Yesterday I bought a sewing machine.
I was eying this one I found at a second hand store (Het Goed, it's called) for 12.50 euro. It was old, but seemed to be in good condition, had all it's parts, and a four week guarantee from the store. So I figured why not. I got Dana to fashion some elastic bands to the flat part of my bike over the rear tire and made my way over there.
I was pleased to find that the sewing machine was still there so I promptly purchased it, and hobbled out the door trying to carry the thing. I'm guessing it was at least 30lbs. I had a really hard time carrying it. I also loaded up on cheap fabric, a print of some birds, and two small flower pots that occupied all the available space in my messenger bag.
So I get to my bike, and realize there is no way the bungee/elastic cord things will fit over the entire sewing maching and it's respective case. So I take out the machine, remove the guiding foot and needle, and slide the flat part of the machine under the elastic. I had my over stuff bag slung over my right shoulder and resting on my left hip, and the case of the sewing machine in my right hand (and somehow I was still able to have both hands on the handle bars).
This is probably no big deal to any Dutch person that's probably moved furniture with their bikes, but holy, that was a difficult ride home. I nearly crashed in the middle of an intersection in front Het Goed, but after some adjusting and picking up momentum I did alright. I dreaded any corners or red lights, as everything would start to wobble.
But alas, about 20 minutes later, I arrived at home. Sweaty and a little shaken, but unscathed.
If living in the Netherlands was like Girl Guides, I think I would have a new badge for my sash.