I was going to write this post from a small café tomorrow on some side street with a canal view in my current Amsterdam, but in light of my last post, I have decided to hit up a photography museum called FOAM.
Update: no, I lied. I went to the museum, and now I find myself canal-side in a café with about five tables and wallpaper covered in various string instruments that I wish I had the skill to play. All with good intentions.
Since we last spoke, I survived Belgium. A fine accomplishment by any standards. I went from Maastricht into Liege, and from there into Bruges (which includes passing through Brussels) with no delays. Perhaps I had the luck of the French-speaking Irish on my side (thanks M). I even drank a hot coffee on the train and didn’t spill it all over myself, which I assumed would be the next best thing to a two hour delay between stations with a R. Haar paper due the next day. But nope, nothing. I made it to Bruges in one piece, and proceeded to spend about 24 hours walking around, being charmed by everything I saw, drinking beer, and eating fine chocolate, lace cookies, and ribs. More or less in that order.
In other words, life was good. Twenty-four hours of bliss. Bruges is possibly the most charming place on earth (and I say that having already lived in Granada and Maastricht). It’s just completely full of crooked houses, canals, cobbled streets, and, well, bridges.
And the ever-charming Flemish-speaking drunk 18 year olds yelling at 2 AM. But alas, nothing gold can stay, and Belgium yet again went back to its old ways with a small delay on my train to Roosendaal that led to me almost miss my connection to Amsterdam, which would have obviously led to an hour of eating frietjes with no mayo, thank you very much. But because unlike a turtle, I am very skilled at awkwardly running with a shell on my back, I did make it onto the train.
Belgium, I win this time.
I have since landed in Amsterdam, where it has snowed, rained, and sunned all in a span of twenty four hours. Because Holland. K has taught me the art of picking tourists out of a crowd based on their apparent love for the AMSTERDAM hats sold only at the tackiest of tourist shops. I have also been learning an appreciation for mayonnaise. As it turns out, frietjes speciaal makes a fantastic drunk snack.
Please don’t make me repeat that, please. It hurt my soul even to put it in writing.
True to my old ways, I have successfully scraped the mayo off of every sandwich I’ve had here. Old habits die hard.
Preluding this late-night snack was a trip to an impressive whiskey bar, where I proceeded to drink only beer. When asked why, I had to recount the story of a particular night when two of my favorite people on earth managed to give me an incredible distaste for whiskey. My life has not been the same since then. Thanks L and M, you guys are great.
In a few hours I will head to Rotterdam to visit the original Dutchie in my life, followed by a trip to Utrecht to visit one of the tallest people to ever grace Poland with his presence. Obviously very little logic went into this route planning; thankfully with more than an hour in any direction I will be swimming in the ocean or speaking German, so my journey will be short regardless of the fact that I am making a complete Ronde van Nederland.
Hopefully by the next time I write, someone will have talked me out of moving to Amsterdam, where I will undoubtedly be the shortest person on record and will probably never learn to speak Dutch.