As I got on the train, I tried to forget the stress of Paris and get into vacation mode with magazines, a good book and a homemade muffin. Then I promised myself to disconnect as much as possible from the following:
Then I connected to the hotel wifi and my plans went down the proverbial toilette. Thankfully, the fear of paying international roaming charges forced me to put my Iphone on airplane mode once outside the walls of Fita, allowing me to focus on more vacation-y things such as:
Eating all foods not Dutch (somehow we managed to eat Chinese, Indonesian, Argentinian and Italian..)
Testing out the array of Dutch and Belgian beers
Taking in the beauty of the gables, canals and graphic style of the city
Saving my bootay from kamikaze bikers (where is the sidewalk??!)
Gawking at the Red Light District errrr...inhabitants?
Trying to fathom how Anne Frank survived in hiding for two years
Enjoying the diverse range of licorice candies in the grocery store
In comparison to dog poop Paris, Amsterdam was like Monsieur Propre's hometown. It was also home to Monsieur Accommodating, Monsieur Polite and Mme Smiley. Copain and I were downright lost. You have to warn Parisians about that kind of behavior! We hardly knew what to do with ourselves. I mean, the bikers stopped at the stop lights people. They stopped. Fascinating...
We got sufficiently lost to explore the city and I decided that I could totally live in Amsterdam as long as I could learn A. learn Dutch and B. learn defensive biking. I'd hate to be the American who not only gets run over by bikers on a regular basis, but who also makes the Dutch speak to me in my native language on their turf, and not the other way around.
ps - kudos to the Dutch for their complete mastery of anglais. How do they do it?
Here are a few highlights from our voyage ... Amsterdam, we heart you.
Refried beans! Three points for Amsterdam:-)
We visited the butterfly house in the botanical gardens...
And the tropical rainforest house...which inspired Copain to make South America our next trip destination
As we pulled into the Gare du Nord on Sunday evening, my defenses for dog doo and the Parisian way went right back up as we boarded the cramped metro for the short ride home. Oh Amsterdam...I will miss you.