Looks pretty, doesn't it? And it really is until you find yourself taking four lefts and ending up not where you started but somewhere completely different with the realization that everything is curved in Amsterdam but hey, at least they sell pot so you may be lost but at least --- oooh, donuts!
(Actual transcript of my thought process in the week spent in the lovely yet so confusing Amsterdam.)
Hello wonderful people of the blogosphere or whatever the cool kids are calling it these days, I come with messages of peace that revolve around the idea that, contrary to popular belief and whatever this damn cold is trying to prove to my lungs, I am not actually dead but very much alive (...ish).
I know that people who just know me through this blog might think that I went to Holland and got lost into the world of delicious surely-this-is-what-the-gods-eat french fries and hallucinogenic plants and decided that life is better spent canoeing on the scenic canals but alas, no, I had to come back home.
Where I promptly got hit by the terrible, terrifying, hide-yo-kids-and-hide-yo-wife state of being/disease that presents itself as a need to never leave the bed/couch and the craving of junk food and 90s tv shows. Total shutdown. Frozen in space and time as if Medusa's head crawled out of the legends and smacked me over the face.
But the excitement (or fear?! Stockholm syndrome alert!) of the approaching new university year is starting to poke my brain into something resembling "alertness" and here I am.
I wish I cuddle you all, give the single manly tear of emotion, and promise that I will never leave again but we all know this would be a very fat lie. (Med students, never trust us. We looks professional until you turn your back and then we use scalpels as lightsabers and dress up the skeletons in our winter clothes. Seriously.)
My return also brings photos. A lot of photos. I hope you're ready to have your bandwidth killed and mauled, because I was the photographic equivalent of trigger happy this vacation. ( a.k.a. quantity versus quality of shooting!)
(Or The Country Where Drugs Are a Plenty, French Fries Are Addictive, Beer Is Better Than Water and Sarcasm Is Not Appreciated.)
Amsterdam is a weird city. Even though it left me with the feeling of being the kind of city that tries to act all cool and hip while being a tiny little dictator in the making, it still was fun. Everything smelled like weed, the food was delicious and it looks like a toy city for humans.
Biggest regret: not visiting the Heineken factory.
But that might have been for the best because I realized that at one point all my liquid intake was beer, beer, more beer and coffee.
Starbucks radar is a-go. The Boy and I trying to look interested in all the memorial houses my mother dragged us to.
Spent seven days trying to pronounce this. The Dutch pronunciation is one part a lot of "oooh"s and one part phlegm. Fun!
Pretty things everywhere you looked.
This is why I am fatter now.
Learned how to make paint like Rembrandt. Gave a silent prayer to being born in the 80s. 1980s, that is.
Realized that 18th century rich people where just as ridiculous as today's rich people. Stuffed peacocks on the mantelpiece, really?
Bunnies! With penises! And a lot of Andy Warhol around the city. But mostly, bunnies with penises!
Hands down, the gay district was the funnest.
The Boy enjoyed the architecture.
One of my worst nightmares: pigeon attack. Shudder.
Whatever age you are, a teacup-cozy made for a penis will still have you giggling like a blonde oh-my-virgin-eyes schoolgirl. True story :))
These people sure knew how to decorate their palaces. Fun story: because of the lack of internet on our phones, we spent about 15 minutes of staring at said statue trying to remember the name of the legendary god who held the dome of Heaven on his shoulders, going through all names from Chiron to Zephyros and that way had our very own Greek Mythology lesson right there and then.
(Hint: It's Atlas and he is one badass S.O.B.)
Opulence was the word of the day back then, methinks.
Dam Square. Where the building were big and the Romanian gypsies begged for money in several languages. "We don't steal, we adapt." :))
Waiting for mother who was visiting yet another church.
The Boy and I being tourists and doing tourist-y things.
Any break was much appreciated. Also bought a Rainbow Flag which I waved around happily after spending a night in a gay bar playing Bingo with drag queens and hiding behind The Boy because the bartender was giving me the stink eye and giving him a wink.
I don't like boat trips. But I have been forced by my mother to take a boat trip in every city we have visited that had a river so of course I was forced into one trip this time too. I made my feelings about that be know.
After walking like our life depended on it every day, we finally took a much needed break in the loveliest park ever. The weather was nice, the ducks were happy, The Boy and I spent the time trying to find good wi-fi.
The shoes, ridiculous but cute.
All in all, it was a good trip. Ate well, had my heart melt at the beautiful art, got enough blisters on my feet to last me a lifetime, and laughed my ass off at how incredibly high every foreigner was after 8pm.
(Or The City Where Non! Is the Answer to Every Question Posed by a Foreigner, Where Things Disappear From Your Room and Where Wine Is Cheap But Good)
Paris was a 50/50 thing. Half was amazing, because yay! Paris, and half was the vacation from hell because our room was broken into and some of our things were stolen. That wouldn't have been too bad, but the police just shrugged their shoulders and the hotel was as helpful as a hole in the head, so that bummed us out a bit.
But we still tried to make the best of it, even if the weather decided to say bye bye to summer and rain our parade. Paris and I are still not on speaking terms yet, but I think we need some time apart and things will be okay with us again. Hopefully!
Pre-robbery and our first night there was spent in front of the Sacre Coeur, lazying on the ground and watching the sunset over the city. Life was okay.
We were classy bitches and ate McD's while wearing our most ripped jeans. Oh yeah.
We walked around the Louvre, purposefully not going inside because the lines were killer and because we already had our fair share of art and culture while in Holland.
The French sure know how to make a palace.
Obligatory cheesy couple photo in front of the Louvre, check!
Best accessory in Paris: our tourist-y Amsterdam umbrella.
And the Arc de Triomphe was thiiiiiis big.
Paris was très windy, in case you couldn't tell.
Of course we couldn't leave without a visit to Notre Dame, my favorite place.
This was the only hour of sunshine we got all vacation.
Took that opportunity to wear my sparkly sunglasses.
Le Centre Pompidiou skyrocketed to The Boy's number one favorite spot in his heart. It's all the Brancusi love.
To quote Finding Nemo: Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!
Also, this was already post-robbery. That was my "I'm happy cause I imagines 97 ways to kill you using a spork and a paperclip" face.
Brancusi. Too beautiful for words.
Favorite book shop ever. Unfortunately we were so broke by then that we had to choose between going shopping or buying wine. The wine won.
Comicbook shop. Almost sold my liver for a TARDIS coffee mug, a Harry Potter wand and replica of the One Ring. I'm weak when it comes to things like these.
Airport. We were so tired that we couldn't even stand up straight. And ridiculously happy to hear our own language even if the only things people said around us where swear words directed to the airplane because it was late. But it's the little things that count :))
So, weirdest vacation I've ever had, followed by the numbest September ever. But I'm up and at 'em now, I think. Just need to ingest my weight in coffee and finish my Buffy, the Vampire Slayer marathon (shut up!) and I can be a human being again. A sociable one. Yup.
Song of the Day: David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
(I blame my obsession for Mr. Bowie - the god of rock!! - on reading Cherrie Curie's autobiography who spends a lot of time fangirling over Ziggy Stardust.)