Dance! - The Road to Heavies: lesson 59, March 27, 2015
Chaos... and 'that was a close call'
This day starts like no other. Things change when the radio at work cuts out around 9.45 AM. When the radio gets back to us around 11 AM and slowly news comes in about powercuts in different areas of the Netherlands, it becomes clear quite quickly that we're dealing with a major, nearly province-wide powercut: almost the whole of North-Holland is, or has been, without power.
For the average foreigner reading this: Power-cuts are extremely rare in The Netherlands, let alone on this scale.
Ah well, we'll see. Around 4 PM a co-worker informs me that there still is no train-service. As he takes the same train I do, I'll have to think of something else.
If I take one of the 3 bus-services to Amsterdam that have a stop in front of the place where I work, I'll probably get to Amsterdam, to take a bus home from there. I leave work with high hopes at 16.45 AM. The bus-station is slightly more busy, but not in a way you immediately think something's wrong.
The Amsterdam-bound bus that stops in front of me isn't crowded at all. Everyone can find a seat and it's on schedule as well.
Things change when we get to the last 5 stops in Amsterdam. It now becomes busy and with another 3 stops to go, the bus starts to get crammed.
I can just hear that many people who usually not take this bus are now on board: everybody talks about the powercut and how it has affected their journey. At the Mosplein-stop another 10 passengers want to board, where I really feel we have already maxed out on the number of passengers.
With a bit of shuffling and pushing we can take them in as well and drive on, until we get into the IJ-tunnel. In front of us traffic is slowly moving and just out of the tunnel we just have to stop. Every junction is one big pile of cars and buses and the total grid-lock means we will hardly get through.
The clock passes 5.30 PM: I'll have to hurry slightly to make it in time for danceclass.
Inch by inch we make our way to the first possibility to leave the bus. The clock strikes 5.40: before I get on the next bus it will be at least a quarter to 6 and the bus I'm in now has not even reached its stop yet...
Crawling to the busstop
A quarter to 6... In face of the destination we have now gotten to a stop at the Odebrug. It is not until 10 minutes past 6 that I make a run from the bus to the central station. Inside things are looking familiar, but this time there's no heavy snow or windstorm and also no severe accident. Everywhere groups of travellers have sat down, there's staff everywhere, the stations food-and-drinks stalls are in big business and when the announcement of one of the very few trains that will be leaving echoes through the stationbuilding, some people frantically start running to the right platform.
The situation on the busplatform also makes clear the consequences of such a wide-area powercut for just a few hours in the middle of the day: It's incredibly busy and the chaos has gotten to a point that Connexxion has even diverted its buses back to Zaandam, which now leave from the ferry-dock at the other side of the IJ.
As the number of travellers grows, I start to wonder whether we will all fit in just one 304 or 307 service.
Fortunately, it's not that bad. Everybody has a seat and we leave almost immediately. Unfortunately, I also know this ride will have 'difficulties': the 391-service I was just in had to battle a major chaos and I now have to battle that same chaos again, but now in the other direction and on a different bus...
And what do you know, we do have to battle. 15 minutes past the hour we haven't even crossed the Odebrug yet. I send a text to my teacher, that I most likely won't be able to make it.
That's not completely down to the fact I will be home so late, but also because I seriously doubt whether this madness has resolved itself when I take a bus that will enter Amsterdam city center around 20 minutes past 8 again...
When I get home at 6.45 PM, I take in an evening meal, call my teacher to ask if I can hitch a ride (Which proves to be no problem) and then jump into the shower. This way, I manage to be on my way to Amsterdam again, less than an hour after leaving Amsterdam behind me...
Today, two new beginners joined us and I have to be honest, it's a refreshing feeling to not be the beginner-beginner...
Even though, I recognise how they struggle with the same things I was struggling with in the beginning (the tendency to start walking and covering huge distances)
The Reel is flawless. I complete the Light Jig in parts after a few failed attempts. I do continue as quick as possible, even with the step that takes me so much effort so far. I even try the side-step, a step I hardly practiced and hardly know.
Let's bust that ankle!
The Slip Jig is no problem at all was well. At least, not until the last 4 or 5 steps that is. There's plenty of energy left in me, I've got balance, I'm not nervous because people are looking... no, this is just bad luck.
I switch over to my right foot and completely unexpected, my ankle folds away from underneath me. Because I'm so high on my toes my two smallest toes get to endure the worst.
I scare the crap out of my teacher and I can hear sighs from everyone inside the hall. When the teacher has paused the music she immediately asks if I broke my ankle. Fortunately, that's not the case. I do realise how lucky I got and with a 'close-call' look on my face I limp to the back of the hall.
A few classmembers think I kicked the wall. That's also not the case, I just busted my ankle really bad. It had to happen some time, 3 years and 60 classes after I started.
I feel lucky for my very long outer ligaments, so the ankle itself isn't all that painful. My 2 smallest toes are a different story, although the pain is receiding.
If I get the chance to dance the Slip Jig from the side step again, I do have to stop. It hurts too much to continue. I take off my shoe to look at the damage, but apart from some red-coloured skin because of the friction it experiences inside the shoe, there's nothing to see.
With the heavy-shoe stuff, the first few steps are quite okay. I do notice that my toes make sure to let me know they are with certain steps and eventually I do give up.
"I will feel this tomorrow..." is my first and only though. Annoying, as I also have a driving lesson tomorrow.
I get a few steps for the Saint Patrick, but forgot to take my notebook to write them down. I practice them and hope I still know them when I get home.