Canals and Company

Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2007

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Saturday, June 9, 2007

I was surprised to find out that Anders had taken the whole week off from work to be my guide while in Amsterdam. This great surprise only got better when I realized he had done a lot of planning for the week. One of our days included going to a museum outside Amsterdam with his colleagues. This was great because I got to meet a few of his friends, as well as, his professor from his university. I would also get to see a bit of the countryside.

The first couple of days we spent in Amsterdam biking around. We walked through the red-light district, as it's quite the thing to do. Women behind windows in scanty underwear waiting for the next customer, sex shops on every corner, even the 1st exotic supermarket lined the few streets of this district. I told Anders that I honestly don't see how that could be the only means for supporting oneself. All he said was, "If you ever get that desperate, call me and I will find you a better job." Thanks Anders!

Not wanting to drag him to any of the museums he has already been to, we kept our days to finding local markets, wandering beautiful streets and showing me a bit of his world in Amsterdam. Conveniently, he lives right above his place of employment, a hotel, but he took me out to his studio to see where he gets creative. In the industrial side of town, he shares a complex that houses about 15 artists. He has his own studio in the building, a great space with enough room to work in both textile and clay without getting too messy. Wish I had such a space.

One night after dinner we went to the beautiful Vondelpark, and had a beer and tea at this great café in the trees. Then peddled around the park amongst all the bikers, joggers, rollerbladers and strollers that fill the area. Great way to end an evening and it never seems to amaze me at how late it stays light out, night falls around 11pm! Another great aspect of Amsterdam is how clean it is. The streets and parks are immaculate, I haven't seen very much graffiti, and the only sad part is the canals. Anders says they are disgusting and haven't done much to improve that part of the city. Hopefully soon that will change, this city is very charming and draws many people because of that fact.
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