August 2012

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

worldcitizen1723
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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Aug 23, 10:08 pm

Don't let me just talk to myself here.


Day 13   8/22

Now, do we worry about the "kids"?

Nay

Wish they would have communicated their intentions
Or asked some more questions prior to their exit
But Figure we'll find them with all limbs attached
This evening for our bike ride out to dinner at de kas

(we saved the majority of our restaurant dining, for this week, while they
are visiting)

This is what I call the perfect Amsterdam day
Sun and clouds, a nice breeze
68 degrees

Woke late and rode over to kadinsky's
To play pinball

Don't want to talk about it
lol
But I will anyway  : >

The one game I surrendered and deeply confessed I can not longer play this game - was the one game I rocked it
Go figure
The rest of time 
Shameful
The mate is better - but even he is not playing at 
His best.....just better


We agreed Amsterdam is best without an agenda


Late Breakfast at green woods (14,00)
Both of us had the eggs florentine
beautiful presentation
But the yolks were hard
The mate joked
After 12,00 it becomes an egg salad sandwich with spinach.
It was still good.  In the states I would have sent the dish back
With a complaint - but here?   Why bother?!  ( don't misinterpret,
not because of lowered expectation, but rather out of the reality that the food I have just been handed is delicious, even if not actually meeting my expectations.)

Signed up for wine and cheese tasting for tomorrow with the kids.

Stopped at grey area.
Bought silver bubble sativa
. (perhaps a new favorite - more full bodied affect)
The mate rates it a 9. Very good.

Also bought the holy grail for this evening. 
Which was also really excellent.  Best indica thus far 9+
(even left me feeling a little hungover the following morning)

Picked up the dog and strolled
Over to 137
This year it has the feel of a Moroccan gang hang out
But everyone is friendly and welcoming.
Guys inside even tap the windows to acknowledge and say dak.

Ride over to pick up the kids
Find them just pulling in with their bikes, not quite prepared for dinner
But, hey they are all in one piece and smiling
Amsterdam is working her majick.

The city:
They liked the feel of the bricks under their feet
The feel  of being surrounded by living history
The rhythms of the city, the people.
I think they understand why we continue to return.
Yes, they found some fungus and had a wonderful afternoon.
She got tricked twice ordering iced tea and receiving a can of 
Bubbly, canned, liptons tea.

Reminded me of china.  Order orange juice and receive a can of orange crush soda.

At the rilke and the van Gogh museums  they thought the museum folk
were in cahoots with the drug culture - cause some of the walls were more 
Interesting than the paintings : >

We rode off to DeKas by bike, a stunning breezy perfect Amsterdam day.
It is such a beautiful setting.  Though, I  gotta admit, somewhere 3/4 of the way there, I always panic and think that we are totally lost.  Happened again, this time.  We found it, of course.  It is such a beautiful setting, the green house in the park, the vegetables, herbs and flowers that will be your dinner growing in the back (of course, they do have a larger farm out of the city)

I always admire the jelly fish like light fixtures hanging from  the ceiling
And the beautiful transition from day to night while dining.

Food was really excellent but, this was the first time some portion of it
Did not absolutely knock my socks off.  Still a lovely experience, enjoyed by all.
We all did the 4 glass of wine, wine pairing.  Oh dear!   Four tipsy and high - cause of course,  the mate and i stopped beforehand to "enjoy" the park and before departing, we needed an after meal digestive aid.   : >
We were laughing and swerving on those bikes.  Thankfully, it was fairly empty on the bike lanes.  Somewhere on the way back the mate declared we were going wrong.  The others agreed.   I KNEW I was correct, but -i am too high on life to bother to argue.   Heck,  we will eventually find our way somehow.  And we did, ending up by central station instead or Rembrandt's house.  

Locked the bikes and walked the RLD at night.  lol, my mate was propositioned
By 2 different men, wanting me!  

The girls....bored girls, on the phone, smoking or staring in to space...then the girls that are really trying to get your attention and working their stuff- doing whatever they can to lure the men in.  All of the construction work on the canal, adds a back alley, gritty forgotten land feel to it.

Another really good day
In a 
Really grand place!

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Postby Rudy » Thu Aug 23, 10:09 pm

Woot!

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Postby Dogbreath » Thu Aug 23, 10:33 pm

Your posts are a pleasure to read WC; every one of them.

Thank you for sharing your adventures and looking forward to hearing more....

Dogbreath
Last edited by Dogbreath on Fri Aug 24, 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: August 2012

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Aug 23, 11:31 pm

John T wrote:WC
My wife doesn’t read channels but I send sections of your posts to her email. Yesterday she said “that lady can writeâ€￾ she especially loved the line “even the older women, let their freak flag fly “, I think she liked it because she fits into that category.


Does she have a job for a travel writer? : >

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Postby chichi123 » Fri Aug 24, 12:18 am

Everyday I look forward to your posts and when you have to go home there will be an empty place in my daily life.



For real.
I *sniff*.
Don't go home.

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Postby kiwi_in_Oz » Fri Aug 24, 1:33 am

Hey WC

Any thoughts of just not going back home? Use the problem with tickets as a good excuse to stay happier ever after?

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Aug 24, 10:11 am

Day 14. 8/23

First let me say....
Really??
Think I should stay?

chichi - you will not be the only sad one "sniff"
There will be an empty space in my life too....

Fuxk mayor - I will be happy to be channels eyes and ears in Amsterdam
Promise to even post pics of the dog

I will wave at the cameras 
And even wear a bear suit if you insist

All we need is a stipend to keep us here ...
I promise to write  every day
On time even....

Whatdoya say?

