the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

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

worldcitizen1723
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the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Sep 05, 5:51 pm

Friday Day 11

Wow the sunken boat is gone! Amazing, it was there at 1am
But at 9am it is gone! We never heard or saw a thing and it would have had to go past us on it’s way out! Impressive.

The routine is set, so off to 137 we trot with the dog
Hard to believe, but it is yet another gorgeous day!
I never thought I would be dreaming of rain and feeling the lack of it while in Amsterdam!

We are to meet up this afternoon with Mile High and the Green Goddess at Katsu
Geez we are not great at finding our way around in the De Pijp at all.
We proceed to get ourselves twisted and lost. Even though google keeps informing us that we are a mere 2 minutes away… it takes us 30 minutes of circling to actually land at Katsu! Mile High and the Green Goddess were already there waiting for us and we all shared a perfectly delightful afternoon catching up on the last couple of years.
Warning: be careful what you wish for…
clouds are thickening and a storm is moving in, so to insure that we all get home more or less dry, we break up to get home before the downpour. Getting back is easier, as we ride thru the Rilke on our way are forced to stop and listen to two violinists, an accordion player and opera singer! Their music was so inconceivably beautiful, I just got all weepy. Really, who would have thought one could even take that combination seriously?!
With our hearts bursting we head towards home as the drizzle begins. We lock the bikes and the skies just open up. Our timing is perfect!
Now for a couple of hours of steady rain and rest.

We have dinner reservations at
http://www.deculinairewerkplaats.nl/?lang=en
What an experience!

Little background – I have wanted to eat here for a handful of years, but they are usually closed in August or possibly open for one of the weeks we are there- but totally booked. So in March when I saw that they would be open in August, I contacted them for a reservation. Our reservation was for the previous week – but last week I got an email that they had a family loss and needed to cancel the reservation. Thankfully they were able to fit us in this week.

The rain is gentle, but still falling and luckily the restaurant is in the west so we can just walk over to it.

The place seats about 20 people tops. We are the first to arrive.
It basically is a husband wife team. We are greeted warmly, seated and she comes and sits with us. She explains that this is really not a restaurant but rather a design lab. She is an art historian and philosopher, he is also an art major. The want us to experience food as art.

Then we talk about her father’s passing the week before. After a while, she says to me, ‘really it was a blessing for all their family that he passed’ – then she quickly adds, ‘there are not many people that i can admit that too’. I nod, totally understanding and we continue to talk about the handling of his belongs and his house and the difficulties involved. Since I am in the middle of a similar situation, we bond. We share a hug and then she begins to explain the menu for the evening. She even has a little hand made booklet for us to follow. Their idea is that in a world of limited resources, people need to realize that they do not need a piece of meat on the plate to make a meal. Lol, she is speaking to someone who needs no convincing

Each course is inspired by an artist, designer or architect with a full story about them and the specific inspiration along with an explanation of the food being presented. She must have spent a good 20 to 30 minutes with us.

The meal was amazing and totally inspired. On a similar level as Senses, yet even more thoughtful and studied in the approach. A totally amazing food experience, this was definitely worth the wait and perseverance!

We walk home satisfied and inspired, in a light drizzle, after having watched huge downpours as we ate.

What a full and perfect day.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby MileHighDenver » Mon Sep 05, 11:50 pm

It was our pleasure. Always great to hang with fun people.

Don't forget the mate loaded up on Cannabis at Katsu before you left. How was it?

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Sep 06, 12:08 am

MileHighDenver wrote:It was our pleasure. Always great to hang with fun people.

Don't forget the mate loaded up on Cannabis at Katsu before you left. How was it?


: )

We liked their Lemon Haze. It was very nice.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Sep 07, 12:48 am

Saturday Day 12
The Dog had a really bad night, a lot of coughing and little sleep (which means we also had a really bad night)
We went to 137 in the morning anyway with him – invalids appreciate going out too!
We had a load of plans for the day: we planned on hooking up with Winnie and going to the Haarlem Jazz Festival and connecting with Shaman E and Lady A. Everything was laid out.
But I am exhausted,
just deeply exhausted
So instead, I come back to the boat and just go back to sleep.
I sleep much longer than I expected and I am still tired. So we decide to scrap all the plans, it is the final day of the Jazz Festival, but with the attitude of been there done that – I think the best plan for me is to just stay put, I can not even imagine lugging my bike on the train to Haarlem. I see myself slipping between the train and the platform – yup definitely do not have the strength for it.
Sitting on the boat, we watch as the clouds thicken and begin to mimic some of those classical paintings. The sky looks biblical (what ever the f that means!)
Then with a stroke of the brush, the skies clear and it is totally cloudless with a clear blue brilliance.
5 minutes later and another layer of clouds blow in
This time a weird yellow hue overtakes the sky, it’s a color like no other I have experienced here.
That yellow slowly dissolves into the most perfect fully articulated rainbow hugging the entire city. It was one of those things, that if you were not looking up, you would have totally missed it.

