he doesn’t eat that! Oh, Lord. If that canal is near the heart of the city, I reeeeaaally wonder about how safe that is.


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