Amsterdam

5.17.2010



Before I leave in the morning, I wear more layers than Tammy Faye.

Like a knife through overcooked zucchini, I slice through traffic on my trusty bike, dodging tourists, cars, scooters, trams, and tough, street-wise pigeons.

No matter which direction I'm heading, somehow the wind is in my face.

I wash my hands in cold water only, not by choice - because there is no choice - but via long-standing Calvinist frugality.


I walk up to the server to pay my bill, thanking him/her for the privilege of being their customer.

I'm hurdling dog turd so often that I've invented a new sport - turdling.

I have my choice of a thousand cool cafes, restaurants, festivals, pastry shops, outdoor markets and bars.

I take a whiz outside at one of those green stalls, just because I can.


I go for a run and pass fellow joggers who are wearing jean jackets and cardigans.

I go to the gym and see that the spandex industry continues to thrive.

It's 20 degrees in the sun, but it drops to 2 when I step into the shade.

I meet the friendliest person I've ever met and then the rudest person I've ever met, both in the same cafe.

I speak four languages in the same day and hear four more that I want to learn.

I graciously donate my sunglasses to the canal when I bend over to lock my fiets.

I cycle past endless canals, dappled with sun during the day and framed by impossibly romantic lighting at night.

At 4am, I awaken to a huge cat fight (not the sexy kind) just outside my wafer-thin window.

I (mostly) look forward to repeating it all the next day.

Today, I am an Amsterdammer.


2 comments:

Beatriz said...

How many truths are in this post!! But…you forgot the crazy trams trying to run over tourists announcing their imminent presence with their bell :)
What does it keep us in this city?
People get attached to Amsterdam because it is a different experience every day. Fietsbellen, bussen, trammen, wagens…maar bijna geen voetgangers, bloemen, water, alle kleuren, mensen en wereld gastronomie!! It is not possibility to feel alone here. There will always be someone who greets you in the street or cares about you for a second. You will appreciate more the warmth in your face of those few sunrays while you cross through the canals. You might entertain yourself watching the ducks while they are getting ready to sleep or possibly the interior of one of the lighted houses will bring you some ideas for your own design. There is an interaction between its citizens and Amsterdam itself, a connection between inside and outside quite important as well.
When I go for a walk, I always notice something different on my way which makes me feel that everything is alive. I get emotional and this gives me energy to get back to life.
Yes, I fully believe that I understand your day. Amsterdam makes us feel part of it.

Jeff Funnekotter said...

Wow - crafted like a true architect! Very nice... gracias Bea.