Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Since I am technically an illegal alien in Turkey I am forced to leave the country every 90 days, but I like to think of it as free holiday. I looked up flights to Berlin, Spain and London but the cheapest ones were to Amsterdam, so why not.
This was my second trip to Amsterdam, but the first was somewhat of a blur. It was 2006 and I went to Amsterdam with my study abroad program after spending a few nights in Paris. So the whole idea of international travel was well beyond my head, plus I wasn’t even the legal drinking age in America so I had yet to develop the matured taste for beer.
I had originally planned to take the trip alone but at the last moment Michael worked some magic and arranged to escort me all the way to Amsterdam. We arrived in Holland late on Saturday evening; we had a small layover in Munich, just enough time for a proper German beer, pretzel and my favorite Ritter Sport chocolate. On Sunday the weather was surprising crisp and not too cold. I was fearing the worst, I thought I might be trekking through a foot of snow and trying to keep myself from hyperventilating but the weather was only slightly colder then Istanbul. We spent the day wondering the streets, taking pictures and just enjoying the peace and quiet. Amsterdam was a nice getaway from the chaos and noise of Istanbul. You don’t realize how much noise 18 million people make, especially when they all seem to be taxi drivers who love blaring their horns.
Amsterdam is so cute, all the precious Dutch people strolling around on their bikes; you can just feel how they are living the privileged life in the top percentile of the world. The streets are spotless, there are barely any cars and the people are extremely friendly. The food was not to bad either, of course we had plenty of French fries with mayo and ketchup, I had some delicious crepes and no trip to Holland in complete without a few Heinekens. I even had a chance to meet up with one of Sophie’s friends that lives in Berlin. It continues to amaze me as I travel to all the corners of the world that I am never far from friends. It truly is a small world and I am fortune to experience just some of its many wonders
The next few days where pretty mellow, the weather was grey and Amsterdam is not as crazy as most people like to assume. Dutch people are pretty reserved; the only rowdy people are the handful of drunk English blokes wondering the streets. Even the red light district is clean and safe; I mean for heaven sakes there are swans swimming in the canal just outside the windows with half naked prostitutes dancing in them. This imagine kind of sums up Amsterdam.