Date Mon 07 February 2005 Tags life

(You might want to read day 1 and day 2 first.)

Friday was most likely the most serious sightseeing day we had during our time in Amsterdam. We started out in a wool store for Josie, had lunch that gave me heartburn for the rest of the week, and then continued on to the Anne Frank huis. (BTW, for all you non-Dutchies, “ui” is apparently pronounced as a weird mixture of “oi” and “ow”. That’s at least what we inferred from the tram pronouncing its stops, in this case, notably “Het Spui”.)

The Anne Frank museum is worth seeing, and more than once I felt a chill moving down on my body, for example when we came to the part of the museum that covered how the Frank family got caught, deported and executed. It is a truly moving museum, and they have made much of the fairly little that there is to see. I left there with a wish to actually read Anne Frank’s diary, maybe I’ll make that my next book. There are some “extra” sections to the museum, like one room where an audience votes on current matters of “freedom of expression” vs. “restriction and persecution of certain forms of expression”. This was enlightening, often surprising, and technically well-realized.

After leaving the Anne Frank huis around five, we headed for Amsterdam’s smallest gallery, and from there past the Westerkerk to the “Homo-Monument”, some large sculpture consisting of three interconnected triangles commemorating the suffering of homosexuals in our societies, present and past. (BTW, I challenge you to take a picture that a) does it justice and b) contains all of it.) From there to Bagels and Beans for a honey-walnut bagel and some refreshing juice. Hmmmmm. Nice ambience, too.

After a bit of shopping, we decided to go see the red light district. That included popping into one of the novelty-filled sex shops. I wonder what people do with all the things you can buy there. :? While we were in there, Josie hit me repeatedly to make me stop giggling. }:) I am amazed by how well the “district” integrates into the rest of the city life—there are no high concrete walls like in Germany, and really, there’s a huge vegetable market just one block away from it. I admire the Dutch for their easy-going-ness. I wanna be like that. :)

Later on, we went to Local Amsterdam for some rib-eye steak and lamb, well-grilled on a skewer. In this hip-type restaurant, you just sit on long tables and eat standardized dishes off of standardized plates. That sounds like prison dining, but is actually really fun and, again, very lecker. This was a recommendation in the Boom magazine, whose advice to have one of their dessert cocktails twe also heeded. We had Brazilian Iced coffee out of a large conic cup, and were nearly perfectly happy when we left there to go explore the Jordaan part of Amsterdam by night. On the way back to the hostel, however, we got lost pretty badly. Not that it mattered much that we wandered around in circles, it was actually quite fun. It only took us four hours to get back to the hostel…

(Read on.)