True confession
2002 - we had everything in order to purchase a B&B here in Amsterdam
Ready to sign the papers and move.   My mother got very ill,  I am the only kid, and the dad has passed.  She needed someone to oversee the nonsense.   I had to stay - we lost the deal.   Never found another option.

Now that I stopped crying in my coffee....
Here's how the day went-

Was supposed to meet the kids at 
Paradox
For some morning edibles to start their day.
(non smokers)
As we were hoping on the bikes to meet them
(it is just two blocks away from them)
Got a phone call....
We got lost.
We are at kadinsky's
Geez - how'd they do that???
Tell the mate to confirm which kadinsky's 
They are at - as there are three. And that is all we need...
They were at the one with the pinball
Told them to Stay still and we will come there instead
So
Kadinsky's for some pinball to start the day
We are still Playing fairly lousy pinball
But - with a joint or a pipe in your hand - who cares?
I like the flashing lights : >

Back to
Paradox
Eat some space cakes, enjoy the fresh oj
And part company

Send the kids off 

They  head  off to the purse museum
One of the historical houses
And Foam
They made it to two out of three
Not bad

Walk the dog
Spied whoopie
She is a
Harassed whoppie this morning
She has a terribly stressed look in her eyes
Found out she was just attacked by another dog
But after rubbing noses with the little prince
Her features soften and her eyes relaxed

Appears most of the males are not fixed/ neutered here
Neither is the prince

In NYC as a male with balls
He is the king of the street
All the little girls roll down before him

Here - he is just one of many
And most of the many are bigger than he.
He has 
Growled more this time than I have ever heard
Guess he is  now a matured little guy
And no longer a kid
Gawd they grow up so quickly!

Spent a lovely afternoon with oracle and his partner
Sitting in the sun outside of amnesia
Easy conversation and a warm vibe
They wanted to turn us on to some great smoke: grey area's  silver bubble
Happened to be exactly what we were smoking...
We shared a Good laugh
Was introduced to another expat while sitting there...

He came for a 10 day vacation, 10 years ago - and has never left
since.  Damn.  

They reminisced about the old days at amnesia and Sunday mornings when the expat community hung out together out front.

I said oh yeah, I remember.  We used to see you all and would be so envious, we so wanted to join in, or be invited in so badly....

Guess it took us a bit of time, 
But we are getting to join the table in a manner...
Or maybe just have a visit

Met the kids for the wine tasting at reypenaer 
We did the wine and cheese tasting

It was actually quite good, informative and fun 
And of course the cheese is superior
I recommend it if you are looking to do something other than visit coffeeshops.
Or perhaps between coffeeshop visits.  
To taste the difference that aging even a couple of months makes with a cheese is fascinating.  Then paring With wine even better.  Great fun tickling the tastebuds.

Next stop Puccini bonboni
Everyone made their choices
We spotted a table at one on the cafes across the canal, grabbed our seats.
Cappuccino and a dark chocolate caramel ball
Heaven in a mouthful

Rode down the singel to the smallest house then looped back to pick up warmer clothes

Westerpark
Drive out to share the little summer cottages 
Then over to pacific parc
Had the wonderful pumpkin soup again
smoked, talked,  ate

Made plans for our final day together
Now we just have to see
If things go as planned

cool night
Beautiful Amsterdam night

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August 2012

Postby John T » Fri Aug 24, 4:55 pm

Greenwoods is such a nice peaceful place. It is just too far
from where we stay to go for breakfast. I did go up there,
on our last trip, for Irish Soda Bread that was highly
recommended by someone, I think, on Channels.
They only make the Soda Bread on certain days and
I went on the wrong day but I think I will try again
next trip. I have it on my mind now that you mentioned it.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sat Aug 25, 12:52 pm

Day  15.   8/24


Started the day with finally getting the faxing issues cleared  up.   It has only taken two weeks.
First the fax store gave me an incorrect number
Then when that was straightened out
When the fax was attempted from the US their machine was 
Non responsive.  They actually turned their machine OFF when
The store closed, so there were limited times to actually fax.   Then to top it off,  the fax number and their phone are the same number, so even trying to fax during the appropriate window of time - it may not go thru, cause they are talking on the phone.....yikes.   My poor friend in the states was going batty.
But unfortunately the fax came  thru and now ever thing is in order for us to return to the states : <

That done.

Meet the kids, for their final day in amsterdam
take them to change money for the next leg of their adventure in Italy.
Then to buy tulips at the floating market
While we send them off shopping
We go to dampring. Quiet, very quiet
Quietest I have ever seen it.  Never usually spend much time in this place 
Due to the crowds, no crowds today.
Smoke okay.  Bought a muffin -weak edibles.  Fancy packaging, but nothing compared to paradox.

A lot of political  canvassing going on all over town
Even Dampring had a sign in the window indicating which parties support weed and which do not.

Young Dutch boys doing their political part and spreading the word.   Three different times I was approached by them trying to get me to support their party.   Each time there was an embarrassed apology when I admitted that I was not Dutch.

Was gonna ride out to find de parade
just following the Amstel river out to Martin Luther king park.
but we passed a lovely looking restaurant on the river named La Riva
So we stopped for a bit of food, instead.

Food was quite fine.
Best part was a terrace out over the river
The kids are shocked that Every place we stop at
Has the freshest of ingredients, the best breads and such high standards of quality.  no crap being served.  They are incredulous.

