Friday, March 31, 2006


Everyone seems so happy here. But they also seem to have great difficulty finding their way. And, god forbid you get caught in a group of people. Seems like no one person can make a decision in the group - kind of like getting caught up in a jellyfish that is kind of meandering the streets.

And in one section of town the dance clubs are numerous, but very, very small - each one that's open seems to have only one girl dancing inside trying to invite someone to join her. They're all very scantily dressed I might add.

It was funny to see a cannabis "starter kit" for sale at the flower markets for 6 euro. The seller was even providing additional tips for the care and feeding of these plants (seemed to boil down to add water and provide plenty of light, even if artificial).

Today was museum day with visits to Rijksmuseum (focus on Rembrandt), Van Gogh museum (focus on Van Gogh), Heineken experience (yes, another brewery tour) and the Anne Frank house. With a bit of surprise, I feel I can recommend all of them (details will follow). The Anne Frank house was particularly moving and something that will stay with me forever - not so much for what it contained, but more for the story that was told - using mostly excerpts from the diary itself (which was on display) and a final video interview with her father that was able to survive. Very tragic and touching as was one of the quotes that made you contemplate all the other "Anne Frank's" whose story would never be told.

Spent the last hour or so at a bar in one of the alley ways. Was quite pleasant as I was the only patron for a while and got to chat with the bartender and a few of the locals that came in during that time. One of them was the owner of the beer store across the street (he was having a drink while minding the store (as was the bartender) - gotta love Amsterdam). It turns out he had Westvleteren in stock - a beer that is supposed to be the best in the world but is near impossible to get as you can only buy direct from the monks and everyone is limited to 2 cases per visit. Hopefully, the beer itself will live up to the high expectations.

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