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view over Lake Tahoe

A quick trip to the Sierra

Old Sacramento You’ve probably seen it in a hundred cowboy films: a main street lined with wooden buildings, fronted by a wooden sidewalk shaded by a roof. The storefronts say “Bank” or “General Merchandise” in formal, old-fashioned lettering. Cowboys stumble out through the swinging doors of the saloon. Women of ill repute beckon from a…

How Americans see the Dutch

When I posted about how the Dutch see the Americans, it wasn’t particularly complimentary, so I promised to write the opposite post: how the Americans see the Dutch. (Nederlands vertaling beneden) Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and spend money, I will receive a small percentage of what…

10 Things the Dutch Think about Americans

“You’re not like most Americans.” A student of mine, a trainee English teacher, said this to me.  I laughed, and the conversation moved on to other topics, but I’ve been thinking about what he meant by this. What the Dutch think about Americans – and I dare say this applies to other Europeans too – is…

Zuanich Point Park

Bellingham is far more interesting than I ever expected it to be. When I looked it up on-line before coming here, it sounded like a rather sleepy, rather hippy-ish place, with its once-a-week organic market and its encouragement of biking. And, to be honest, that’s what it is: a sleepy, hippy-ish place. The residents even…

T is for Travel

What is it that we like about travel? I think people would give a variety of answers. Here are a few that come to mind. Experiencing different cultures and ways of life This is what interests me the most. I am constantly curious about how other people live. As we were driving along today, for…

Serenity on the BC Ferry

I experienced a few moments of serenity yesterday. It was on the ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsuwassen, on my way back from a lovely visit with my relatives in Victoria. It had cleared up from an overcast, rainy morning to one of those afternoons with deep blue skies and bright, billowy clouds. I stood…

Odd Little Things in America

When I first moved to Holland there were a lot of little things I noticed that were different than at home. Nothing of importance, so I just noticed and moved on. Now that I’m back visiting, all sorts of little, unimportant things are striking me as different and odd: things that normally people would never…

Ruminations on the 9/11 memorial site

I’ve been to the 9/11 memorial site a number of times. First, sometime in the 1990s, I think, I rode that fast elevator to the observation deck of one of the original World Trade Center towers to enjoy the view. There were crowds of tourists and huge plate-glass windows. I remember that the windows were…