Dark clouds gathered as we were eating.
we leave, a light drizzly rain begins.
a slow building pelt, but it is warm.
Decide perhaps it would be best to head back to the city
Instead of heading towards the threatening skies
We re-aim our bikes and pedal off .
I yell over my shoulder, "you have not had the full Amsterdam experience, until you have been rained on while riding a bike"

I take them to Rembrandt's house
(admittedly the long way around - I know there was certainly a more direct route, but I loose my bearings a couple of times, and take us for an extended trip in the rain)
Dropped them off and went to bluebird to relax.
I really like  Rembrandt's house - if you have never been there
Worth a visit.
It is real.   not Disney-fied, 
You feel the  presence of  a life once lived while standing in the kitchen.
The bed cabinets are just so inviting and cozy
The studio where he painted....
Like a deep remembrance of a past that is in our DNA 
A foggy memory, difficult to touch.  But vivid none the less.
If ya like this sort of thing - it should be on the todo list- 
At least once!

We go to bluebird to sit and smoke. (we have been to the house, maybe three times over the years - so it's a pass this time around for us)

Take them to Return their bikes
Separate to meet in a couple of hours to go to their final evening out at the supper club.

talk about change!!!

We meet Howie, who has served as the grand master, 
ring leader of the place since the very beginning.   He has referred to us as the hippies from NYC for over a decade and a half.  When we arrive, he opens the doors to the restaurant and puts us in a nice corner bed.  the staff protests, as they are still preparing.   Howie just yells, it's okay, these are my friends! 
A sweet way to begin the evening.

In the early days, howie was a flamboyant drag queen.  Totally outrageous,
Always costumed.  We are all older, a loud patterned shirt is the extent the matured, flamboyant one can muster.
The sweet sadness of the cycle of life

The club is only half filled.  The upstairs beds are empty
It is a Friday nite
It is low key
I mean low key
Quiet subdued
NEVER saw the SC like this before!
The food is done well.  The standards have not been compromised

But the waite staff, is just waite staff.  No playful teasing, cajoling, flirting,
Dancing.....just straightforward waiting.   Sure seems odd.  It definitely changes the vibe.

The Show
Huh?
This place was known for pushing the envelope -
Challenging notions and expectations
appears they gave up.
 Or maybe there is no more envelope to push?
It was uninspired.
This is NOT the supper club that once was.
It was disappointing.

There was a lounge singer that did three songs and a rather dim witted woman carrying a baby, smoking and drinking and dropping the baby.   That was it!
My god how the mighty  have fallen!   Or maybe they just lost their artistic director??   Or they have gotten lazy, very lazy.

Back in the day, when it first started smoking was allowed in the main room,
It would be incredibly smokey with cigarette and weed smoke thickening the air.
There were no open windows or air filtration.  It was as intense and smokey as paradisio ever was.

Then the smoking ban was instigated.  So one of the toilets became the smoking room.   It would be jam packed during the meal with men and women taking breaks,  smoking cigarettes, joints and blunts shoulder to shoulder amongst the urinals.  There would always be good conversation a lot of laughter and a jolly good time in the packed toilet.

So picture this:
A vision of  the end of an era

Me and the mate sitting on the only two chairs in the black tiled toilet with urinals on our sides.  Smoking our pipes.

ALONE in the toilet!

There was not even a hint of a smokey haze in the room!  

We laugh hysterically as we saw ourselves as the dinosaurs we must be!

There was a light rain as we left the supper club.

we walked the kids home for the final time
The mate decided to head off towards amnesia for a tad more indica
And I said the final goodbyes at their door

I think they really liked it here
And understood our passion for the place.

I turned to stroll down the Prinsengracht to go home
just as the  skies opened up 

The rain fell on my head in mini buckets

And me

In my black and white stripped stockings
Red shoes 
Short Black crinoline skirt
Muted Black and white check top

Stomped in the puddles and laughed hysterically
As i got drenched.

I think the rain has returned....



*warning
I can guarantee tomorrow's report will be late.  : >

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Postby Mokumania » Sat Aug 25, 6:10 pm

Exchanging money for a trip to Italy?
Another great report, thanks.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sat Aug 25, 6:12 pm

Mokumania wrote:Exchanging money for a trip to Italy?
Another great report, thanks.


Dollars to euro. : >

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Postby mafuman » Sat Aug 25, 8:04 pm

rock on lady

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Aug 26, 12:41 pm

Day 16.   8/25

Rain
Sun
Wind
Cold wind
No wind
Sun
Rain
More rain
Thunder/ lightening
Sun
Blue sky
Rain

Get the idea?!

Slept in.  Nice.
Run out between rain drops for muffins
Scurry back. Will deal with other essentials
Later
After coffee and muffins NOW

Loving living our pretend  amsterdam lives

Moving slow.  Go to the market, or closer to the truth, the mate goes to the market and he allows me to write.  I do eventually go outside and we walk over to extend morning greetings to Tak and holly, who are working the saturday market - 'cept  it is already late afternoon.  We make plans to get together for later in the week.  Stroll over to "check you oil"- geez,  kick me in the ass- been here two weeks and still have not been using their oil.  Not anymore!  
As soon as we pay our money, the water heaves
downward from the heavens.  Damn those clouds are beautiful.

Walk in the rain.  This time equipped with long black cape like raincoat and hat.  The mate, umbrella, in hand - we trode out into the rain - refraining from the quick coffeeshop rain retreat.  Some final food buys and off to spirit to play with those machines with the silver balls, can't remember what they're called.

Back to the house for some food and preparation.  

At the houseboat the tourist boats are constant.  We have stopped counting (we never really were counting) the number of tourist photos and videos we will appear in as houseboat dwellers of Amsterdam.  Many of those photos with joints or pipes in hand.   It is an interesting phenomenon,  a bit like being an animal in the zoo, as you are on constant display - willingly or not.   At some point you forget about it, until you view a camera directed at your face.  Weird, you would not take pictures of people in their homes in any other situation that I can think of. Wonder if being in those glass enclosed boats, gives them some special lisence to remove themselves from the human dance
and become mere voyeurs.

