Thursday, November 26, 2009


Oh wow! This is a great town. I've only spent one day here and I've fallen in love with A'dam already. Friendly people, friendly laws, bikes everywhere, canals, museums, and I have a little, simple hotel room, at the Euphemia Hotel, it's clean and modest with a comfortable bed, centrally located, the Mellow Yellow coffee shop just a block away. Yesterday I was looking for a place to eat and looked in on a little Italian market just a couple of blocks away. Bought some pasta, marinated octopus (good but not as good as Homer friend John's) grilled and marinated eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms to complete a nice take-out dinner.  I tell you, I'm enjoying the hell out of being here.

I want to write lots about this amazing city but I want to get out while the day is young to visit some markets. As soon as I arrived and started walking around I realized that the way to travel here is definitely by bicycle. Bikes seem to rule the roads. They're literally everywhere and people ride in all weather, with umbrellas, cell phones, kids fore & aft, so I went ahead and rented a bike. It's a road warrior type, 3-speed, quite heavy, with a basket, hand brake for the front, coaster brake in the rear (yep, it's a bit weird) and I cruised all over yesterday afternoon after my visit to the Rijksmuseum.  Now, I said earlier the bikes rule the roads. That's not quite true. Motor scooters "share" the bike lanes and the bikers themselves are quite reckless, cutting in front of one another, practically brushing up against the trams that are always very close by. I consider myself a good bicyclist but I'll tell you, one had better pay attention in traffic here or much shit could happen in a hurry. Again I find myself wishing I had my Cannondale here.

Anyway, more later — to check out the photos that go with this article on Google Photos, just click on the link: Amsterdam.