Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Amsterdam - The Return - Day 1

So where did I last leave things. Oh yeah, departing from JFK.
Well the flight was uneventful other getting stuck in the bulkhead row
that does not recline because of the emergency exit behind me,
so I was forced to rest my head on my tray table, not my
preferred sleeping position. I did try and offset that by taking
three benadryls and two screwdrivers to get me to sleep,
which still did not work as well as I had hoped but I was
able to get about 3 1/2 to 4 hours of sleep. I then had a
car service take me to Bratislava.

So I am home, and yes I do feel like this my home,
I could try explain the reasons I feel this way about Slovakia but I
am not sure I could convey exactly what I feel since I don't seem
to understand it myself. The closest thing I can say I this, I know
that the Universe wants me here for some reason. It is the same
reason I return to Camp every summer, because this is where I
should be. For those of you who get to talk with me face to face
will understand the concept I am trying to get across because
I have said it before. The key now is for me to recognize why
So how is it living in the same flat as your ex-girlfriend. To be
honest it was rather strange right at first, both of us not quite sure
what to expect from the other. That passed as we both just sat
down and chatted about our summers, how they went etc.
It was then I think we both understood that while we were not right
for each other as a couple, we could in fact be OK with just being
friends. The lingering feelings we both are dealing with I think
will slowly fade in to the past and make it easier just to be friends
with each other. As with everything, time will tell. So the trip,
I as I write this I am 20000 feet above the Netherlands about to
land in Amsterdam. I am looking forward to spending a few
days walking around taking pictures and taking in the local culture
and attractions.

Landed in Amsterdam and took a cab to the hotel because I
was to lazy to figure out the train and bus lines in a town I cant
pronounce the names of the stops.

Andy from Barney's lounge was here again and remembered
me and all my stories. I was surprised how excited he got when
he saw me, I felt for sure that there was no way he remembered
one old American from 4 months go. It was my hat that I think
made him remember me.

(Props to my Pop for the vintage 1971 "Go Fast Hat")

So first impressions, First, I love having the Asus eeepc 900,
it is perfect for the mobile blogger like me. Second, Barney's
still makes one of the best milkshakes you wil ever have.
Third the cab drivers here would give the NYC crew a run for
there money, my only advice is close your eyes and pray.
Fourth The hotel I got this time is now my new favorite spot.
I will get some photos to show you this area of town in the morning.
I have no view but it's a smoking room and it is bigger than the
last place. But the down side is you can't smoke inside the
restaurants or bars or coffee shops, go figure. You can light up a
spliff in the coffee shop but the get mad at you if you fire up a
nicotine stick, what kind of sick twisted moronic bureaucrat
came up with that one, oh wait I think I answered my own question.

So what is my game plan for the next 72 hours?
Tonight if the rain holds off I am going to do some night shots,
which without my tripod, should produce some interesting results.
But to be honest some of my greatest shots have happened by accident.
Tomorrows weather looks like it should be nice so it will be a
day of walking and shooting.

So I have gone mobile and am now sitting down for dinner at a
small Italian place off one of the main streets. So the plan is for
me to stop every so often and just start to type. I have already
taken a few good shots and this way It will give you the up
close and personal view of the city, plus it's fun for me to do it.
It gives me a look I need as a single guy dinning alone. Doing this
makes me look important. ;-)

So I just finished one of the best dinners I have had in a long time.
The veal saltimbocca was amazing and the gravy on the spaghetti
would make grandma Lucarelli proud. I am going to finish it
off with some tiramisu. Then off for more photos before calling it a night.

I just got mistaken for a Frenchman, I couple sat down to me
and started to speak to me then I said I don't speak French the the
man thought I was French. Serge and Fabienne are from Aix province
and I have just been sitting here talking with them as they wait for there dinner.
They are both teachers who are on holiday. I told them about my
travels and we talked about my philosophy of life and that today is
the only day you get so you better enjoy it. Anyway, tomorrow is
just a future yesterday. Serge's english is very good and is able to
translate what his wife misses. They are both very pleasant to talk
with and disprove the old stereo types of what you might think of
the French. He has also given me the name of a French writer
Andre Gide to read. For those of you who don't believe me,
I will say it again. The Universe puts me where it wants me to
be when it wants me to be there.

And the tiramisu was great, of course the espresso at 9:15 might be a mistake.

I am now hanging out in a square listen to two guys jam on guitar,
the sound is amazing. I tried to get some video but it hosed up on me, I will try again tomorrow.

Bike repair with a brick, the Amsterdam way.

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