This is the night of the Prinsengracht Concert
The one where they put a pontoon up in front of the Pulitzer Hotel and all of the locals sit in boats that totally fill the canal. Except this year they changed it up a bit. This time there is also a pontoon on the opposite side of the canal for the elite to sit, making less room for the boat people to snuggle in. We walked over too late to get a place anywhere near the canal so we find a spot on one of the side streets in the Jordaan, where we can hear the music, but can not see anything. We are enjoying the concert in our own little world, when a very tall, young, good-looking, blonde Dutch gentleman walks past us. He looks at me and flashes a huge smile. 30 seconds later, he returns and says, ‘I am a designer and I love your hat!’ May I take a picture with you? (I designed my hat myself and had it made – then added a big floppy red rose) Anyway we take a picture together, he flashes his big smile and trots off.
Lol -Next year, if my hat is seen everywhere, we will know that he stole my design!
About 30 minutes later he reappears as he is leaving the concert. He spots me, smiles like we have known each other for years and grabs my hand with one of those lingering almost movie like touches and slowly pulls away until our fingers have parted. My mate watches and says it really looked like we were old lovers.
Once the concert has ended with the grachtenfest song about how lovely it is to live in Amsterdam we disperse with the crowds.
A biker whizzes by and yells
‘Rood rose’
the mate says, he is trying to pick you up.
I just laugh.

I would not recognize a pick up, if I was hit over the head.

We stop by Flower Power, but the budtender demands that we buy weed to use the pinball machine, we look at each other and just walk away. The place is empty and clearly not very welcoming. Why have a big space if you don’t want people in it?

So we stopped off at Spirit instead for a bit of pinball and then back to the boat.
I need to go back to sleep.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Sep 09, 1:39 am

Sunday day 13
It’s raining!
Big heavy rain!
I like it. It actually feels like a relief.
It feels like being given permission to just kick back and relax. Really do not have to do anything, do not have to run anywhere. This is the luxury of having three weeks in Amsterdam: we can just 'be' today. Put the feet up, read, relax and clear out the stash.
Of course this day had lots of plans attached to it– We were going to connect with Winnie and go to Haarlem to meet up with Lady A for an afternoon visit and dinner with Shaman E.
But, once again our Haarlem plans are going up in smoke.
We stay in, take a long nap, relax and thoroughly enjoy the rain drops on the canal. I confess to never changing out of my PJ’s for the entire day. I needed one of these days

Monday day 14
The day is beginning with rain – but more the light drizzle kind of rain – 90% humidity, heavy wet air. The dog is staring at me with those begging eyes. He does not understand why we did not go to 137 yesterday and he seems to really want to go this morning. Please take me with you, please take me with you, please, please please.
So I pack up a towel, put on a raincoat and off we go. By the time we arrive, the rain has mostly stopped. They clean off a bench for us and bring the dog his bowl of water and we proceed to take in that Amsterdam vibe. The regular local guys are becoming welcoming and even the weed runner is greeting us with a big smile. We soak in the gentleness of the city. I wonder if one lived here, would it still seem as gentle and easy, or would the regular stresses of life just creep in.

Once we safely stow the dog back at the houseboat we set off on foot. Btw, he no longer needs to be confined to the bathroom, but we do block off the couple of stairs as he has fallen down them once and we really do not want any accidents when we are not around.

There are huge spiders on the outside of the boat, some of them move inside when the windows are opend, we decide to assume rightly or wrongly that they are helpful and not harmful types.

We stroll over to Siberie. We enter the front part, close to the big doors, where the air actually circulates, and it is for tobacco smoking. There is a glassed-in enclosure around the bar that is for pure smoking. It was incredibly hot and stuffy in there and the tobacco room reeked, so it was a really quick visit, we just turned around and walked out. This place used to be so inviting and maybe it still is to others, but no longer to us.

