Tanked and Dipped in Enschede

Uh oh. My husband has been on holiday for three months tomorrow, and he’s just now found Tanked. Tanked is a reality TV show in which a group of Americans do his second favourite thing in the world to administrating football: administrating fish tanks. They have beer bellies and wear matching polo shirts (it is, after all, a reality television show) and make fish tanks for other Americans. (I’m talking about Americans as if they are a different species of person, but the more of these things you watch, the more you come to believe it.) They start out with a whacky idea (some company has made a deal with the television show to get a free tank if they can film it, I imagine), start to make it after brainstorming the pros and cons and things that could go wrong, and then something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT goes wrong. This thing could REALLY SPELL THEIR DOOM. Then they ‘come up with’ a solution that they absolutely had not come up with before in other builds and have just forgotten in order to raise the drama. Then they do it, have trouble putting the sand in, mention how hard it is to put sand in. Then one of them does something crazy, and one of their WAGS comes in and asks, ‘what are you doing, you crazy guys?’, and then the client likes it, against all odds. Something like today, in which they are making a skateboard ramp shaped tank for a surfing company. But it gets more complex than that! Oh yes. There are two story lines. The other story line must have looked, on the pitching story board in the Network pitching office, like, ‘Crazy Bunch of Lads Do Something Crazy. End Story Line.’ Nothing goes wrong, so much, with this build, or prank, or thing they do. Today, they were building another tank for one of the guy’s birthday, and they MANAGED TO KEEP IT A SECRET. Yesterday, one bought fake Lotto tickets for the boss, and THEY WERE FAKE LOTTO TICKETS. Cue laughter. End scene. Oh, hang on – one of the guys just fell off a skateboard he was fooling around on. His wife is telling him off. Believe them: IT’S FUNNY. (Not sure whether that’s haha.) Cut. Sorry Butters. Anyway: we continue to be in Holland. Adam has gone back to Germany, and I am writing again after a complete emotional breakdown. What can I say? I have them. We went to Enschede pool – one of three municipal pools, I believe – on one of the hottest days we’ve had so far. We rode our bikes. One of the best things about Holland is the bikes. You can’t really imagine a better antidote – or preventative measure – to obesity than to ride everywhere. We’ve borrowed Niels and Christina’s bikes, only one of which, unfortunately, is the traditional Dutch style bike. In the traditional bike, you are able to grab the handles and still sit up straight. With bikes like the ones we usually have at home, you have to lean forward, with all of your weight on the arms and wrists. At first, people look a little odd riding around as if they are pedalling their easy chairs in front of the television. But after a while, it becomes quite beautiful. I don’t have a lot of photos, because I’m always the one driving. Speaking of which: I spent my first brief amount of time on the wrong side of the road yesterday. There is a bridge in the middle of town that they’re doing road works underneath. Traffic is diverted from a four lane road to both ways on two lanes. I was on the wrong side of the road, legally. I was behind a bus, which was turning left from the right lane (as usual), and it took a long time to turn. When it did, I was out front, and there were no indications as to which way to drive, and I continued on the left side. I was driving on the wrong side of the road. Thankfully, there were cars at the intersection coming the other way, but they were stopped at the lights – about five or six cars long. I could see that there were no other cars coming directly after them. So I gunned it, and swept in past behind them and on to the other side. It was the longest four or five seconds of my life. There were parked cars honking at me to warn me of danger. I had the windows open, and there were Dutch people laughing at me. It all ended well. I got to the next pedestrian crossing and a scooter pulled out in front of me too close. Apart from that, it’s gone peachy. (Meanwhile, back at Tanked: ‘I’m gonnah need and IV of cawfee to get me trough this thing.’ The Tankers are at the shop at 2 o’clock in the morning, trying to finish a job. It’s bracing stuff. They may not finish the working gumball machine fish tank in time.’)

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