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Tropical Parrots and Suffering Surfers

A couple weeks ago we had a rogue early morning that was a fair bit warmer than the days before. I’m only talking 7 degrees Celsius (mid-40s Fahrenheit) here, but warm IS relative, you know.

I was putting out the garbage can for early pick-up, and immediately noticed the sound of the birds in some of the trees. Not just any birds, mind you, but the distinct chirping of Den Haag’s parrots.

Yes.

Parrots.

Wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen them from time to time as I walked Oli the lawbreaking Dopey Dog, in nearby woodlands.

(Yes folks, two different links there for Oli; I think they explain him quite aptly.)

Most are green, but occasionally you’ll see birds of blue and yellow and flashes of red.

I’m not entirely sure where they come from.

Local lore is that they are pets who have either escaped or been set free.

Regardless, they somehow survive in this oh-so-non-tropical climate, and appear to be growing in numbers.

I can’t tell you how jarring it is to see and hear parrots in the Netherlands. We’re 52 degrees north latitude here in Den Haag, right on the vast, cold expanse of the North Sea.

For perspective, we’re further north than Vancouver or New Foundland in Canada,  or London. Further north than North Korea which, as a geographically challenged American, I had thought was waaayy further north.

I marvel at their survival skills, these crafty little birds.

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Driving home in Den Haag yesterday evening as we approached the beach town of Scheveningen, the handmade sign on the dark blue delivery van ahead of me read:

CHRISTIAN SURFERS

I blinked twice to ensure I was reading it correctly.

Originally I thought it said ‘Christian Sufferers’, which actually might make more sense. In the ‘suffering for one’s faith’ vein.

But it was ‘Christian Surfers’.

Who are they?

Are they believers who just happen to  ‘ride the pipeline’ in the name of the Lord?

Tropical parrots and Christian surfers.

Never thought I’d see either when I moved to the Netherlands. They certainly don’t have anything in common.

Or DO they??

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