30 April 2010

And back to life as normal

So my life has been returning to normal here in Amsterdam. Considering where I live in Amsterdam - in a community in the Red Light District - normal can mean pretty much anything.

Last Saturday evening I walked out the front door and bumped into some man lying in front of the door. "Just great," I thought, "some crazy man passed out in front of my door." But he sat up, and I looked a bit closer - and I discovered it was Daniel hanging out watching the tourists go by. So I sat down and joined him. Why not, eh?

And as for more normal, today I'm writing this in the office of the community with some pretty overwhelmingly loud music coming from outside. The tons of people wondering around bedecked in orange today make it fairly obvious that today is a special holiday - the Queen's birthday.

And what did I do in honour of the Queen's birthday? I went to Schiphol to pick up a friend, Crystle, who's visiting this week. It took more than 3 hours to get there and back (normally it's 15 minutes there and 15 minutes back). I missed the last train travelling between Amsterdam Centraal and Amsterdam Sloterdijk - as of 11.45 this morning, trains could no longer run that part of the tracks because people had decided to walk on them. So, then a rerouting - and a delay before the re-routing was announced. Finally, I met up with Crystle (more than an hour late), and we began the adventure of getting back to Amsterdam Centraal amidst the re-routed and overcrowded trains. It was fairly gezellig, though - lots of friendly people clothed in orange, happily drinking beer, hanging out with friends, freely talking to everybody, and looking forward to hanging out some more in Amsterdam.

As I write this, it's become a bit more obvious to me why I found my beach vacation in Turkey nice - but slightly dull. I mean, castles are great and hanging out with the boyfriend is also great (and the rest of the company was pretty good, too) - but it doesn't quite compare with the 'never a dull moment' of life here in Amsterdam.

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