Over the little foot bridge to Haarlemmerstraat we pick up a couple of trinkets for folks back home (seems redundant after so many visits) and then down the Singel to Greenwoods.

The Singel Canal is being repaired – all the big equipment is in the canal, along with high fences keeping people away from the canals – I wonder if the hotels in the area actually warned their customers that the canal view they were hoping for, is just a dream? Greenwoods hits the spot with a meal that satisfied both our lunch and dinner. Oh and the canal work stopped right before reaching the restaurant. Next year may be a totally different story.

Since we are in the area we stopped at Grey Area and picked up their trainwreck and something else, I can’t remember. All quite nice.

Once back at the boat the exhaustion and stress settle in as the dog had a really difficult evening. But we are in Amsterdam and it is beautiful...
life is good.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby chichi123 » Fri Sep 09, 2:57 am

The pooch worries me. Ours is starting to have trouble with stairs and it is scaring the shit out of us. Take good care WC. and Mate.
and pooch.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby des » Fri Sep 09, 3:35 am

chichi123 wrote:The pooch worries me. Ours is starting to have trouble with stairs and it is scaring the shit out of us. Take good care WC. and Mate.
and pooch.


Ours is starting to get a bit whiffy!

Why do old dogs smell so bad?


Peace, Des.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Sep 09, 4:05 am

chichi --thanks
we have probably all been there
pets are a joy and a heartbreak

des
lol....sort of like old people, heh?

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby Dogbreath » Fri Sep 09, 10:44 am

Thanks W.C.

Always a great pleasure reading your posts...

Dogbreath

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby MileHighDenver » Fri Sep 09, 2:13 pm

After all the hot days the Jordaan neighborhood smelled like shit and piss. That heavy rain washed it all away. It really was the worst I have ever experienced there. We were in the middle and so disgusted we made a bee line for a more open area. Did you notice too?

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Sep 09, 4:35 pm

MileHighDenver wrote:After all the hot days the Jordaan neighborhood smelled like shit and piss. That heavy rain washed it all away. It really was the worst I have ever experienced there. We were in the middle and so disgusted we made a bee line for a more open area. Did you notice too?


lol
we live in NYC ---- it can smell pretty bad most of the time. So it was not as bad as it is here : )

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby Banks » Fri Sep 09, 7:10 pm

Nice work, WC... enjoying your trip... :)

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby thaioneon » Fri Sep 09, 10:54 pm

Really do not have to do anything, do not have to run anywhere. This is the luxury of having three weeks in Amsterdam: we can just 'be' today.


I know what you mean. No rush to get out and to be out and about all the time like when you only have a few days. Thanks for the reports, getting me excited for my upcoming trip!

thai

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Sep 11, 3:19 am

Tuesday day 15
Okay, so I don’t even have to write this –
Surprise! We started our day going to 137 with the dog
He can’t walk as far as he did
I know his life is limited, but he reminds me that mine is too.

Strangely, he acts aggressively towards another dog, something he never does, and now in his recently weakened state, I am surprised he has it in him. Then I notice, the other dog has his balls, now it makes sense….so does my little guy. Actually in NYC, he is the only guy on the block with balls. He used to stop in the middle of the sidewalk when he spotted a girl he was interested in and just fucking start posing like a proud statue, waiting for her to come to him. He was sweet with the boys with no balls. But he is the little prince of the block.

Anyway..

It’s HOT in Amsterdam! Clear, cloudless blue skies. Wow!

The mate goes out to procure a second fan. There is ONE left in the store! Perfect timing! We got the assembly down with the same screw packets left unopened.

The heat is almost like being in NYC. Global warming is gonna be a bitch

Finally today we decide to move our asses and go to Haarlem.
Our plan is to visit Shaman E and His Lady A. Bike to the train station, the ticket lady said that the next train is leaving in 5 minutes. We hustle it, pushing thru the crowds with our bikes we locate the platform and even find an elevator – run to the train… and then stand there ready to go, but nothing happened. Push the button on the train door – nothing. People are all lined up. We heard announcements in Dutch mentioning our train’s number (I recognize it from my, oh, so basic grasp of the language). I noted that we were waiting on a platform that did not have a clock or a digital time schedule, probably not the best sign. We questioned a man taking his son to the beach, he informed us, that the train has no driver. We waited almost 40 minutes for a driver to appear. That was a first, as I usually experience the train system as punctual. I love the ride out to Haarlem, it’s quick and the scenery keeps me totally entertained. Lady A met us at the train station and we rode our bikes through the streets of Haarlem to their home.

