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After 11,000 miles on a bike, a new impression of Americans
The Boston Globe ^ | 8/20/2007 | Andrew Ryan

Posted on 08/20/2007 1:23:04 PM PDT by BronzePencil

Chris Aandewiel is a Dutch man with a well-worn mountain bike who slept this past weekend at the YMCA on Huntington Avenue. He has pedaled some 11,000 miles in the last year searching for the truth about Americans.

Growing up in Rotterdam, Aandewiel had an impression of this country shared by many in the Netherlands, an image formed by Hollywood movies and the media.

"We really think of Americans as how we perceive the United States government, and that's a little arrogant and stubborn," Aandewiel said by telephone.

Or at least that was the impression the 29-year-old consumer researcher had before he embarked on a yearlong bicycle tour around the perimeter of the United States. Since September, he has passed through 35 states, spent the night in the homes of 72 strangers, and met hundreds of people in gas stations and on highways who have nudged him along on his trip.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bicycle; dutch; mountainbike; netherlands
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But I thought everyone hated Americans? That's what I reaad in the New York Times and they wouldn't lie, would they?
1 posted on 08/20/2007 1:23:07 PM PDT by BronzePencil
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To: BronzePencil

How can he ride a bike with wooden shoes; I’m sure he misses his windmill. Still its a good thing to get past sterotypes.


2 posted on 08/20/2007 1:26:06 PM PDT by jbwbubba
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To: BronzePencil
A handful of Europeans hate Americans because they rely on judgments and preconceived notions. Which is, as Mr. Aandewiel notes “a little arrogant and stubborn.”
3 posted on 08/20/2007 1:26:06 PM PDT by NYCynic
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To: BronzePencil

With an 11,000 mile base going for him, a guy must really feel good in the saddle.


4 posted on 08/20/2007 1:26:44 PM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: BronzePencil

Thanks to CNN International. I hear it is horrible to the US in Europe.


5 posted on 08/20/2007 1:27:55 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team# 36120), KW:Folding)
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To: BronzePencil
"We really think of Americans as how we perceive the United States government, and that's a little arrogant and stubborn," Aandewiel said by telephone.

What's wrong with being a little arrogant and stubborn

6 posted on 08/20/2007 1:29:47 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: BronzePencil

Socialist bum.


7 posted on 08/20/2007 1:29:52 PM PDT by toddlintown (Six bullets and Lennon goes down. Yet not one hit Yoko. Discuss.)
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To: BronzePencil

Sounds like he had a fairly extreme case of not trusting the MSM. Good for him. And do you suppose he’s flying home on 9/11 for symboilc reasons, or because tickets are extra cheap on that date?


8 posted on 08/20/2007 1:31:30 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: jbwbubba
How can he ride a bike with wooden shoes; I’m sure he misses his windmill. Still its a good thing to get past sterotypes.

Makes you wonder if he tried to plug the broken dikes in New Orleans with his arm.

9 posted on 08/20/2007 1:32:51 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (When toilet paper is a luxury, you have achieved communism.)
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To: jbwbubba
How can he ride a bike with wooden shoes; I’m sure he misses his windmill. Still its a good thing to get past sterotypes.

LOL.....I don't care who you are, that's funny right there!

10 posted on 08/20/2007 1:33:01 PM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: BronzePencil

“Growing up in Rotterdam, Aandewiel had an impression of this country shared by many in the Netherlands, an image formed by Hollywood movies and the media.”

Negative propaganda exists, is pervasive, and is effective, in other words?


11 posted on 08/20/2007 1:33:29 PM PDT by james500
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To: BronzePencil
"After being here, I really think that [Americans] aren't that different than the Dutch," Aandewiel said. "In fact, I really think they are friendlier -- and really more helpful than Dutch people."


Nice Americans. How strange.
12 posted on 08/20/2007 1:33:39 PM PDT by this is my name not yours (Friendlier than a Dutchman)
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To: BronzePencil

gotta give it to the guy. he rode 11000 miles in search of the truth and found it. who else would ride a bicycle for 11000 miles to find the truth about something? cheers!


13 posted on 08/20/2007 1:33:56 PM PDT by Ancient Drive
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To: BronzePencil

Now, reflecting on his trip from the YMCA, he says he has some 300 miles left to go. He plans to pedal to New York City and fly home on Sept. 11

9-11. Interesting.


14 posted on 08/20/2007 1:34:22 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions----and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: BronzePencil

I’m jealous. What a great trip.


15 posted on 08/20/2007 1:35:24 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck....... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.,)
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To: Minn
With an 11,000 mile base going for him, a guy must really feel good in the saddle.

I know, I was thinking, "Damn, 11,000 miles on a mountain bike!" That guy is hardcore.

16 posted on 08/20/2007 1:35:58 PM PDT by BureaucratusMaximus (Our national sovereignty and cohesion as a country is not for sale at any price.)
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To: BronzePencil
I’m doing a short term assignment to the Netherlands. Many folks are moving to a much more conservative stance in their politics than what I saw in the ‘80s. There military has always impressed me as being professional.
17 posted on 08/20/2007 1:36:12 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: ican'tbelieveit

I’m overseas a lot and quit watching CNN International years ago. You have to wait hours sometimes for a real news update and it’s BBC wannabe anyway. Worthless.