This was the planned evening for the bike ride out to ruigoord.   The rain has made us rethink the plan and opt for a bus.  So winnie, will not be leading us out into the night by bike this time.  The mate and I step on the bus after the others in the group,  mate says how much?  Bus driver, says where ya going? Mate mumbles ruigoord, bus driver with a big smile turns and says, but of course, where else would you be going?  Interesting bus ride, as the bus travels it's route picking up various revelers.   The bus stops and the driver wishes everyone a great evening.   Where else does this happen, on a city bus?

The night air had warmed a bit, the wind died down and we were feeling just a wee bit, like we may have been too cautious by not taking the bikes.  As we neared our destinations the drizzle began yet again followed by the big rain.   We did make the right decision, leaving the bikes.  Would have been no fun showing up sopping wet.

There is a small posse of us.  Three of the best women, one is likely to have the pleasure of bonding with.  Honestly, no bs.  
I am blown away by these direct, open and divine ladies.  : >
How lucky am I??

Oracle and the mate.  Actually a good match -
And two very sweet tall and lanky young dudes

Really, perfect night.  Much more than that I can not reveal,
As I  have taken an oath.
Suffice it to say we had a very fine time.

Okay, Okay, and  yes before the rumors fly
That was me outside in the rain squatting under a tree
And puking my guts out.  Something's just must come out
The same way they went in.

Ruigoord was like a flashback to the 60's
Or maybe a futuristic madmax
Most striking the age  range of participants
just something you would not see in the states.

The whole range - legal kiddles to seniors
 Very unique scene (at least in my experience)

But

 the penguin circle, in the rain,  was the best part.  ;  >

Ahhh, just another cherished Amsterdam moment

We left en masse after a fashion
And found our way back to our individual abodes.

The mate could not stop gushing about his love for this city
And even more about his love for all the fine connections
That have been made.   As the sun came up and then the rain fell
We took our cue
And went to sleep.
A
Very sweet
Amsterdam sleep.

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Postby alpha » Sun Aug 26, 3:06 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:The mate could not stop gushing about his love for this city
And even more about his love for all the fine connections
That have been made.


Finally beginning to loosen up is he? Good for him.

Great reports, i too wish y'all were staying longer=)

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Postby chichi123 » Sun Aug 26, 6:12 pm

Wait what got you sick? Did you pee your pants whilst the squat. I usually accompany that to my earping nowadays.

How fun. Wish I coulda been there to earp with ya.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Aug 26, 6:49 pm

chichi123 wrote:Wait what got you sick? Did you pee your pants whilst the squat. I usually accompany that to my earping nowadays.

How fun. Wish I coulda been there to earp with ya.


Now chichi- use your imagination. : >

lol. I can still squat AND control what orifice is eliminating!

Someday, somewhere we'll earp together...

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Postby chichi123 » Sun Aug 26, 8:36 pm

Al I can figure is mushrooms or alcohol?

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Aug 27, 6:29 pm

chichi123 wrote:Al I can figure is mushrooms or alcohol?



: >

: x

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Aug 27, 6:32 pm

Day 17.   8/26

Recuperation day

Sleep
Rain
Sun 
Sleep
Rain
Sleep
Sun
Rain

Perfect day to do nothing
Funny in that other life across the ocean
There are always do nothing days scheduled in
Permission granted to stop, disengage, sleep,
eat and watch madmen on the iPad.

Cozy
Little to report
Looked out the window today.
Fascinated with shoes and leggings
Of course, that is the view out the window
Kinda like the dog level view of the street.

At some point between waking and sleeping
Got perla pizza and the best gelato - or it sure seemed that way
 (on the same street as perla)


Oh  - : >

Early this morning, before the sun actually rose and before the handful of sweet Amsterdam sleep hours.   We sat smoking and talking by the street side window of the boat.   Occasionally a drunk tourist stumbles by, or a Dutch resident whizzes by on their bike.  This time the quiet was broken by a bit of a ruckus, and drunken voices outside.   Look out - there are 4 middle aged, well dressed, perhaps Italian tourists, couples, walking with wine bottles in their hands- laughing and stumbling.  So as we watch,  one of the woman goes directly to the canal by our window and at the space of the enterance to the front door, pulls down her pants ( no skirt here) moons us and prepares to take a piss.   The mate knocked on the window - just as she reaches full squat, totally startled the woman - swear she lost her balance and almost fell into the canal.  She regained her composure and quickly pulled up her pants..without a chance to piss.. Geez,  a lot of people do seem to allow themselves to behave quite differently while in Amsterdam.  I would bet, that that woman, would never have taken such an action in her own town.  I do love the freedom that this place offers, but I admit, that people who treat the city or it's inhabitants disrespectfully, do annoy.

More "madmen".  We have made it to season 2

More weed

More rain

More sleep

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Aug 27, 6:47 pm

Hey padichar -

Are you coming in on Friday?
you are not answering pm's
Ya seem to have disappeared.
Hope all is okay.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Aug 28, 10:32 am

Day 18.  8/27

Winding down

Sunny day,
Up early, after a recovery day
First thing, vacuum and dust

Mate found this French radio station
That is clearly the most eclectic music station
I have ever encountered-
French torch songs from the  40's thru 70's
American pop 40's to present
Opera, jazz, classical
Techno, hip hop
European hits thru the decades, Moroccan and Turkish favorites
And the jumps from one to the next are abrupt

This would drive me insane back in the other life,
But somehow here, it fits.

