On Falling Down

19 April 2024

Updated: 18 May 2024

Today was kinda shitty. Actually really shitty.

But also

maybe not

Its always weird sitting down to write about what’s going on in your head. I’m currently in a train at night hoping I’ll make it home in the next two hours

Today was a bit insane. I has to shuffle between trains and go to places I’ve never been. Had to go through a storm feeling like I was constantly about to get thrown into a river by winds far stronger than they had any right to be

Well. I guess that’s as good a place as any to start

So, we had a little ski trip planned for work to this weird indoor ski slope in the middle of nowhere. The journey there was gonna be long but was straightforward enough - take two trains and two buses then walk for 8 minutes

That was not how it went

So, I got onto the first train - the one I usually take to get to the Utrecht Central station, that was a little busy but nothing too unusual for 4pm on a Friday. When I got to the station I had to catch another train - this one to The Hague - and this is when everything descended into chaos

The train to The Hague was cancelled - but I was already on it - it was going to Leiden, no further - oh, and pretty much any train going anywhere past Leiden was also cancelled

Oh, and there isn’t really any app that does “Hi, I’m already on this train but I need to go to this other place, where do I get off?” (Like seriously, this needs to exist)

After going insane for a while, I resigned myself to my fate, put on some headphones - oh, did I mention that mine were dead so I borrowed my wifes? - and put on a good playlist (after briefly attempting to listen to Taylor Swift’s newest album). It’s kind of weird how much calm the right playlist can bring

But anyways, It looks like there are some buses I can use from Leiden sort of - so let’s do that

Now the thing is - since all the trains were stopping in Leiden - the station was absolutely packed. All i could see was a sea of heads

(one moment, i need to switch trains)

So, by the skin of my teeth i managed to get into a bus that was heading in the direction i needed to go. It was full, there were some loud americans, and some teenagers talking about tik tok songs, we drove past lots of sheep

Oh, the bus was also 7 minutes late because of the mess at the station - I wasn’t gonna make the next swap - I had to figure out which stop to take

My options were:

  1. Get off at some rando bus stop and walk for 20 minutes
  2. Get off at some other rando bus stop to wait about an hour and then walk for 10 minutes

Eventually I made it to a bus stop in the middle of nowhere

I took option 1 - maybe it’s me, maybe i’m the problem - but, just after I got off the bus and oriented my google maps and got my camera out to enjoy my stroll and maybe take some pictures of some lil sheeps - the mother of all storms descended upon lil ol me.

I don’t know what happened, but the light drizzle turned into a beast with winds trying to steal my phone and camera and a torrent of rain racing to drown me

Another test of my sanity today. I can’t control the weather I suppose, not any more than I can control bus schedules I guess

So I walked, slowly, taking pictures of everything I thought was interesting

Yes, the sheep. And also the little yellow flowers, and the weird giant metal alien space ship thing in the distance, and the poor post person trying their absolute hardest to make it to the next house on their little blue bicycle - the dutch really take their post seriously

After about 10 minutes of walking I seemed to be in a forest, a hiking trail of some sort - I saw a parent and child riding their bicycle and a woman walking a dog - in this weather?? I can only conclude that the forest was haunted

But eventually I figured out where my map was taking me - the weird alien thing - oh, that’s the ski slope

With some end in sight, and a sense of where the heck I was, I walked now with a little more purpose

I made it there eventually. Soaking wet, looking like whatever the thing that the cat dragged in would drag in

Then, said hi to some work peeps and got some gear

And so, may I present you with some snowboarding tips based on what some of my coworkers told me and what I learnt from falling a shit ton of times

  1. When trying to get on, dig your board in sideways with your back against the slope, this will keep you stable and help in trying to stand up, then commit when you stand - otherwise you’re just gonna spend the entire time on your butt
  2. Lean less than you think you need to and wait for the board to catch the snow
  3. While it’s a bit more difficult than the alternatives - take the weird lift thingy because you can keep your boots fully attached and once you get to the top you can just start snowboarding instead of doing the weird crab walk scoot struggle to standup thing
  4. You can always lean back more than you think and you probably won’t fall down - it’s a lot safer than learning forward and a really good way to quickly slow down if you’re bad at snowboarding
  5. When using the weird lift thingy just let it take you, don’t fight it - you will fall
  6. Fall. Yeah if you’re old like me it’s gonna suck tomorrow - but with every weird things on your feet sport, if you don’t get over the fear of falling you’re not really gonna get anywhere

Oh and the new skiiers will get confused and stuck and not know how to standup - I don’t have a solution, this is just an observation - those things are a deathtrap

(also snowboarding pants are cool, I kind of want some just to like wear as clothes)

Also it’s cold and I’m waiting for my last train. This has been a really long day, but if this works out I’ll have at least managed to beat the plan all the map apps gave me - some consolation knowing you’re a bit smarter than some rando pathfinding algorithm i guess

But anyways, what I think im trying to say is, it’s easy to get frustrated and angry when faced with challenges but all we can do is to make the best of what we can control and accept what we can’t.