I’ve been tackling four large writing projects this week; a manuscript, a funding proposal, and two business plans. By this morning, with most of the work done or in final draft, it was a good time to relax and take advantage of a sunny Dutch Saturday.
The central core of Maastricht fills with tourists and shoppers this time of year: the heavy coats and umbrellas have disappeared and cafe life is crowding the sidewalks. I still enjoy finding a table to watch the people passing by and to savor an Orval (Belgian beer), filling the afternoon with good humor and easy conversation.
The kermis (fair) continues in Vrijthof Square, and I found myself still casting thoughts toward the Speed ride: a double arm that spins vertically, flipping the passengers around at either end. Friends had been goading me all week, and we all studied the ride today and gauged whether the line was too long, the weather was too threatening, or I was too mature to challenge it. While I trust physics, I am not so sanguine about mechanical engineering when it comes to these rides. The thought of dangling face-down several hundred feet up, held in only by a purple plastic yoke, is very scary.
Nonetheless, I took the plunge.
The only truly scary bit is when the ride first hoisted me up to the top while the other car was loaded. Perched way up above the town, clutching the restraining yoke, I felt horribly vulnerable and in great danger of a long fall. But once things get going, it’s exhilarating: it goes fast enough that it’s more like a looping roller coaster.
The business plan is out for review by half a dozen people, and I’m gong to hop a flight out for a few days of R&R. Hopefully there will be some internet to send some pictures, but I hope to put work as far away as the Netherlands for a bit of a break.