Sunday, May 20, 2007


I'm writing you from my hotel's wi-fi. Thankfully, we were not so stupid in our hotel choice, despite being a very last minute option. It is on the outskirts of all the debauchery, very peaceful and quiet on the banks of the Amstel river. It's not too long of a walk to places and really lovely. The huge windows of our face out onto a tree-lined canal that flow into the river in a way that just screams, "I am Amsterdam and don't you think I'm just charming!"

I'm finding Amsterdam better than I thought it would be. I really loved Rome but the difference is that I could see myself living here in Amsterdam. It's got all the characteristics of my childhood home, Okinawa -- safety, friendliness, peacefulness -- but in a quirky, urban setting. True, the bits near the central and the Red Light district are tatty (actually, the phrase "dirty as fuck" would be more appropriate), but the further out you move, the nicer it gets.

So what have we done here? Surprisingly few touristy things. The Van Gogh museum was a revelation, but packed. In my heart I knew it would be this way, but Boy was really excited about it, so I went. I love art, desperately, in fact. But being sardined among ill-mannered people, I felt the despair of a herded cow set for a unknown fate (can I be both a sardine and cattle?). This is why we resisted the Mona Lisa on our Paris trip. But I guess you can't miss all of the tourist stuff.

I'm still waiting on getting some authentic Dutch food, like raw herring or smoked eel. Maybe today...


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