[SNED] Running in Amsterdamse Bos

Tuesday 15 August, 2017

This morning I rode my bike to Amsterdamse Bos with a view to running there. However, by the time I got there, it was raining very heavily and my heart was no longer in it. So I rode home and did some work for a few hours. Then, at around 6pm the sun started to creep out, so I returned to Amsterdamse Bos and by God, I did it. I ran.

I ran along a path through a woodland, past a field with a bunch of brown cows and through an impromptu party where around 30 or 40 Dutch teens had hired a van and driven it to the edge of a lake where they were drinking beer, listening to dance music and enjoying the summer. I imagine they'd organised it months in advance. I imagine they thought, 'Let's do it on the middle of August. It'll be scorching.' It wasn't scorching. 


Amsterdamse Bos was built in the 1930s by unemployed people who the Dutch government forced to work for free. Turns out there's quite a history of forced labour in Holland. I didn't know that. The 2,500 acres of Amsterdamse Bos was one of many projects that unemployed people were forced to create by the Dutch government. That doesn't seem fair to me. If there was work to be done, and unemployed people to do it, surely the best solution would have been to simply employ the unemployed people to do the work.

Anyway, they did a very good job, despite the exploitation, and I look forward to exploring more of the area when the sun comes out.

After my run, I rode into town, north on Marathonweg, past a long, long, long line of stalled commuter traffic going in the other direction. It was one of those moments where I felt overjoyed by the life I have chosen for myself, like I did on the train to Vienna all those years ago. There's a lot I don't have, but compared to so many people, I'm undeniably free.

Beato me.


About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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