We spent a delightful afternoon together. At one point Lady A decided to fix us up a bit of a snack. Well, she kept producing more and more little bowls with an amazing array of vegetarian snacks. The mate named the table; Lady A’s version of a Ricetable. She also revealed a cupboard filled with jams and goodies that she has made for the winter. Wow!!! I was shocked to hear that the blueberries, blackberries and raspberries were all in season NOW! It is definitely a different growing season than the north east coast of the US.

We needed to return to Amsterdam to administer the dog’s medicine, but wanted to go for a spin on the bikes before we left. So Lady A led us on a ride to the lake, their green space, their special place. Love the Netherlands and how there is always a special green space, just around the next corner. There is something really special about seeing a few beautiful old windmills and a modern wind farm side by side. We returned thru the back streets of Haarlem, it seems like such a quiet and serene village and then we were back at the station. Thankfully Lady A was with us because we ended up on the wrong train platform, she was able to herd us and our bikes with only a 3 minutes window down from one platform under the tracks and up to the right platform. I think she even heaved my bike onto the train. (It was one of those trains with a couple steps up instead of an even entrance). Without her assistance we would have never made the train and I definitely would have not gotten my bike on.

It is hot. Did I say it was hot?
There’s a heat wave in Europe.
Global warming does not discriminate

Came back to the boat, fuck, it’s hot in here. Dog is okay not over heated, but having a hard time, none the less.

Reality check – I have lost my fascination with houseboats! They have drawbacks I never really contemplated– the biggest being that if you are not there, you must close up all the windows and lock it up tight to avoid being robbed –not a great option if you have a pet in the boat. Heck you can’t really even sleep with windows open either, for the same reason. This is an issue I have never contemplated, nor have I ever been confronted with this type of heat in Amsterdam. Not really a great option when the heat outside has been turned up and does not get turned down at night.

The dog is having a very difficult time, he can not really hold himself up, he takes two steps and lies down coughing. Geez, poor guy, this just does not look good. We hang out at the boat to get it cooled down and put a damp cool cloth on the dog. Thank goodness, he had a hair cut.

We decide to walk over to Bolehod for dinner–our second bad meal of the trip. I used to like this place, but not so much anymore. I definitely would think twice before returning. What a meal; tears keep running down both of our cheeks as we talk about finding a vet to help our little guy leave this life. It was a heart wretching meal, but our intention was never to make him suffer and we certainly knew this day was coming. We walk back across Prinsengracht and down Brouwersgracght, a little worried about what we will find when we return

We open the door to the boat and the little guy is all strong, dancing around,happy and excited to see us.

Geez. What a roller coaster.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby Bohannon » Thu Sep 15, 12:37 am

Come on slackers...I need reports! (kidding)

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Sep 15, 2:15 am

Wednesday day 16

Geez, it is hotter today than yesterday!!
We are getting a tropical summer vacation…this is not exactly what we were hoping for, nor is it the kind of weather we packed for!

The Dog has remained in his back to life mode. Dancing around for treats, happy and engaged while coughing in between. But even though he seems to be better, we decide that we need to have a relationship with a vet just in case we need immediate assistance, turns out the vet is just down the street from 137. : )


So we start the morning as usual at 137 with the dog
he is stronger and prefers sprawling out on the stones under our feet.
With today’s heat, I don’t blame him, I think about joining him on the ground.

Before we left for the trip our vet gave us a script for a last ditch medicine for the pooch
(a steroidal inhaler). We took it to the pharmacy around the corner and was informed without a blink of the eye, ‘that will be $450.00!’ I nearly swallowed my tongue. We decided since he did not need it then, that we would just pass. Now in Amsterdam we are thinking maybe this medicine might help him with the cough. We made an appointment and met the vet – a really nice caring doctor, who touched the dog with a respect and confidence that he responded to immediately. Our vet emailed her the script and she agreed to write it out for us. Walked over to the pharmacy on Westerstraat and the pharmacist came back with the medicine and apologized to us that it was so expensive. We nodded. He then said, that will be 46e!! Can you believe it??!! We are getting so ripped off in this country by the pharmaceutical companies it is disgusting and mind numbing.

Geez, that makes me angry.