18 posted on 08/20/2007 1:36:25 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions----and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: jbwbubba

I’ve heard they also got a thing for tulips... mighty odd.


19 posted on 08/20/2007 1:37:59 PM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: BureaucratusMaximus

No kidding ... talk about torture. Heck, a 3 mile ride on my street bike turns the seat into a picket fence.


20 posted on 08/20/2007 1:38:01 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: toddlintown

Maybe this will soften your impression of him. From the article:

“After being here, I really think that [Americans] aren’t that different than the Dutch,” Aandewiel said. “In fact, I really think they are friendlier — and really more helpful than Dutch people.”


21 posted on 08/20/2007 1:38:04 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions----and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: jbwbubba

The dirty, dirty Dutch,
They don’t amount to much.
But they’re a damn sight better than the Irish.

There’s Amsterdam Dutch and Rotterdam Dutch
And the Potsdamn Dutch
And all the other damn Dutch.


22 posted on 08/20/2007 1:38:42 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS: Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: lovecraft

They make special toe clips for bicycles in Holland that will fit a wooden shoe. Don’t believe me? Check out one of their bicycle web-sites.


23 posted on 08/20/2007 1:39:57 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Say Cheese.)
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To: BronzePencil

Now, reflecting on his trip from the YMCA, he says he has some 300 miles left to go.

&&&
This writer really needs to spend a little time rereading his work before submitting it.


24 posted on 08/20/2007 1:40:57 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Duncan Hunter in 2008!)
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To: BronzePencil

“After being here, I really think that [Americans] aren’t that different than the Dutch,” Aandewiel said. “In fact, I really think they are friendlier — and really more helpful than Dutch people.”

Yeah, try forming opinions of people based on first hand experience next time and not what you see portrayed by hollyweird or the foreign press.

I think a lot of Euros think they’re generous b/c they permit 50%+ of their checks to be taken from them for social welfare programs while we whine about taxes. The difference is we like to give out of our own pockets as we sit fit and don’t require nanny gov’t telling us who, when, where, and why to give.

I hope he writes a book and spreads the word. The anti Americanism has to cease. I recently visited Europe and had no problems, but I did notice that we were the only ones who tipped and were polite. (i.e. saying excuse me, moving over so people could get by, please and thank you, etc.).


25 posted on 08/20/2007 1:41:20 PM PDT by enough_idiocy (Get the troops out of the Iraqi civil war and send them to the Sudan civil war. Biden '08 /sarcasm)
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To: BronzePencil

I bet the first thing he noticed at the start of his 11,000 miles on a bicycle, is that most of the United States is not flat.


26 posted on 08/20/2007 1:41:25 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (Say Cheese.)
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To: BronzePencil
>>"We really think of Americans as how we perceive the United States government, and that's a little arrogant and stubborn," Aandewiel said by telephone. LOL And us Dutch folks aren't arrogant & stubborn??? His family must not have been like mine!


27 posted on 08/20/2007 1:43:12 PM PDT by JenBrower (...government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: this is my name not yours

People in the Middle West and South, also the West are a lot friendlier than those in the Northeast for some weird reason.


28 posted on 08/20/2007 1:43:38 PM PDT by hershey
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To: BronzePencil

No mention of how and or why the biker and all his countrymen bought the media’s slant on America and what he plans on doing with his 15 minutes.


29 posted on 08/20/2007 1:43:52 PM PDT by subterfuge (Today, Tolerance =greatest virtue;Hypocrisy=worst character defect; Discrimination =worst atrocity)
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To: BronzePencil

rollin’ rollin’ rollin’,
Mein butt chur es swollen,
Keep dat Dutchman rollin’/Rawheide


30 posted on 08/20/2007 1:44:44 PM PDT by tumblindice (Ya, dykes in der lowlands)
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To: BronzePencil
We really think of Americans as how we perceive the United States government, and that's a little arrogant and stubborn," Aandewiel said by telephone

I also think the American government is arrogant and stubborn...also very corrupt, incompetent and inefficient

Now, get back to work...hundreds of thousands of government bureaucrats are depending on you

31 posted on 08/20/2007 1:44:48 PM PDT by uxbridge
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To: jbwbubba
"How can he ride a bike with wooden shoes; I’m sure he misses his windmill. Still its a good thing to get past sterotypes."

Post of the day, hands down! Thanks for the laugh!

32 posted on 08/20/2007 1:45:04 PM PDT by libs_kma (www.imwithfred.com)
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To: jbwbubba

I often see a few old men in the local village (south of Rotterdam) riding bicycles with wooden shoes on their feet. No joke!


33 posted on 08/20/2007 1:45:22 PM PDT by Cap Huff
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To: BronzePencil

First it was Alexis de Toqueville, then Jack Kerouac and the memorable Malcolm Merriweather; now we have Chris Aandewiel reminding us that all is not wrong with the world as we know it. :>)


34 posted on 08/20/2007 1:46:17 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: BronzePencil

After 11,000 miles or so it’s about time to change the bearings in the crank and maybe the wheels.


