August 2012

A forum where you can read the great
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Sep 02, 11:39 pm

Day 22 last full day

Rain and then sun.
That cool Amsterdam breeze is definitely back
Almost like the season flipped while we were asleep

It is so cool I get to wear the insulated vest that I brought and usually always need.

It is just so darn beautiful!!
Can I contain myself?

The radio station this morning:
Hey mambo... 50's song
Followed by
Lite operetta
Followed by
Massive attack
Followed by 
French torch song from the 30's
You get the idea.   Time travel, space travel with a totally disconnected sound track.  It just is absolutely appropriate!

Last night's party was such perfection.  With every goodbye, there was a hug, the Dutch  three kisses, along with wishes that we stay or just not leave.  Or even the recognition, that it feels like we have always been there.  Our heart strings were pretty well plucked.

So on to the day
Our last full day
I promised myself to forgo any melancholy until our return to the states
Oddly, I am happy
We feel rooted
Like this really is just an extension of our lives
As opposed to an isolated vacation experience.

I can not help wondering.....
Is this the last time to experience Amsterdam as we know it and love it?
Or is this just an exercise in non reality projection and fear mongering
When we turn to the weitpass.

how will the immediate future play out-
Dutch elections....
American elections......
Legalization vote in Colorado...

I have heard a couple of times now from dutch citizens that they believe Wilders is a plant from the Israeli nation, sent to destroy the Muslim world.  What a twisted world that functions around us.  True or not.....
can't we all just get along?

First stop paradox with the dog.  Walk in and see that the corner table is filled with locals.  And OMG, there is a dog in the little prince's favorite spot.  I fear there might be trouble.  There is a whining communication occurring between the two.   We allow the dogs to smell each other.  The whining stops.  A peace is made and the other dog resumes the favored  position and the little prince accepts  his reality and decides to sit on a chair with us at the table.  I find dog communications so intriguing, it was so clear, direct and complete.

After a fashion, they left and we took possession of the corner booth.
The dog immediately assumed the guard position. Guess all dogs must like this spot.

  A man walks in, gets his juice, turns and says hello and asks if we are Americans.  Yup, we admit to it.  He sits and joins us.  He is a software engineer.  Moved to Amsterdam 4 years ago from southern california.  He says even the winters are not that bad!  Which surprised me coming from a SoCa resident.   he  looked me in the eyes and just said- start making your plan now, and get your asses over here.   Geez, these people ( amsterdam expats) are coming out of the wood work from all directions and delivering us a very specific message.

Walk back to the boat.  Pass Moooi, a Dutch furniture design store on westerstraat.
Confession- for at least the past 4 years, every time I walk pass the store,
I say we should stop in.  Ever time we both nod yes, but say not now.  Really how hard is it to make a 10 or 15 minute detour?   We walk past once again, look at each other and without a word turn around and walk in.

If you enjoy design and furniture that makes you smile.  Take a detour and stop in and have a look.   The chairs, tables and lamps are beyond imagination.  A pig table, or a full sized horse lamp.  A cabinet painted with bombs, and skulls.
Quirky seating.  Not a big commitment, but it will tickle the fancy for those that enjoy such things.

Off for the final acquisitions
The mate wants Amsterdam mugs for us.
2 For the city and 2 for the country place.
Mugs to start the morning with a smile on our faces and a sweet remembrance
to prove this was not Dream.

Buy our Chocolates from Puccini bonboni.
Get some Reypenaer cheese for us
A final stop at the grey area

One more shopping incident - find what I want... But I want the version with 3 pieces, not the one with 5 pieces.   Shop owner checks, only has the version with 5 pieces.  So, how to remedy this?  The shop owner gives me the 5 piece set for the price of the 3 piece set.  Really??  There was no bargaining or questioning or pushing on my part.   I am shocked every time I go out in this town, that shop owners are not attempting to get the most of what they can from me.  But instead, treat me fairly and more than justly.  The mate bought rolling paper at a shop, two doors down they were selling the same papers for 1 euro cheaper.  He walked back to the original shop, for the hell of it, told the shop owner...  and the shop owner apologized and gave him back an additional euro.   These things just do not happen in the states.  At least it is not my experience in the northeast.

The only other thing to do is the gawking at canals, architecture and sky.