Took the dog back and grabbed our bikes to head out to Mook a fairly new pancake restaurant. https://www.facebook.com/mookpancakes (sorry they only have a facebook web presence)

OMG, do my navigational skills need some work – I used to be good at finding my way around Amsterdam. I could find anything, from any direction, maybe not always the best routes, but I would get us where we wanted to go. Missing a year really has made a difference in my sense of direction. And might I add that google and Siri are not much help either! After almost giving up numerous times, we finally found it (and it should never have been as difficult as it was for us to locate)
But this place was great!!
Clean comfortable with a wee bit of air conditioning too!
Against the wall was a long couch like thingy that I sat on.
Kicked off my shoes and folding my legs under me – the waiter smiled and said he liked
that I made myself right at home.
This place is worth a visit!
Slow pressed tangerine juice to die for.
Coconut water from a freshly opened coconut!
(the waiter stood there wanting our approval since you never know if the coconut water will be good or not! )
We had the most delicious strawberries, blueberries and banana pancakes. Just really good food! Great pancakes.

So I look to the back of the restaurant and I swear what I observed was from a movie:

There are 2 couples one on each end of the restaurant. They are 20 or 30 something couples
Both of the men are on their phones sitting in the exact same positions wearing the same haircuts. As I glance at them, both women swished their long hair at the exact same time going thru identical mirror like motions of putting their hair into high ponytails. It was absolutely simultaneous – so much so, that the entire scene appeared choreographed. It was kind of astonishing to have caught. It could have been a tv commercial.

Back on the street there is that cloudless blue sky with the relentless hot sun
(is this another movie? )
People are moving slow. Really slow. You don’t usually see wilting people in Amsterdam, but today is a first for me
It is 88 degrees! Wtf?? Tomorrow they are predicting 89 to 90
There really is no escaping the warming of the planet.
But we have to get back to the boat.
The boat is a slow cooker, as I probably have already mentioned and we need to open the windows to let the hot air in. : (

Biking is a relief, you create your own air movement and it is actually better than walking. We stop off at Basilico for the best Italian take out food in the hood.
http://www.basilico.nl It is definitely one of our favorite places.

Geez, I fried while being outside, feels like NYC, except there really is no air conditioning here. Well, no, that’s incorrect - the Jumbo grocery store is freezing!

Otherwise it is hot and there is nowhere to hide….and it’s Amsterdam!

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Sep 15, 9:52 pm

Thursday day 17

This is the hottest day ever, there are clear blue cloudless skies and a relentless sun
Some would say this is a picture perfect day!
It appears that most of the city has gone to the beach. The streets are pretty empty, but for the sweaty bedraggled tourists and their limp maps
Heck on a day like this, I would probably dunk myself in the North Sea!
But when I imagine the hot sand and a beach with no shade… think I will pass, just not really a beach person. And of course leaving the dog at the boat or even taking the dog to the beach are both just out of the question.

After three days of heat without a break, our slow cooker of a boat is in top form to rival a crock pot. There is no way we can leave an animal, sick or healthy locked in here –

So it’s off to 137 with the dog. This time with books and the ipad to play pinball. We are ready to hunker down and spend our day in the shade at 137 with the pooch. We now know all the staff and the owner. They are welcoming, kind and incredibly friendly. The dog is satisfied to once again sprawl out on the cool dark stones.

It is too hot to do much else. The walking tour groups pass by, too hot and exhausted to pay attention to the beauty around them. They point and look at the dog. I think they probably just want to find some shade and some stones to lay down on themselves. As someone mentioned earlier dog love appears to be pretty universal.

We spend a good portion of our day here – reading, playing pinball, smoking and drinking various beverages. The dog sleeps.

About three days ago, I realized I could not find my keys to the boat. This is a bit problematic, sure I can make another key from my mate’s key…. BUT my key ring also had the mail box key attached to it. The ONLY request the owner made of us, was that we pick up his mail daily, as “they” get very angry when the box gets too filled. So now there are at least three days of accumulated mail in the box.

Geez, I have never lost a key to anything. This is making me feel old, distracted, sloppy and just adding to my bag of stress. We tore about the boat earlier. I made my mate check ALL of his pockets 3 times, I was really hoping he had inadvertently grabbed my keys…..no keys.
I knew I had to call the owner after the first day and confess my transgression, but I just kept putting it off.
Don’t call him in the morning…wait, don’t spoil his day!
Don’t call him in the evening…why disrupt a perfectly good evening?
And so it went.
Denial, denial, denial
(I think I am getting good at it!)

This morning I am resolved to call and relieve myself from the stress and guilt of the lost mailbox key…this can not continue.

