"Nederlandse jongens zijn niet van suiker"

I went for a ride today which started out hot, muggy, and difficult and ended up turning into a thunderstorm death march. i had just been thinking i hadn't had a good death march in a while, so it actually turned out great. i saw the rain on the ridge line across from me, a grey sheet folding back and forth. it looked like it was coming towards me, so i pretty much went for it and took the next turn towards the front. the wind picked up very quickly and the temperature dropped all of a sudden as fat drops of water started hitting the ground. i'm coming for you, you fucking fuck!, i shouted, perhaps somewhat incoherently. then it really opened up, the wind tugged me all over the (thankfully empty) road, and i pulled out my wind shell. too little too late, but every little bit helps, i guess. i am working towards eventually speaking entirely in pithy aphorism. works if you work it, i guess. my grandmother was all about her aphorisms. dutch is a language full of them, and she had a habit of cracking them out. one of my favorites, which i didn't fully appreciate at the time but have come to love, is above: Nederlandse jongens zijn niet van suiker. translated, more or less, means "dutch guys are not made of sugar." it is usually used as a way of saying, toughen up, it won't kill you. for instance, if you get rained on, as you often do in holland, my grandmother would invariably tsk and say that you are not made of sugar (and thus you won't melt in the rain). i have come to appreciate the other meanings of the phrase as well though. not made of sugar, sort of bitter. 

 as i pulled up the hill on dover st, the rain really started and soon there was a stream 2 or 3 inches deep running down the road. mama, here comes midnight, with the dead moon in its jaahahaaws! but, just before the rain, on the previous hill, i had been muggy, sweaty, and sticky, feeling out of shape and beat. it was like taking the cool shower that i really wanted without having to go home and stop riding. something to be said for getting caught out in the rain.