A rite of passage – my bike was stolen!

July 17, 2020

I wasn’t going to put the theft of my bike out there, because I suspected it would be met with comments such as: “You left South Africa to get your bike stolen?” or “But I thought Amsterdam was safe?!?”.

And you’d be right. But apparently bike theft is the biggest crime in Amsterdam, and if you’re going to be foolish by not locking your bike on a rack or pole overnight, you can expect to not find it the next day. We hopefully thought that maybe we had parked it elsewhere, or forgotten what it looked like, but alas… the thing was gone.

I hadn’t attached it to a rack, and only the back wheel was locked. I had naively thought that no one would nab a half-locked bike in the middle of the ‘burbs. The same bike that I had done a little trial run (ride) on round and round the block until 11.30pm to try and get familiar and confident (as confident as I’ll ever get) with riding.

A new bike has been ordered, lessons have been learnt, and I’m still planning on doing nightly practices until I’m feeling confident, and more importantly, until I can steer straight and use the pedal brake efficiently.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • No matter how organised I was in ordering things and setting up our apartment, there is still more to get. Bathroom dustbins, iron, craft glue, scrubbing brush… and more. We’ve been ordering some indoor plants and decor items, as decorating was “phase B”, but I’m too impatient to wait for phase b
  • Everything from IKEA has so far been decent quality and comfortable.
  • Fries and mayo in Netherlands = peace, nurturing and happiness (something I discovered in January when I had my first taste of their fries).
  • I quite like playing house-house (for now), and I’m enjoying neatening, tidying and cleaning the bathrooms later. I’m not sure how long this honeymoon phase will last, but it feels nice for now.
  • If you’re not home, packages will be left outside your apartment door (or at least they have been in our case).
  • Walking home at 11pm with the kids feels strange, and I’m still on high alert and anxious. I’m sure this will pass with time.
  • You can find Marmite in stores here.

It’s still so surreal that we’re actually here. And at least 10 times a day, I say out aloud that I can’t believe we’re here. Home’ish.

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  • Monica

    I’m resisting the obvious comment but hey – there’s no completely safe and trouble free country in the entire world. Keep the stories coming xx

    July 17, 2020 at 10:34 am Reply
    • Tanya

      It was actually quite funny, and let this be my biggest problem here 🙂

      July 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    Oh gosh, what a disaster! Haha, well, if that’s the worst it gets then I think you’ve landed your bum in the butter. Good luck with setting up!

    July 17, 2020 at 10:34 am Reply
    • Tanya

      Thank you so much! x

      July 22, 2020 at 1:01 pm Reply
  • verduane

    Sorry Tanya i had to giggle a bit. Oh but of course life would throw you THIS curve ball. It’s just adding colour to your adventure. I think you’re going to adapt much better and quicker on the new bike. All the best and keep the updates coming 😉

    July 17, 2020 at 10:44 am Reply
    • Tanya

      Exactly! My sentiment exactly 🙂

      July 22, 2020 at 1:01 pm Reply
  • Veronica

    Safety, late at night, on the streets, and not being consistently vigilant and fearfully protective of one’s self and material possessions is the main and most worthwhile benefit of moving from South Africa to a safer land.

    Nowhere is without crime but it’s not ok to fear for one’s life and that of one’s family on a daily basis, sadly!

    Good luck with your new adventure.

    July 17, 2020 at 10:55 am Reply
    • Tanya

      So true… now I’ve been practising riding my new bike late at night. We were out at 11 last night riding round the suburb

      July 22, 2020 at 1:02 pm Reply
  • Yolisa

    Nooooooooooo! Sorry friend, it’s a little bit annoying. But you have frites and mayo as consolation. You keep posting about marmite, is that a secret cry for help?

    July 17, 2020 at 11:02 am Reply
    • Tanya

      You don’t like Marmite?

      July 22, 2020 at 1:03 pm Reply
  • runnergirlchallenge

    Ah loving your posts. And sorry about your bike. Having lived overseas for a long time I know that nowhere is 100% crime free but “there is crime and then there is crime”. I just stopped my trail run as I was suddenly alone in an isolated spot so I’ll take a bike theft any day.

    I’m glad you’re getting so organised so that by the time I get over there you’ll be showing me all the ropes hahahaha. I can cycle so practice – I want a tour via 2 wheels please!

    Have (more) fun and please keep on sharing!

    July 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm Reply
    • Tanya

      I can give you a tour on a giant tricycle? Thanks for reading!

      July 22, 2020 at 1:04 pm Reply
  • MrsFF

    Ha ha ha not funny but this made me laugh and as we all know no country is completely safe but some are just safer than others. And this is probably a good two on the back of hand not to be complacent and I’ve been very guilty of this when overseas.

    Anyway hope you are settling in well and did you finally learn how to ride a bike?

    July 17, 2020 at 1:17 pm Reply
    • MrsFF

      Oops tap on the back of the hand I meant to write

      July 17, 2020 at 1:18 pm Reply
  • caleyjaderosenberg

    Ah no!! I’m so sorry my friend! But those fries sound delish… x

    July 19, 2020 at 12:51 pm Reply
    • Tanya

      The fries make up for everything 🙂

      July 20, 2020 at 7:28 am Reply
  • jackiescala

    Lol, sorry. When we moved to london a few years ago (stayed for a year), our pram got stolen. I think the thing is, being South African, we think other countries are all way safer. We left our pram outside our front door, thinking it would be safe, but obviously that was such a silly idea, of course someone took it, now i know that if you leave something on the sidewalk, it’s like saying you don’t want it anymore. It does seem a right of passage.

    July 23, 2020 at 6:01 pm Reply
    • Tanya

      So true. I’d heard that bike theft was very rife… I didn’t realise I’d discover this on day two 🙂

      July 23, 2020 at 8:31 pm Reply

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