Monday, June 20, 2011

Roxanne? We'll leave the light on for you

Dearest Kitty,

I think about this often, but it’s so unfortunate that letters and journals are seemingly a part of our past. Amsterdam reminded me that there will be no future, “Letters to Theo” or “The Diary of a Young Girl.” Our culture will be relegated to sentiments no longer than 140 characters, and filled with emoticons. :-) I want to read about Sylvia Plath’s boogers! Seriously, nobody’s gonna blog about that. (And yet I Google “Sylvia Plaths boogers" and lo and behold, there is a blog about Sylvia Plath's boogers.)

The Tweets of Anne Frank just wouldn’t have been the same.

(Now Kitty, before you get your hairballs in a knot, please know that I am not mocking Anne. Anne is a heroine in my book, and I want to be her BFF. I am not making light of her situation or her tragic end. I am making social commentary about the state of our expression, and the decline of our youth because I am now 47 and talk about things like the decline of our youth. For the record, I also really love Germans. A German Jew? The holy grail, man, the holy grail.)

@AnneFrankHides: ‘Sup bitches. 12 hours in hiding. Mom already buggin’ #nazissuck

@AnneFrankHides: New boarder here at Prinsengracht 267 #oldguysleepinginmyroom

@AnneFrankHides: Somebody revealed our location L #nazissuck

@AnneFrankHides: Ooops #thenazisarecoming

Tweets with Theo

@VincentVtotheG: Duuuuudddeee …. Drank Absinthe and TOTALLY cut my ear off LOLZ #canyouhearmenow

Amsterdam is a lovely little city with horrific weather. It was so cold, and I was so unprepared that I thought I would have to purchase an Anne Frank Hoodie.

(Centraal Station)

(Dam Square - Brad and Janet nowhere in sight - Dam it!)

It's a bike town, and in the "summer" ... (Hard to call it summer when it's 50 degrees)

the sun stays out until 1030PM. (I know that's a blurry shot, but it's the only twilight photo I got. Bella! Edward!) which did not at all stop me from falling asleep at 8:00PM. Oh yeah, Amsternikki Rocked it.

View from my room at bedtime - the only sunny time of day.

I did the "tourist thing" including Anne Frank House

And the Van Gogh (pronounced Van short-productive-cough-noise) museum, and just a slight release of my inner pretentious tool, there is NOTHING like a Van Gogh sun. And if you haven’t seen one in person, you really need to. The textures are amazing, and what I think the artist was trying to express …
And yes, Kitty, if you must know, I DID receive an e-mail from my mother, to my work e-mail address, asking me if I saw hookers and smoked pot. What I can tell you, is I saw hookers. Beyond that, wat gebeurt er in Amsterdam verblijf in Amsterdam.

We did a bit of window shopping.

(Is that a carrot on your wang or orange you glad I didn't say banana again?)

Uh. Wince.

(We went back the next day and the boobies were gone. This window is classic. I wish my shadow wasn't marring its pornographic perfection.)

How much is that mommy in the window? The one with the silicone tits? Yeah, that's right. She could well be somebody's mother. Do you feel bad about gawking now?

Fun fact: They do NOT sell gum at Amsterdam airport. I cannot imagine why. Really.

Travel Tip: If you stand on the moving walkway, people know you are a tourist. (See also: complaining when the TSA takes your Costco sized toothpaste away)

Travel Tip 2: Two of the best burgers in my life have come from Radisson Hotels in Europe. Now, you may not be thinking I cannot wait to get to Europe and eat a Radisson burger, but you would be missing out.

By day 3 in Amsterdam, I realized it was really a two-day city. Maybe a day and a half. Touring choices that day were Electric Ladyland Museum “The First Museum of Florescent Art” (which I’m kind of sorry I didn’t choose), and the Amsterdam Zoo. Since it was raining and windy, it only made sense to choose the zoo. But here’s why:


Dude - I totally feel you. My neck hurts too.

The lemurs aren’t caged, but apparently won’t cross water. A fun fact I did not know. So you can get right up close to them. Another fun fact I did not know, they will scream when children pet them.

Guess what? What? Monkey Butt.

BABY Giraffe.

Mamma feeding baby and herself.

Here's something I didn't consider doing.

I seems to me that pedaling while you are drinking means that you arrive at your destination sober, and I can almost guarantee that was not the objective of this crew.

One of my most profound experiences was in the old Jewish quarter. I meant to go there, and I wanted to go there, but when I found myself there it was still a little shocking. (Because, as it turns out, I always turn left, and the fact of the matter is, I'm surprised when I end up anywhere I set out to go.) It was a very quiet street. And I stood there and sort of took it in. I closed my eyes, really trying to feel the persecution of the Jews.

And when I opened my eyes, I was confronted with it.

The persecution of Raw Milk Cheese, which is under threat of extinction. Who knew?

In closing Kitty, (I do have to admit I’d completely forgotten I was writing you a letter), I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from “Still Life with Cigarette Pack”

Roken is dodelijk.

Roken. Is. Dodelijk.


The Sardonic Traveler

p.s. I have to be honest. It never occurred to me before this trip that Roxanne was a Dutch hooker.


Leeswammes said...

Great post. Looks like you had an interesting if slightly boring (partially because of weather) trip.

Some comments from your Dutch reporter:

The bikes aren't there just in summer. People cycle any time of year. How else are they going to get around?

The shop windows you showed I've never seen before. I must say, I don't go to Amsterdam very often, but I think you headed to the "wrong" streets. On purpose. So you could take these pictures and show what a sleazy city Amsterdam is. Well, whatever. I don't live there, I don't care.

I think going in one of those canal boats would have been great. I did one when it rained (ok-ish) and once when it was dry (absolutely brilliant, you get to see the most wonderful old houses, bridges, etc. If you like that kind of thing (I do)).

Leeswammes said...

Leeswammes - that's JudithAnn from Shelfari, in case you weren't sure. :-)

Nicole Del Sesto said...

I loved the shop windows I thought they were great. We crossed through the Red Light District several times. I liked Amsterdam, but I consider myself a "power tourist" I like to do a LOT in a short period of time.