Anne Frank House
Trip Start May 08, 2007
71Trip End Ongoing
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Back at Berlin Beachcamp, Matthysde, who is from the Netherlands, had told me that I would like being around tall people when I got to Amsterdam. He also told me that they were tall because of the Vikings back when they conquered Holland. We were drinking at the time and so I told him that he was full of shit. I asked him why the English, or Irish or Belgium's were not as tall; were they not conquered by the vikings too. I also pointed out to Matthysde that neither the people of Norway or Sweden where the vikings came from were as tall either. So, out of frustration, he asked me why I thought that the people in the Netherlands were so tall
There is a very easy explanation I said, "First of all isn't the much of the Netherlands below sea level and the land protected by dikes? In which he said, yes. Then I asked him if he had ever heard of adapting for survival? In which he again said yes. Then is it not true that if you were spending hours a day, standing on your tippy toes, day after day, year after year, looking over the top of those dikes looking to see if those damn Vikings were coming that the people would indeed get taller".
After getting setteled in, I meet up with Susana, a student from Costa Rica, who I meet at Beachcamp to show me around. We went to the nearby Vondelpark, a park were the 60's hippies were allowed to settle, where there was a free outdoor show going on with both music, one act plays, and stand up comedy. With performances in Dutch and English it was very entertaining. One other interesting thing about the show and the park in general was the constant smell of weed, which may or may not have had something to do with our next destination.
After the show, we went to theLaidse Plain, a square with good nightlife scene where we found the coffeeshop "Rookies". Just like the tourist guides all say, you order yourself a drink and then walk up to the counter, cheek out the menu, purchase your hash or weed, go sit out front in the sidewalk cafe and enjoy your smoke
Sunday, my first full day in Amsterdam, I really wanted to go see the Anne Frank House, It was truely a very moving experience, from the time you go through the Bookcase door into the small hideout until you hear Otto Frank, Anne's father, on film talking about the loss of his two daughters on his return of his search for them in Poland. You could easily see the effect being in this house had on the people on this tour, as I know they could on me. I really wish that I could have gotten some pictures of the interior of the house and the diaries, there were two books, and many loose entries.
Anyway, more on Amsterdam soon,