We had been invited to stop by for a 
4:20  break at tak's with Winnie and holly 

Geez, feels like old friends, like we have known each other for decades.  Kindred spirits are like that.

Good conversation, a lot of talk about moving and options.  When holly declares- you are not ready to move!  She's right, ya know.   Aa much as i want to be here.  We are not ready.  We have created a really good life, have it wired well.  We both have family responsibilities that need attention and can not be shirked. 

Maybe there is a way to have the best of both worlds.
That will be my next knot to untie.  Patience, flexibility and creativity.
Have to see if we come up with a workable plan.

"If you work hard at something but find that too many obstacles prevent you from accomplishing it, you may have to give up. In that case, you shouldn’t get depressed. Conditions aren’t right. Perhaps this will change, perhaps it won’t. You are not a failure. Becoming upset only causes suffering.

- Master Sheng Yen, "The Wanderer"

Dragged ourselves away somewhere between 7 -8
Needed to Walk the dog and as the mate says and pack while we are still
functional.  So, we did walk the dog.
But then had to smoke.
Ahhhggghhhj, now we are hungry
Gotta use up the remaining food.
Prepare and eat
Now we need our 'digestive aid' smoke or 2. 
Then clean up
Geez, 23,30 and we are just beginning the pack up
Not that early start we expected.  The final pack up always 
Poses the question -
how did I fit all of this into that?

Now with the addition of mugs, candies
And a variety of  Amsterdam magnets ( okay cheesy, but a good simple small token gift). Ohh, yeah .......and all those socks!  Those are really an awful lot of socks - appears as if they could fill the suitcase on their own!   What was I thinking?  ( right, I was high.  I was on my own, I think I bought maybe three times as much as I usually do!)

 gotta stop worrying about how this will work and just start filling the suitcase already.  It literally took us two hours to complete the task.  Obviously we had to take some stress breaks, but with a whole lot of pushing and shoving and rolling and stuffing we got everything in to the bursting expanded suitcases.

Nothing left to do

Time to go to sleep for one last time
In our houseboat home

It is a cool night
It will be a good sleep

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Postby chichi123 » Mon Sep 03, 4:55 pm

I take one entire day to pack all my shitta. Lovely report WC. Safe travels back!

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Sep 03, 6:20 pm

Thanks chich -

Day 23

Beautiful day
I do not think in all of our numerous visits to Amsterdam
That we Have had such consistently wonderful weather.
The few rains were well timed.
And the storm On our party nite was superb.
Holly said she had never seen a storm such as that one
In all her years in the city.

I am amazingly light hearted
Happy.  Joyous.  Grateful.
Extremely Grateful.
This is it, the day we leave
I am surprised to feel so enthused.
Our time here has had the effect of a mental, physical and spiritual renewal

What a wonderful life
How lucky we are
How lucky ALL of us are
Being able to travel,
To experience the best the planet and humanity has to offer.
I could hug everyone today.

Go over to find holly and tak's booth at the market.
They have made the most generous offer of storing our luggage 
at their booth for those couple of awkward hours,  after our check out.
The market is crowded, it will be a massive effort to get the large unyielding suitcases to them, BUT at least it is an option.

Ride the bikes back to return them.  
It's real
The lady says - I will see you soon?
I said I hope so.
She says - then next week , see you then! And laughs

I am left with the bikes.  Mate leaves to do something says to meet him at paradox.  Long line at the bike shop.  Finally my turn - I don't have the bike papers... The mate has them.  Run over to paradox, he is not there, back to the bike shop- she says don't worry, I will find them.  She dissappears into the back.  The line grows longer.  She reappears with a smile and allows me to pay and leave.  Back to paradox.  Still no mate.  I ask willem, if he shows up, to tell him I went back to the boat.  I leave.  5 minutes later mate shows up, we grab the dog and walk back to paradox.  we walk in and immediately willem says, she's on the boat mate!  We all start laughing.

Have our oj sat in the favored corner and just enjoyed being there.  Got our hugs and formal goodbyes.  A slow stroll back thru the Jordaan,  can any place be more special and creative?  I am still in love, but I am not feeling a sense of loss.

it is time to check out of the house boat and see how this luggage thing will work, getting thru the maze of the Saturday market.