I pick up the phone and immediately have this image of my husband’s suitcase in the back of my mind, along with a vague memory of putting my keys on top of it. What the hell, I stop the call. I had checked all of the outside pockets on the suitcase earlier…nothing. So I opened up the case, it was pretty much empty, except for some books and trinkets. I dig thru his stuff…. Feeling a bit like a crazy lady… this is insane, just admit that you lost the keys already.

And then….
There they were!!!! My keys!!!
I could not believe my eyes!!

I immediately went to retrieve the mail from the now, way over stuffed mailbox and found a new worry ---how not to lose any mail in the canal!

Success!

Probably about 10 minutes after I retrieved the mail, my phone rings. It is the owner of the boat and he is wondering if he could come over and pick up his mail!!! OMG
What timing! Someone is looking out for me! How embarrassing it would have been, if he had called and I had not been able to remove his mail!

one stressor now safely eliminated


We are really looking forward to a meal at DeKas tonight
http://www.restaurantdekas.nl/home
It is one of our favorite restaurants and we are excited.


It’s Hot – the locals are loving it, at least everyone is talking about the beautiful weather we are having…If I was not so concerned about the dog and the heat, I would probably love it more…it’s all perspective, ain’t it?!

After killing most of the day at 137, we return back to the boat to see if we can cool it down and get cleaned up for our big night out. But the boat is not cooling down– the air outside is not cooling. The dog is panting like a madman, lying on his side – I notice his tongue is extended and hitting the floor. FORGET IT!

We need to just cancel the reservations for dinner as it is just too hot to close him in the boat. We decide our only choice is to go back to 137 at least it is more comfortable there and the little furry guy won’t have heat stroke. We have become more than regulars, it’s beginning to feel like our second home, we joke about getting our dinner delivered there. We remain at 137 until the sun weakens.

I call Winnie to let her know that our plans have changed and she decides to come over. We have a really great evening together. Around 9:30pm, we decide we need food and stroll over to Noordermarkt and Winkle 43. When our food was delivered, we broke out in laughter. I ordered the ginger carrot soup (quite delicious btw), the mate ordered a fish entrée and Winnie ordered the apple pie. It was a three course meal with each of us enjoying one course. It was not the fancy meal from DeKas, but honestly is was just perfect.

We returned to the boat for a smoke and to hang out on the outside deck. (During the day the deck is in full sun, so it was not the most inviting, but now it is perfect!) Picture this – it is 1am and we are still sitting outside in sleeveless shirts, with hardly a breeze!

Can this really be Amsterdam??!!

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby Dogbreath » Fri Sep 16, 12:50 am

Nice.

Thank you...

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Sep 21, 11:36 pm

Friday day 18
It is another hot day– but finally today, the air has cooled, so this is truly a perfect Amsterdam day. Cool air, warm sun, absolutely lovely! THIS is the weather I adore!
It’s the morning ritual at 137, we have got it down to a science
The dog gets his water, stretches out on the stones and we smoke the flavor of the morning, the mate with his tea and me with my water with gas. I really do love this corner of Brouwersgracht. I can not really think of anywhere else on the planet that I would rather be.

Since the air is finally cooler, the boat is once again liveable. We take the little guy back, get him comfortable and head off to the FoodHallen. It’s an impressive repurposing of the old factories. (at least I think they were factories) I remember seeing all of those abandoned warehouses years ago when trekking out to Millenium coffeeshop– It seemed so strange to have all of that empty space in an area of prime real estate. It’s big. Looks like a great place to roam around on a rainy or cold weekend, there are stores and shops, but we are only focused on finding the Food Hall. The Food Hall reminds me of Chelsea Market in the city, lots of tasty food offerings from small kiosks. I wanted to try the Wild Moa Pies, but the people were not in their booth and by the time they finally returned, I had already made my food choices. Oh well, another time. I was speaking to a guy (from Tahiti, who had lived in Amsterdam for 10 years) he was working at one of the food stalls. As we were talking, someone from another food stall delivered him a delicious looking plate of food – he went on to explain how all of the stalls share their food with each other. He nor any of the other workers ever pay for their lunches. They just all share their food offerings with each other and never worry about the expense. He said we get to eat a variety of good food, because we are all in this together! My heart burst into song. Geez, there it is again, that profound sense of co-operation and human support just blows my mind and explodes my heart. I know it is a village of less than a million people and I live in a place with over 8 million people…. there is a difference for sure. But the other very noticeable difference is that, the majority of the shops in Amsterdam, are mom and pop stores and not corporate franchises, like in my city. Mom and Pop shops can hardly afford to keep up with the expense of operating in the city, we are losing them everyday. (btw we had no trouble finding the foodhallen)

Back in the hood: The sunken boat has returned. It was totally gutted and now has new floors and walls and the windows have all been washed. I would have thought that they would just buy a new boat, but I was obviously wrong.

