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Aug 26, 2017

From my last podcast you already heard how impressed I was with Amsterdam. What I didn't talk about was how(1) much fun it was. Another point of its 'intelligent design' enabled me to feel like a kid again: the bicycle lanes. These run parallel to regular traffic, but are totally separate. Cyclists have their own lanes and even their own traffic lights. Everybody seems to give way to the cyclists, even the pedestrians(2)! Both cars and bicycles share the road in only a few places, other than that cyclists are totally safe, riding even without helmets. There are apparently one million bicycles in Amsterdam; young and old and everyone in between use them on a daily basis. Let me tell you(3), it was so much fun! I love riding a bicycle, but it's been decades since I rode without a helmet! It was so refreshing to whizz along the beautiful canal roads, over the bridges, and past the architecture that spans from 13th to 17th century. For two days, my daughter and I rode from morning until night, stopping only to eat. Apart from the  old canal district, we visited the zoo, and Vondelpark, where everybody else was riding. I was aching to visit the Van Gogh and Rembrandt galleries, but my daughter persuaded me to just keep on riding. Twelve year olds have little patience for galleries. There is so much more to see in the Netherlands that I am determined to go back.

1. 'What I didn't talk about was ...' a great way of adding personality and emphasis to a sentence. The main verb can be changed according to what you prefer to say:

a. 'What I didn't mention was how the weather was great every day.'

b. 'What they forgot to tell us was that the vacation was a gift!'

c. 'What Henry didn't say was that he was ill and needed medicine immediately.'

2. Some people you will find near roads are:

a. Pedestrians (people who walk)

b. Joggers (people who are running)

c. Cyclists (those on bicycles)

d. Motorcyclists (those on motorbikes)

e. Motorists (car drivers)

Things you will find on or near roads:

a. Traffic lights.

b. Cross walks / zebra crossing (UK).

c. Side walk / pavement (UK).

d. Signs (can be for the traffic or general directions).

3. 'Let me tell you' is the kind of phrase that adds life to a conversation. It is similar to 'Seriously', or 'I'm not kidding/joking when I say ...'

a. Let me tell you, as soon as she started to sing, everyone went quiet.

b. Let me tell you, if I could, I would travel the world.

c. I'm not joking when I say that yoga is the best exercise I have every tried.

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