Wow.  Although check out is 13,00.  He shows up at 12,30.  Glad we got back before he showed up!

We finalize everything 
Then he says the words I am longing to hear-
we can leave our luggage until 15,00.  
Longer than we need.
It may be a small thing, but it is huge to us
To not have to navigate the market with large suitcases,
Or deal with moving them back out of the market for a cab
Is heavenly.  

Went over to tak for just one more Final good bye

Walked the dog over to 137

We sat out front on one side of the door, on the other side were some locals with a dog.  Lordy, the two dogs started wailing at each other, like long lost lovers.  They carried on so, that we allowed them to get closer and sniff.  It was a little girl pug, thought the prince would be happy with that.  He went over to her, both of their tails wagging rapidly - *sniff*  then the prince just turns around and comes back to sit with us.  He is just not interested.  She continues to pant and wail, trying really hard to get his attention.  He does not care.

Well.  We have reached that place
Not here
Not there
Kind of feeling that cosmic transition
Time to leave

But I am happy
In a cab leaving the city
On the radio, this old song begins...

I'm Leaving on a jet plane..
Don't know when I'll be back again....

Like some weird comedy
My eyes get all watery
And a sob sneaks out
That was unexpected!
Quickly recompose 
Stop listening to the radio and getting all emotional!

Once at the airport.  We deal with check in.  Of course, even though everything was confirmed and straightened out - it appears we will again have problems.
We are left standing at the  check in line while the lady attending to us disappears.  She was gone for almost 15 minutes!  Gave us plenty of time, to work up a worry.  But, figure it would not make any difference if we are stressed - so we relax.   She finally returns and starts out really negatively..
She ends her story with everything is okay and we are cleared to go.  The mate wonders why she could have not just said that, instead of making it sound like there was a problem.

Does not matter.  
The flight back was uneventful
Except for the damn 20 something who was totally out of control.  Space cake or truffles, hard to know.  She laughs loudly, really loudly for the entire flight. So annoying.  Try to sleep, but constantly awakened by this loud, very loud crazy laughter.

Gawd.  I sure hope I was not that obnoxious when I was a youth.
I was about ready to shove a sock in her mouth.

Terrible traffic getting back to the city
I could see the stress filling in the contours of the mate's face.
We laugh
We are back

Keep waking and thinking we are still in the boat.
Morning in NY
And I have a fever, stuffed nose and a very scratchy throat
Perfect- I have a jam packed week of work, no place to hide

Welcome home..

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Postby 27guldens » Mon Sep 03, 9:58 pm

Thank you WC, very enjoyable reading.

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Postby xorquin » Tue Sep 04, 12:32 am

Awesome trip report
thanks for sharing so much
was a great way to spend an hour reflecting back on so many of my own trips

hope things don't change too much and i (we) can make it back again in the next year or two

thanks for all the time and detail to take us on a fabulous vacation :)

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Postby yogibear » Tue Sep 04, 1:55 pm

Like I was there. Thanks!

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Postby Tall Guy » Tue Sep 04, 1:59 pm


Superb effort, thanks!

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Postby winnie » Tue Sep 04, 4:24 pm

WC, It was fantastic to meet you three. Lots left on the 'to do' list for the next trip ;) Miss you and looking forward to the next time already xx

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Sep 04, 7:23 pm

winnie wrote:WC, It was fantastic to meet you three. Lots left on the 'to do' list for the next trip ;) Miss you and looking forward to the next time already xx

Winnie - We three miss you too!
Was really wonderful getting to know you-
It is what made this trip so special!

Looking forward to the next time we meet.

We will always have the penguin circle!!


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Postby des » Wed Sep 05, 4:49 am

I'm sorry that your trip is over! ... I've really enjoyed the daily reports!

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences!

Peace, Des.

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Postby moe. » Mon Oct 08, 8:20 pm

I just got around to reading this years report. I was smoking some LA Confidential from my spring harvest while reading it. Loved it. Thanks for sharing.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Oct 10, 3:11 pm

moe. wrote:I just got around to reading this years report. I was smoking some LA Confidential from my spring harvest while reading it. Loved it. Thanks for sharing.

glad you had the proper equipment on hand to enjoy the report : >

it was a really great trip. The memories and images of it are still keeping a smile on our faces. we continue the task of trying to figure out how we can move.

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