Back on our boat I noticed all of the Puccini Bonboni that we had purchased had melted during the hot days…I never even thought about it, of course if we were melting, it had to melt too. Guess we will have to eat it all and buy more for gifts at another time. Oh darn, such a pity – but certainly not a waste!

We take a spin around the city on our bikes. It is difficult to imagine ever tiring of just looking at the building with their unique angles and fantasyland like charm, held in place by canals with bridge ribbons. We stop off at Amnesia, grab an outside seat and watch life pass us by as the sun sets.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby chichi123 » Thu Sep 22, 3:00 pm

A joy to read this morning over coffee.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Sep 29, 1:11 am

Sat Day 19

It’s a cloudy day. I’m actually happy to see and feel a cloudy day. It reminds me of the time I lived in LA – weeks of endless sun, I was begging the universe to just share a cloud or two, maybe even a little rain - anything to cover up that ball of fire in the sky. So today those wishes were granted in Amsterdam.
Completed the morning ritual at 137. But, oh dear, that realization that this is our last weekend tickles the back of my head. I shove the thought out as quickly as I can, but I can tell that it left a stain on my brain.

Once we have the dog settled back at the boat, we grab our bikes and are off thru the city to Vondel Park. As much as I enjoy riding thru Westerpark, nothing compares to the grand Vondel. We ride around a couple of times and then head for the streets: the zoo, the hortus, down the Amstel. This is just pure joy!

The mate has his heart set on going out to Ruigoord this evening for a Psy-Trance gathering. It does not begin until 11pm and I admit that I really am not that interested in being up most of the night and sleeping thru the following day. But he figures I will join him anyway. I suggest that maybe someone else might like to go. But, no one seems interested. They ALL ask the same question: Did you see who was playing? And then continue with, I really am not so interested in going, same story with everyone he asks…. None the less he is undeterred.

We return to the boat and he goes off again on his own bit of an adventure. He wants the mushroom chocolate bars that were once everywhere. He had stopped into one shop earlier and was flatly told ‘no, no one makes them anymore.’ He decided to go back to the same shop as another person was now working there. He asks again. This time the guy laughed and said, yeah they used to be very popular. He bends down behind the counter, pops up with a bar in his hand and says with eyes ablaze, ‘is this what you are looking for?’ The mate is overjoyed and immediately buys 2 bars. Now he is set for the evening. He returns home with a huge grin!

We have a simple meal at the boat and just hang out and play Ipad pinball. At about 10pm, he starts to prepare for his night out. I prepare for my night in…he is in a bit of shock, that I REALLY am not gonna go with him. But he is still determined. He decides to take a cab to the other station where you can pick up a bus to Ruigoord.

So this is the mate’s evening out: Talking to the cab driver, he finds out taking a cab all the way there was just an additional 10e, so he decides to cab it all the way and eats his chocolate candy as he is chauffeured out. He arrives at the gates to Ruigoord exactly at 11pm. The music is already loud and booming. So loud in fact that he could not even think of entering the church. But as he walks around, he realizes he is just about the first one to the party… no one is really there and it is kind of empty. He takes a seat around the fire and strikes up a conversation with a young hippie dude, who happens to be the bartender that evening. They converse the full gamut of politics, religion, philosophy and life. By the end the young guy tells the mate that if he can not get back to Amsterdam, he can bunk with him in his little trailer. The mate is honored by this gesture. He also tells the mate, that all his drinks are on the house this evening. (lol too bad he is not a drinker) Since the music is not so inspiring, he continues to hang out at the fire and meets up with a group of 20 somethings from Germany. They have come to Amsterdam for the club and party scene. They are disappointed, very disappointed. They say the scene is much better in Berlin than it is in Amsterdam. They are also disappointed by Ruigoord…not certain what they were expecting -but I think they were looking for something a bit more sophisticated. The conversation moves to the US and they all agree that there is no way that any of them would ever come to the States to visit. They think people are crazy here, that everyone carries guns and it is easy to get murdered here.