Having coffee on the porch.  The care taker of the nunnery across the canal
 waves at us this morning.  ( we have seen him out and about every morning). But this morning he waves and then abruptly puts his thumbs in his ears 
And wiggles his finger at us.
Huh?
I think it's too early in the morning for this

Put down the coffee
Thumbs in ears and mimic his greeting

Ahhh Amsterdam...

Ride out to vondel park to do my one round routine.  Then 
Sit to smoke while the mate does a second ride round the park

Love the stillness with activity in the park.  It is a beautiful mix of gentle joy.

Rode over to Rembrandtsplein for no reason, sat outside and had fruit shakes at smokey's.   DO NOT DO THIS!  The shakes are not real, filled with syrupy sweet nonsense.  Bleachk.   Felt like I needed to wash my mouth out.

Back to the boat for some real food.  Took the dog for a walk, ended up by tak's  place and enjoyed a visit with him,  holly and Winnie.  Winnie laughing said the dog reminded her of a "wooly Molly" on a leash, when out on the street.
But after some standoffish barking the dog and her seemed to get along.  She gives a good back massage and the dog knew it!

Not up for a restaurant so went to our favorite
Italian store, basilica 
Got
Homemade Gnocchi
And pesto.   
Yikes salty pesto again.  Hmmm, the Dutch are liking their pesto very salty these days, no matter the source.   If there was a blender, I would just make my own.

A big Salad,   Veges and fish for the mate 
A little Vino and the meal is complete

Took a Walk after dinner
Got some more of that great Gelato
Played  some piss  poor Pinball at spirit
And we're back  by 11:00

 the days are numbered
And the numbers are dwindling

The sadness of the final days is already settling in

Time and our perception and relationship to it is so odd.

I have had 4 day visits to Amsterdam previously that have been full and wonderful.
Now with 4 days left, it feels like the vacation is over I am feeling awash with emotion,
Little sadness, like a kid not wanting to leave the circus
I would love to stomp my feet, dig in my heels  and scream NO, No, no
But, I am also the adult in charge and must behave accordingly.

We now have growing to do lists
Buy socks (gotta get my supply of stripped over the knee socks)
Buy gifts - I think kitchen magnets will do for everyone this year.
(lol - soo inspired--- okay, maybe not, but easy to pack and procure)
Of course a supply of Puccini bonboni
And an assortment of other necessary take home tidbits.

Then of course there is the vacation todo list with many items that have not been materialized.

I find it interesting that people who live here, live pretty much like we live in NYC.   The city is small 2 miles wide 13 miles long.  But ya stay in your neighborhood for the most part.  People do the same here in mokum.  The idea of going to the south when you live in the Jordaan seems like an unnecessary  trek to a resident.  Same as going downtown, when you are in midtown.   But just like a visitor to NYC  - to us, it' just another neighborhood to ride around in.  Interesting how our worlds are naturally self limiting.....no matter where we reside.


I will attempt not to become too maudlin these last few days...

Not certain I will succeed.

Really.....
Why do we all love this city so much?
( of course, there is the issue of not feeling like a criminal when ya lite up, but that can not be the whole of it - can it?)

There's  the damn eye candy in every direction you turn your head -
Love the architecture, the angles of the wobbly buildings,
The plants, the way residents take over the sidewalk and street.

(on one of the hot nights  a couple took their table onto the canal bridge -
Table cloth, candles, flowers, wine and an entire meal.  No police came to shoo them away.)

I know I appreciate the spirit of this place, like at the church outside the door, there are statues that celebrate man's fight against authority and inequality.
Don't know many places these types of acts are celebrated.
Is that it?  
Is that what makes this place unique?
The celebration of the basic human spirit and the triumph of the little guy
Over authority.

don't know

But tonight I will go to sleep 
In love
with a city 
Last edited by worldcitizen1723 on Wed Aug 29, 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sdshadow » Tue Aug 28, 5:57 pm

Thanks WC. I have grown accustomed to sitting in my office every morning and reading your reports and now I am feeling sad too that your trip is winding down.

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Postby Rudy » Tue Aug 28, 6:03 pm

Oh suck it up and turn that frown upside down.

You can do it.

4 glorious days left...

... 4 ! ! !



! ! !

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Aug 29, 3:47 pm

sucking it up and having a good time! : >

Day 19.  8/28


Gawd, woke up this morning and took the dog out for a walk.
Damn!    I'm in Amsterdam.   What better thrill, than stepping outside in the early morning drizzle, taking a deep breath and just realizing where you are.
Especially, when the where is here!!

I want to breath in every brick, cornice, weather vane and bell.
And just never exhale.   
Hold it in


The water chickens 
(black with a white thumb print on their foreheads)
As well as the swan family visit frequently (three big brown kids along with both parents.)

The male hisses at the dog.
Dog just wants to play
But that ain't gonna happen.

We meet the politician and his wife  on the street, the ones we first met at the long table dinner.   He is doing a neighborhood meet and greet - she recognizes us immediately and pulls away to say hi and find out what we have been up to.  He breaks away to share a warm greeting too.

News here is growing worrisome.  When we arrived the SP was solidly ahead in the polls, now it appears Rutte is leading -  wonder how this will play out.  Hope everyone is not shocked!  Though most owners and budtenders believe that the taxes brought in by the coffeeshops alone, should be enough to keep the system intact.   They said something like 40million a year.....and a lot of that goes to the politicians.  (I really do not quite understand how) but that is what I have been told.

Rode to Kadinsky's for morning pinball.  Gotta say, since the sat/sun  purge, my pinball and lighter issues seem to have definitely improved.

