The last few weeks I have, with the help of my parents, finally cracked a puzzle which has long troubled me – if cycling is so good for you and everything, and the Dutch cycle so much, why don’t they live for ever? After all, every hour of cycling you do effectively adds an extra hour onto your life* – and yet the Dutch, despite doing everything from walking their dogs to moving house on bicycles, have only managed to extend their life expectancy by a measly six months.
And then my mum asked if we wanted to take the couple of packets of stroopwafel that their Dutch visitors had brought home with them and I discovered that they’re about as addictive as crack cocaine, but with more calories, and probably fewer nutritional virtues. And apparently the Dutch on average eat 20 of them a year, which combined with cheese for breakfast and a popular post-school snack of bread sprinkled with sugar (middle-class families make sure it’s brown bread) probably does a lot to undo the good work of all that cycling.
I’m not about to start eating gouda for breakfast but it’s got to the point where a cup of coffee without a nice sugary lid balanced on the top, going steadily gooier and meltier as the steam softens the syrup within (and all without rendering the last mouthful revolting with a slurry of crumbs as happens with dunked biscuits) is a cup of coffee wasted.
Fortunately, we have almost finished the second packet and that will have to be it because I’m not sure that even if were to fetch them individually, from the Netherlands, by bicycle, would I have cycled far enough to undo all the damage…
* Which is why this chap is effectively immortal