(as an aside – I did not realize that there are 40 states in which you can now open carry an SEMI -automatic* weapon! Geez, I wouldn’t want to visit here either!!)

Another thing I noticed (hope I am not repeating myself) Everyone we have met in Amsterdam tells us about how lovely their home country and city is, saying –“You must come and visit, you must see our country!” Never once did those words come out of our mouths concerning the US… interesting, no?!

At about 2am just as things are starting to fill up, the mate decides he has had enough (so much for the all nighter) He heads out to the gates and up to the main drag to flag or call a taxi. As he gets there, he sees people getting into a cab – he sticks his head in and it is the group from Germany that he met earlier, so he shares a cab back to the city with them.

He returns, bubbly and happy. I am exhausted and stressed. Soon after he left, the dog had a bad spell and went into a downward spiral. My last three hours have been looking after my poor sweet little furry guy.


*corrected thanks to Rudy!
Last edited by worldcitizen1723 on Thu Sep 29, 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby Rudy » Thu Sep 29, 4:17 pm

Enjoying your reports WC.
Semi-Automatic though by the way, and
God bless America.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby MileHighDenver » Fri Sep 30, 2:18 am

Good times. Sorry for the little guy and the heat.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Oct 04, 11:38 pm

Sunday day 20

This is a sad day
A very bad day
The dog is on his side. Not interested in anything
He does seem comfortable, just not interested in life
He stopped eating
I did absolutely nothing today, except watch over the dog and pet him

Can’t even tell you what the weather was like.
I am not here, but in some bubble of a foreign landscape.

Monday day 21
First thing we do this morning is contact the vet. She is in surgery all day. So, an appointment is made for him on Tuesday to help him pass over. Geez, these are our last 2 days in Amsterdam…. And of course we knew this scenario was in our future, one way or another, in one country or another… but it is still heart crushing. The logistics of this ordeal are a bit much. The vet is in the Jordaan, but because we are flying out on Wednesday, we will have to deliver our dog to the crematorium somewhere across the IJ and in the north, immediately after he passes. Then on Wednesday morning before our flight we will have to go out there and retrieve his ashes as they do not think they can mail them to us.

My heart is heavy, my mind is a blur.

It’s another daylong vigil spent in that strange disconnected bubble I seem to now inhabit
He is not interested in food.
Today he is not even interested in water.
Okay then, these are the clearest signs he can offer up as to what he wants. I am sad, but this seems clear. Certainly I cannot make him take another plane trip across the pond.

It is a sad resolve we sit with. Don’t want to leave him, not sure why, nothing changes if I am here or not. But I sit glued to his side anyway

Winnie comes over in the evening to say goodbye to the dog and give us a bit of a distraction. She walks in and 60 seconds later the dog wakes up!
He wants food
He wants water
He wants to be petted and stroked
He wants to go outside.

Wtf!!!

Winnie’s presence has brought him back to life

After a handful of hours Winnie leaves
The dog is happy and alive

We are confused
I have a headache
Don’t know what to make of all of this

We decide to just see what the morning brings

Oh yeah….we are in Amsterdam and I am feeling a bit lost.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby winnie » Wed Oct 05, 9:07 pm

'Winnie’s presence has brought him back to life'


more like winnie's ringing of the strange doorbell woke him up from a magnificent kip.
Thinking of you xx

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Oct 05, 11:48 pm

winnie wrote:'Winnie’s presence has brought him back to life'


more like winnie's ringing of the strange doorbell woke him up from a magnificent kip.
Thinking of you xx


nah - it was you!

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby Dogbreath » Thu Oct 06, 1:07 pm

Methinks Winnie liberally applied some of that ancient magic Irish Fairy Dust on the little guy...

Every dog knows it cures all.....

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby moe. » Thu Oct 06, 7:42 pm

What a heck of an emotional roller coaster ride! I hope you guys are doing okay.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby boneymaroni » Fri Oct 07, 1:16 am

If you love your dog as much as I love mine.....then I know what you're going through. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this...are your reports 'real-time'? I hope so....don't keep us in suspense just to fluff out a trip report. I'm hoping for the best and feeling empathy for y'all. Reads like a real asshole post but I don't mean it that way. I can't imagine what it'll be like when our little guy starts the transition.

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Re: the Second Handful of My Amsterdam Days

Postby NewYork, New York » Fri Oct 07, 4:23 am

WC,

Thanks for sharing. Good Read(s). Hope your dog doesn't suffer much.

NYNY


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