We are banging the machine 
Or maybe the machine is banging us
Somewhere in the middle of multiple multiballs
And extra balls, I begin to feel this dark force.
We are being played by the machine.
It seems the sheer wind from the flipper will save the ball
They will not be lost.  They keep reappearing.  Like a pinball nightmare
The machine is blinking and whirring like it has gone berserk.
It will not let us go.   Extra games, matches for extra games...
A sinister plot. To keep us locked in this tiny space forever.

PLEASE RELEASE US!

We just leave the machine with a game credit for some other poor fool to get pulled into this twilight zone  time warp

Shopped for the stuff that needs to be brought home.  All except chocolate and cheese.   That will wait till Friday, I like the Gouda airport idea, but will be frugal, thanks to alpha's warning.

Went home made some delicious sandwiches, the bread here can not be beat!

Some interesting shopping experiences.  One place that said buy 3 get one free.  I purchased 4 items .....was I shocked -  they gave me the most expensive 
Item of the four for free!!!  (10 € difference).   In the states, without question that would NEVER happen.  Of course you would be given the least expensive item for free, that's just the way it is.   Ha,  but not here.   I really could not get over it!

Then went to get my yearly sock supply, went to the place I always go.  Huh? Where are the socks, I look around.  No socks

A little voice from the back says hello.  I ask for the socks.  He said he had no socks.  I said  what??
I come every year and get my yearly supply of striped thigh high socks, I can not leave without my socks!
He looked at me 
Ah,  I remember you.
So he says wait, can you watch the store and not let anyone in?
I nod my head
He asks, are you sure you are strong enough?
I say of course, I come from new York city.
He smiles and disappears 
Quite a while later,
He returns with bunches of socks with the toes in them.
I say no
Not those.  The traditional Dutch striped socks
After about 15 minutes he returns with his arms overflowing with the correct socks.

He adds up the socks.  He has 30 pairs of socks in his arms.  His entire stock!   At 5€ a pair, This is feeling like a hefty investment in socks.   He looks at me and says,  I  like you.  Here take them all for 60€.  See you next year and you can have the same price.  Tots zien.  And a great big smile from both of us.

I like doing business in Amsterdam!

Oh, forgot- at smokey's yesterday as we were sitting out front (would never buy any product at this place btw and now not food or drink either) a Spanish tourist plopped into a chair next to the mate and asked if he could have his picture taken with the mate.   Mate said sure. Next thing.  His girlfriend now wants to have her picture taken with him.
We muse, maybe there's a career here.... Have your picture taken with a genuine,  friendly looking,  60's throwback.  

After the sock extravaganza, needed some fresh squeezed oj.  Bulldog on singel was the only place in the vicinity

Australian couple sitting at a table, arrived in amsterdam 30 minutes ago
Literally just off the boat with no return planned.
She wants to know if we are famous from NYC.
She has decided that she is certain we are a famous theatrical couple, or maybe film directors or musicians...
.something......

Tell here we are just common hard working folks.
I think she is disappointed.   I know she is disappointed, and may even believes we are lying to her.   : >

They are sitting outside at the bulldog, they have ordered coffee.
They ask us how to go about buying smoke, the mate explains.  Then they say,
Gotta find a hotel grab their bags and trudge off in the exact opposite direction that they wanted to go when they had asked for directions 5 minutes prior.  

Rode around the city.  Just can not get enough.   Stopped at grey area
Back home took, the dog to 137 sat outside, smoked
And greeted, ignored and growled at various neighborhood dogs.

Walked over to the Winkle for
Vegetarian Pea soup with mint.    Certainly like no other pea soup ever eaten.  Then some
Hot chocolate ( they serve a huge glassful). And their great Apple pie with cream on the side.
We were so  Stuffed after we finished we felt as if we needed to be
Rolled down the street 
So we 
Tried to walk it off.
Didn't really work.

Came back at 23,00

Made a  plan for tomorrow
Gonna have to get up early

Don't know if it will work...

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Aug 30, 8:21 am

Day 20.    8/29

Best laid plans

Okay, alright.  
So not the best laid plans

We decided to do the wetland safari excursion late last night

We read the website and saw that the meet up was at 9:30am
At central station.  We figured we would show up, join the group
And have a great time out in nature on yet another beautiful day.
So out of bed by 8.  Earliest start to the day,  since we have been here.
Walk the dog, eat a little and off to central station.  We are there by 9:20.
By 10,  we figure something is wrong.   
And we know what it is.
We never registered online for the excursion, figuring it just happened every day.  But clearly, she is not being overwhelmed with customers.  had we just let someone know of our intentions, we would not be sitting in the new bus terminal  at central station looking for a lady with a sign.
  But gotta say the view was great across the ij
Picture perfect
with all of the morning activity, ferries, barges, sail boats, a cruise liner that looked like a giant high rise building .   The new film museum "the eye" shows off its design  from this vantage point.    The mate laughingly said, give me a blanket and I can  be happy sitting right here all day, watching the boats go by.

Since I did not think that was quite enough of an outing for the day, we grabbed our bikes and went to  Haarlem by train.  

lol like it was that simple!

We could not find the lift, so wise ass me, decides
That I can take my bike up the escalator, so, i charge ahead.

Too bad there was not a camera to catch the mayhem.
If this was gonna work, you needed to be at the back of the bike
( an interesting fact, that I was totally not aware of)

So there I am at the front of the bike trying to take it up the escalator, by the handle bars.  it quickly becomes too heavy for me to handle as the escalator angle increases.  The bike is rolling backwards, I am dancing backwards on the escalator, down the steps to stay even with the bike.   I can not get off  or down from the up escalator, but I can not proceed forward.... And believe me, this balancing dance was not gonna last much longer as the bike was becoming more and more out of control.  I was about to lose it and fall backwards, the mate could only watch, helplessly  from the ground.  Thank the sun, he was not behind me....it could have become so very messy.

