Monday, September 6, 2010

Random Observations from Amsterdam

  • The Dutch are a very tolerant people.  Not only is prostitution legal (and regulated to protect both seller and buyer), but one may buy marijuana in licensed coffee houses.  We occasionally caught a whiff of a familiar substance while taking our daily walks.
  • I love the bicycles with carts in front for the kidlets.  Some moms (and dads) are able to maneuver the bike with 3 toddlers in the front cart.  And they also have baskets draped over the back wheel for groceries!  Now that's really "going green."
  • There are potted orchids growing in apartment windows everywhere.  They all seem healthy and hardy.  I'm jealous!
  • European women, at least in Amsterdam, are a step ahead of us in style.  Style is not my thing -- whatever fits and is on sale on senior day at Ross becomes my style!  However, I do appreciate a woman stylishly dressed and they are abundant in this city.
  • Some of the ladies' footwear is just amazing.  Six-inch high stilleto heels (at least) with gladiator type straps across the instep.  How the hell do you walk in these things?  A lot of younger women wear these spectacular shoes with tights. Tall, thin bodies and magnificent gams -- quite a sight.
  • Smokers are everywhere.
  • Catching an unexpected scene down an alley or side street is one of the joys of walking through this city. It might look like just another alley, but at the very end is a magnificent steeple rising into the blue sky.  Takes your breath away.
  • People congregating on the front steps leading to their apartments - having a coffee in the morning, reading the daily newspaper, enjoying a cocktail with friends and neighbors after work.  Did I see champagne glasses?
  • If I were 21 and single, I could live in this city.
  • Tolerance, acceptance, basic human decency -- what made the Dutch so important in the Resistance Movement of World War II.  Thank you!

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