Amsterdam Day 1

Wendy said to meet her at the meeting place. After some discussion, we found the red and white cubic structure that is in fact called the “Meeting Place” in the terminal of Schipol Airport. For the first time in my life, the plane was actually early so we ended up hanging around for an hour and then getting the phone message to go outside to Parking Area B4. The trip to Amsterdam begins much like the ones to New York end on a search for what does Parking Area B4 mean and where’s the car..

Wendy’s mom had picked up breakfast at the street market down the block and since we had lost complete idea of time and what meal we were up to we had some Turkish (well maybe Turkish- her Mom wasn’t exactly sure since the baker neither spoke German or English) bread and jam.

After a few hours sleep we were off on the Tram to the part of the map Wendy had highlighted as the interesting canals. Since she provided us with Tram tickets it wasn’t to hard to jump on and read the electronic sign until we came to Westmarket. I was too tired to get into our usual map reading disputes and somehow a left turn follow by a right led us right to a line of tourists. Ahh- the Ann Frankhuis (Anne Frank’s House). All our tour guide books advised get there early cause the lines are long, but I got on it anyway because I was too tired to think of an alternative. Eric went off to explore the option of finding timed ticket sales but by the time he returned I had gotten involved in the conversation between the Spanish couple and Japanese family in front of me. The joy of travel- listening to people from all over the world discuss their travel plans. The Spanish man explained that he had an agenda for his time in Amsterdam, get a piercing -somewhere on his body, a tatoo (side note- the most common Spanish tatoo states- My mother loves me, according to our line mate) and to see the Anne Frank House. I can only say for sure that he accomplished number 3, but as he pointed out a little chatting, a little joking and the line moves quickly.

The seventh grade teacher asked me once to talk about the Holocaust for five minutes since the class had read Anne Frank;s Diary of a Young Girl.. The Holocaust in five minutes? I am not quite sure what I said, that day, but I thought about it while wondering why of all the attractions in Amsterdam, it is the Anne Frankhuis, the guidebooks warn have the longest line. Perhaps it is the neatly rapped up package of the smiling Anne Frank child whose is transposed into a Holocaust Victim in a series of rooms illustrated with snippets of her diary projected on the wall. The dose of Holocaust is reduced to the book of 103,000 names hand recorded and displayed under glass. The man standing next to me explained to his young son in American English, those are the names of the Jews of Holland who perished in the Holocaust- 103,000 . “Just from Holland alone,” I added. Or maybe the dose of Holocaust one mind can absorb is reduced to one handwritten diary.

The rest of the day we spent wandering around Amsterdam in our jet-lagged haze. We wandered into the Diamond Square, where we found the center of commerce of Europe has few ATM machines – resulting in long lines. We caught a brief glance of something described as “Homeless football,” a soccer match set up in the middle of the square. The economic state of it its participants I could not account for.

We looped around the RedLight District. As darkness descends slowly in the northern climates it was just waking up around 7pm. Bikini Clad prostitutes appear in store front windows and the aroma of marijuana fills the streets.

Dinner at Thai restaurant for about $50 before we stumble back to the 17 tram and a cute little house behind a hydrangea bush- which luckily the key Daniel had given us – opened.


2 Responses to “Amsterdam Day 1”

  1. Michael Says:

    Too tired to argue with Eric? This is possible? But most importantly, how was the food? No Danish for breakfast?

  2. myra needleman Says:

    Nu? 1 entry does not a blog make

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