35 posted on 08/20/2007 1:48:50 PM PDT by deport (>>>--Keep your powder dry--<<< [ Meanwhile:-- Cue Spooky Music--])
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To: james500
My in-laws are Dutch and live in a small rural village. As I'm a teacher, I was curious about the school there, so I asked their neighbor (also a teacher) if she could arrange a visit. She could. The kids found out I was coming, and wrote a couple of hundred questions about America. A lot of them were about weapons, violence, and the like, the same kinds of things they see on TV. I pointed out to them that the US is a lot bigger than the Netherlands, and that, as such, we have more people and more "hot spots" than they do. Also, our media is more invasive, and is more apt to rely on the sensational. Most of them understood this, and the myth of shootouts in the street and everyone driving fast cars was, I hope, dispelled. They applauded at the end.
36 posted on 08/20/2007 1:50:57 PM PDT by Othniel (Mohammad: False Prophet and Smeghead Deluxe....)
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To: BronzePencil
So a Dutchman bicycled back and forth across America. I bet hundreds of Americans have bicycled across the Netherlands, but do they get noticed? Noooo... < /sarc>

(I checked a map and it looks like it would take 2 weeks to circle the Netherlands at his 30 miles/day pace).

37 posted on 08/20/2007 1:51:06 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (May the heirs of Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski rise up again to defend Europe.)
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To: BronzePencil

Quote from the Dutch cyclist:

“After being here, I really think that [Americans] aren’t that different than the Dutch,” Aandewiel said. “In fact, I really think they are friendlier — and really more helpful than Dutch people.”

Duh! Make sure you tell every European you meet!


38 posted on 08/20/2007 1:54:14 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: BronzePencil
Along the way, he saw coyotes, bald eagles, blue whales, black bears, a condor, and a moose.

Dang, Blue whales on a bike. But kudos to the guy for taking this adventure. I'm glad to know that Americans did not disappoint him.

39 posted on 08/20/2007 1:54:27 PM PDT by Fzob (In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Jefferson)
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To: BronzePencil

Aw the Dutch. A whole lot stupid and soft now are being over run by Muslims.
Alex, I’ll take stubborn and arrogant for a thousand.


40 posted on 08/20/2007 1:57:24 PM PDT by em2vn
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To: BronzePencil

The problem is most foreigners get their impressions of Americans from Hollywood, American television, the repugnant US music industry, and the equally repugnant MSM. Think about that...that is one warped viewpoint.


41 posted on 08/20/2007 1:58:20 PM PDT by khnyny (The best minds are not in government. If they were, business would hire them away. Ronald Reagan)
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To: BronzePencil

You have to be friendly to people like this. How else are you gonna get close enough to steal their wallets?


42 posted on 08/20/2007 2:01:50 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: tumblindice

Funny, Funny.


43 posted on 08/20/2007 2:02:29 PM PDT by Buckhead (making the comments buckhead won't make.)
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To: taxcontrol

I ride about 100 miles a week on my road bike. The key is to keep riding so your butt gets used to the ride. Also, use of “bag balm” on a key spot helps. Further, leaning on your handlebars helps reduce the weight on your butt.


44 posted on 08/20/2007 2:04:40 PM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Sing Glorious! Glorious!
One keg of beer for the four of us.
Glory be to God that there ain't no more of us,
'Cause one of us could drink it all alone,
Damn near!

45 posted on 08/20/2007 2:09:55 PM PDT by kitchen (Hey, Pericles. What are the three things a ruler must know?)
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To: vbmoneyspender
"What's wrong with being a little arrogant and stubborn"

Nothin' wrong with that when you're good and right.

46 posted on 08/20/2007 2:11:09 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie
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To: BronzePencil

Getting his wallet stolen is the least he deserves to coming to America and screwing up traffic for 11,000 miles.

George: What is Holland?

Jerry: What do you mean, ‘what is it?’ It’s a country right next to Belgium.

George: No, that’s the Netherlands.

Jerry: Holland *is* the Netherlands.

George: Then who are the Dutch?


47 posted on 08/20/2007 2:11:25 PM PDT by Hacklehead (I'm not here to make friends.)
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To: BronzePencil

Cool! He had a great adventure and found truth.


48 posted on 08/20/2007 2:12:32 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: jbwbubba
How can he ride a bike with wooden shoes; I’m sure he misses his windmill. Still its a good thing to get past sterotypes.

LOL! Not only that, but it's too bad he couldn't have done this a couple years earlier. If only he'd been down in New Orleans when Katrina came through, his genetic background might have enabled him to avert a catastrophy by sticking his finger in the dike that failed.

49 posted on 08/20/2007 2:18:57 PM PDT by MCH
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To: toddlintown
Socialist bum.

Don't even bother to read the damn article. No, don't do that.

This man had a very positive experience. And now knows a great deal about the real America.

50 posted on 08/20/2007 2:23:51 PM PDT by don-o (Do the RIGHT thing. Become a monthly donor. End Freepathons forever)
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