Amsterdam Part II
I left the windows open before I crashed. When we awoke, the room was filled with cool Amsterdam morning air. It was a cloudy day and you smell the rain coming. The previous two days have been sunny and pleasant. Today it's dark and chilly. The weather fits my mood on the day I'm about to leave.
I didn't think I was going to make it on Monday night. After one hour of sleep on my flight, I was exhausted. I almost passed out three times over the course of Monday evening. All three times we were back in the room, but at the last second, I'd rally and find that extra burst of energy to go back out. It's the energy. Amsterdam has plenty of it and it's the type of city that gets me fired up afterwards to go write.
When you cross the street, you have to look both ways and pay attention or you're gonna suffer a collision with one pissed off person who's gonna curse your ass out in Dutch. I almost got hit a bunch of times by a cyclist. I figured that once every hour I almost walk right in the path of a bike lane. Beware the bikers. They have right of way over cars. I'm a New Yorker and we jaywalk everywhere. I almost saw some Dutch suit bite it yesterday when he nearly walked into a tram and some random guy saved him.
Museums in Amsterdam are kick ass. I've been to both the Rijks and the Van Gogh before and it's always fascinating to return to see amazing art. A walk through the galleries is always inspiring. We ran through both fairly quickly. I took a crap load of pictures of church steeples and hot Dutch girls on bicycles. I know Daddy wanks off to both.
In Japan, you'd see these tiny Japanese school girls in their tiny outfits get onto the most crowded subways. They looked adorable. In Holland, the private high schoolgirls trip me out. They all wear funky outfits. One group wears a black jacket, white shirt, black tie, black knickers, and pink knee high socks. I did a double take when I saw a group of ten peddle right by me. When we walked around the other day, I spotted another group of high school girls. That outfit was just a white shirt, blue skirt, and blue and white striped knee high socks. The third group were signing in a circle in Vondel Park. They had regular clothes on, but for some reason they all wore an over garment that resembled a chekered red and white picnic table table cloth. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn't know if immigration would be fond to find hundreds of shots of underaged Dutch girls on bicycles. I know Daddy likes to rub it out to those images.
Briana found a small pastry shop that sells kick ass croissants. They cost $0.80 Euros and I can eat three they are so tasty that they dissolve as soon as you bite into them. She went shopping yesterday. Amsterdam gets a bad rap for the hash bars and the hookers, but there's some pretty good shopping here. I'm oblivious. Usually, I'll go write or check email and Briana would go shopping. We wandered through the tulip bulb market along side one of the canals. Centuries ago, people used tulip bulbs as actual currency.
Spent more time in various cafes and hash bars and wandered back over to Vondel Park. We made more of an effort to talk to random people. We didn't want to say we were Americans, so we pretended that we were Canadians. I'd add, "eh?" to the end of my sentences and Briana said, "aboot" a lot. Ah, Europeans don't hate Americans as much as we think. They like us, they just hate our leaders. And the French hate everyone especially Lance Armstrong.
I ate fries with Dutch mayo. That stuff is better than ketchup. Miracle whip it is not.
Late night, I saw two Amsterdam bicycle cops pedal over to one guy walking down the street. When they yelled, "Hey, stop!" he should have darted through one of the alleys. He just stood there and tried to throw away a needle. One of the cops was a female and I realized that when some Europeans talk to one another, they use English as their common language. The junkie was Russian, as I noticed by his passport. The male cop detained him while the female cop made fun of the guy. "Do you think we are stupid? You did not even try to hide the needle."
The cops were laughing after their bust. Now you have to fuck up pretty hard core to get arrested in Amsterdam.
We tired to stay up very late and hit up various cafes, bars, and coffee shops. We played pool with a couple of Americans and I won about $50 Euros in different side bets. I was in much better shape on Tuesday and last until 6am while Briana passed out around 4am. I spent my last waking hours talking to drug dealers and drunk vagrants near Dam Square and the rest of the time writing. Most of the cafes and hash bars close at 1am.
Check out time is right about now and Briana has a train to Paris to catch and I have a few hours to kill before my train departs for Shipol Airport. I fly to Barcelona in a few hours. I was going to take the train to Barcelona, but the flight was cheaper.
It's time to go and it feels like I just got here. Man, I don't want to go either. I have that ill feeling I get in my stomach when I leave a place I really really like.
"Who says we can't move to Amsterdam?" was something Briana said as I sipped on my beer last night. It made sense to me.
I'd like to wander around the city some more and take photos, but it's raining. This break away from everything has been spectacular. No cellphones and no poker. But the poker hiatus is about to change...