On my first day in Amsterdam, after sleeping off my jet lag, I went out to buy a bicycle. I went with several of my housemates down to the nearest market where a man was set up selling bikes that had been claimed by the police after sitting too long chained up on a public bike rack. These bikes looked leprotic, rusty and peeling, but I think I was less excited by my first car than this bike purchase. It cost 80 euro and it was a piece of junk.
When my semester abroad was over, I tried so hard to figure out a way to get it back to the states. My forest green fiets couldn't possibly go back to the police auction booth or to some less deserving student! But in the end I asked my housemate to hand it over to an incoming student. They probably didn't love it as much as I did, but I hope they enjoyed riding around Amsterdam at the very least.
I think of Amsterdam daily. The strangest things remind me of my time there: a cup of extremely strong coffee, my old duvet cover, a rusty bike chained outside the public library. I wanted to design a sock I would be proud to wear as I biked down the Bickersstraat on my way to class, with a design that would be noteworthy only to those who looked hard.