Really lucky for me, at that transitional moment, when I was about to loose the bike and fall into the escalator,  a young Dutch man came to my rescue, grabbed the back of the bike, and got me safely on solid ground.  Kindly smiled and said it can be really hard getting the bike up the escalator.  He did not even take the opportunity to make me feel the total fool, that I was.

Rode around abit once in Haarlem, then to WW sativa for a really good smoke.   Nol was not around, but I didn't really expect to bump into him at any of his shops.  But,  He does have good people working at his shops.  

Got into a conversation with a very typical tall white Dutch gentleman customer, who has his own business and lives between here and Egypt, of all places.  He had a an interesting and unique point of view on world politics and Dutch politics. At home,  He was torn, the SP, is the best for the abolition of the weit pass,  but bad for him as a business owner.
He is so torn that he is not gonna vote.  
But get this:  
if you just do not show up and vote, your vote is given to the politician with the most votes.   So to not vote, you must actually show up and remove your vote.  Cool, huh?

He also thought that Muslims were not the problem, but the Jewish nation was the problem, not the people or the religion, but the politics.  I was worried that the mate, having a jewish heritage would take the comments personally.  But, he was able to listen,  not become defensive, or absorb it as a personal attack.   It actually evolved  into a very interesting exchange.

We then wandered off thru Haarlem.

Wow.  on one level it is very quiet, serene.  Feels like being in a small country town,  but on another level,  it also felt like a shopping mall in disney land.   
a miniature Amsterdam, instead of 4 story buildings, they are only 2stories.   For some reason it felt like a village made up of  those delft porcelain houses.   Very sweet, neat and quiet.  Maybe too quiet to live in. 

The center of town has a visceral similarity to the town square of Siena Italy.  
We once stumbled upon the pialo ( an ancient horse race, where the participants, not only race around the square bare backed,  but attempt to knock each other off their horses at the same time as racing).  It is an event that people plan years ahead to attend, we just stumbled upon it.   Well in Haarlem, we also stumbled upon an event in the town's center.   It was a competition among the different school's bike squads.   They had to maneuver and weave  around an intricate pattern of traffic cones, really close and tight turns, then they also had to go across a thin plank placed on a barrel that acted like a see saw as the bike went over.   Kids were wiping out all over the place, but their coaches would pick them up get them on their bikes and make them continue.   Was neat to see the bike control and training from a young age.  Each bike squad had really young ones all the way thru teenagers.  No wonder they are so good on their bikes!

Walked over to WW sensimellia, smoked some and played pinball on the raiders of the lost ark.  What a machine.  I swear it would throw 10 balls at ya for multiballs, it was insane.   Never had so many balls coming from so many directions.  I finally felt like I had found my pinball magic (even if for only a day)
Ate  at one of of the many outdoor cafes.  Ended up back at sativa and sampled the machine there, then headed for the train.  And once again bike issues, this time they had one of those little wheel ramps to take the bikes up the stairs as you walk.  Guess I just do not have the correct knack or strength for these.  About half way up the first flight and I was stuck, at least the steps weren't moving!   The mate left his bike, helped me to the landing, then got his, then got mine up the second flight, went back for his....he was getting exhausted.  By the time he was trying to get his bike up the final flight, he was starting to struggle. A little Japanese girl came up behind his bike and gave it a steady push to get it up the stairs.   Once at the top,  another woman points down to the other end of the tracks, smiles and says - "lift".   Yeah.... well, next time.

Came home played with dog.  He is loving the porch, watching the people, the boats, the dogs on the boats, the birds

Simple dinner.  Gotta eat the rest of the food we have stock piled here.  A stroll in the neighborhood.

Mate wants to go to the casino.   Me? I am no gambler.  Send him off on his bike come back to write.   As soon as I closed the door, the skies opened up and the rain poured down.  Hope he got to the casino before the rain.

We thought about trying to do the wetland safari thing again tomorrow, but seeing as it will be the second to the last full day, we opt for staying in the city.  It is hard to be pulled away from Amsterdam.    Funny spoke to a number of locals, who, all feel that exact same way.   Why visit other cities, when this one is the best?

It is slowly cooling down.  Expected to be in the high 60's tomorrow.

I do not think in all of the years we have visited this city, that we have seen such consistently agreeable weather.

Time for some sweet Amsterdam dreams.

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Postby JULIET » Fri Aug 31, 1:05 am

WC, be ready, cos the longer you have stayed in Amsterdam, the worse it is when you get home!

Have thoroughly enjoyed your writings, many thanks for taking the time, truly it's been a pleasure!

X

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Aug 31, 9:14 am

thanks Juliet. : >
I'll let ya know how we make do...

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Aug 31, 9:25 am

Day 21. 8/30

"What is this? This is just your life. So you do your part, and the rest is clear. It is clear because there has never been anything lacking, despite any beliefs you might have, despite any ideas you might have. There has never been anything lacking.

- Elihu Genmyo Smith, "Do Your Best"


Nothing lacking.  Just born in the wrong location.


What a grand holiday!

Things are beginning to appear dimmer and dimmer here politically as the leading SP continues to fall in the polls, amsterdamers are beginning to think that their country might vote against their needs.  What will happen with the weitpass  -  and when pot goes back to the streets.  What an absolutely insane idea.  What an absolute formula for disaster.

Wonder if the police will really go on strike if the pass is implemented?
wonder if they will bust you for smoking weed without a pass....

