“Oh, you used to live in Australia? You must be loving our weather then!”
Yes, very funny. So Amsterdam Is damp. Judging by the way many locals can carefully shield themselves with umbrellas while using their bikes as weapons, they must get a lot of practice.
Apart from a couple of hours hiding from the weather in the Amsterdam museum, I spent most of the day aimlessly wandering. I managed to find an excellent coffee bar (as opposed to a coffeeshop…) and landed myself the best flat white I’ve had in this hemisphere so far. So good in fact, I thought it’d be rude not to have two. Buzzed on my drug of choice (caffeine that is, although there is a lot more choice here), I smashed out a fairly good coverage of the city centre with all my walking.
Even though the drizzle isn’t so nice to be out in, it does make for interesting photos. Wet cobblestones and puddle reflections may be a bit cliche, but they can make for dramatic photos. And who doesn’t love a cliche anyway.
Stumbling across the red light district in the evening was surprising. I understand that Amsterdam is a bastion of tolerance, but I never expected the seedier side of things to be quite so… in your face. The rows of glowing red windows are treated as if they were a fixture as commonplace as a McDonald’s. It feels almost cheesily cinematic to have these women tapping on their windows yelling “haaaaay honey!”. It just feels like I’m walking through the background of an opening scene in a Jason Statham movie or something.
Not sure what my last day will hold. Except for rain, three days in and I can be quite certain there will be rain. If I can have another great coffee, nab a souvenir and stock up on stroopwaffles I’ll go home content.