This is from a flyers at Nol's shop
"the political party that manages to gain the most representatives in the 12 september elections for the Dutch government  can form the coalition.  The Tolerance policy and the coffeeshops will not survive a next, right wing coalition.  Out of all cannabis-friendly parties, only the SP has the possibility to begat more reps than the VVD, the other left parties are too far behind to be a threat to either VVD and or SP.

If you want the coffeeshops to stay open to all, without the weitpass, you can actually only choose to vote for the SP, even if you would normally vote PvdA, D66, or Groenlinks. 

If and when the SP wins, they will try to form a coalition with the other left orientated parties.

In case the VVD wins and stays in power, you will have to buy your weed on the streets!  It is now or never, vote SP!"

Geez, this is really too  much - do not want to witness both the Netherlands and america turning decidedly right wing.

On to brighter thoughts

Took the dog to paradox.  He walks in like he owns the place and immediately goes to his favorite spot behind the door on the big corner table.   He really enjoys guarding the place from that vantage point.  
Willem is still confident that the weitpass will be a non issue, due to the non support from the police.  He says every coffeeshop in Amsterdam would close, cause no one will sign up.   But frankly we have spoken to a number of younger Dutch  smokers from the different towns, who have already signed up and have cards in hand, if and when it goes thru.  It appears that the older, perhaps a bit wiser to the ways of the world, folks are the ones adamant about not signing up.

Strolled the city.

Gonna throw a little party tonite on the boat
So we are looking for the right sweet treats.

Strode up haarlemerstraat, walked in to that decadently delicious
Bakery.   The stuff is so rich and over the top sweet, that even though they make stunning looking desserts, we pass.   As we stroll  around, we remember a little hole in the wall bakery they we have really liked.  Now where is it?
You've all been in this situation in Amsterdam, one time or another:
There is a place you like
You have passed it many times
But where exactly is it?
Which little alley way takes you there?

Everything always looks different when on a bike as opposed
To feet.  So we walk.   Just about ready to give up on our fixation on this one particular bakery... And there is kadinsky's.  Shucks, we will just have to 
Make a detour.   Play some pinball.  Finally as my last hours dwindle here in oz, my playing continues to improve dramatically.   Guess all I needed was a little practice.

We step out to leave kadinskys and immediately realize that this IS the little alley the bakery is on, closer to the singel.  So we pick up a chocolate cake, 1/2 of a fruity cake and half of an apple pie.   This is not the prettiest bakery in Amsterdam, but there stuff has a homemade look and taste as opposed to a fancy refined signature, but it is exactly what we were looking for, like something your grandmother would make.

Pies in hand we continue to meander thru streets and canals to get back home.

Time to clean up and prepare for our guests.   Tried to groom the dog.  (opps, I have been a negligent care taker.)  Instead of his daily or every other day brushing, he has had nothing.  Nothing,  for three weeks. I put my idle minutes to writing and not brushing, so he is a mess.   After about 90 minutes with  maybe 60% of the knots removed, I decide that is good enough.  We clean ourselves and prepare for our guests, who are to arrive after 8.  

At about 7:30 the skies open up.  I mean a deluge of rain.  Worse we have seen.  Great.  Everyone will be soaked....maybe even decide not to come. : <

At about 8:15, with the rain letting up for a bit, our guests began to arrive.
Tak, holly, oracle his lady, Winnie, and another delightful Irish lass who was with us at ruigoord, all show up in heavy duty rain gear.  Ah amsterdamers, so prepared!

Great conversation, wonderful company, a lot of smoke and a huge thunder storm.  Rain pouring down, lightening streaking across the sky, loud booms, the works.   Just as everything was reaching a crescendo in sound and movement, there was a brilliant flash of light and then it went dark.

Look around, the street lamps are on.  Houses are lit.   The others boats have electricity.  But we don't!  Huh.   Immediately Tak says, it must be just the breaker switch, where's the box?   How would we know?  So out in the rain he goes, finds the box, but it is locked.   Comes back inside.  We call the caretaker of the boat.  As the mate speaks to him, you can hear from the one sided conversation that  he is reluctant to show up or offer any help.   He says well, maybe no electricity till tomorrow - yeah - right, no electricity if you do not come and flick the switch!  Tak gets on the phone and talks to the guy,  the guy tells him what he needs to know and directs him to find the right key, then he says use a spoon from the kitchen to pry open the box.   Humm I think, a spoon from the kitchen?  These are uri geller  spoons, they bend when ya touch them - certainly no use, when it comes to prying things open.  Anyway Tak goes out once again in the storm.  Returns.  No lights.  The box can not be opened.  He says he must go home to get a tool to open the box.   He disappears into the night.   We have now got little candles flickering, the boat is great in candle light.  So we continue to enjoy the company and festive energy.

Then, after what seemed like too long of a time with no Tak returning.    holly and Winnie grabbed  their coats, they are going to check on Tak make sure we did not loose him to a canal!   Literally just as they walk out the door, the lights come back on!  Tak had  returned (we just could not see him) and saved the night or maybe more to the point, saved the light!  Our hero!  If he had not been there, I have no doubt that  we would not have received any help.  Without missing a beat the party continued into the night.

A really perfect evening
Really!

The only downer was when someone would inquire -
What are ya  gonna do on your last day?


I don't know....

Cry?

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Postby jerkypete49 » Fri Aug 31, 3:27 pm

All I can say is WOW and thanks for taking the time to write such terrific reports. Being in rehab, I forgot about your trip. It all sounds like magic.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Sep 02, 6:44 pm

Ahhh thanks!

It has been the most awesome and perfect trip!

I will complete the last day and a half of the trip report shortly. But planes, time changes and renetry have all totally thrown off,my timing. Besides I left my heart in Amsterdam and am awaiting it's return....


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