This is my year – #14 – 140115

Amsterdam was walking and rain, and walking in the rain. And walking around inside, to get out of the rain.

But I loved it. Amsterdam would be a wonderful place to live. It feels big enough to be constantly interesting, and small enough to function as an accessible city. I was fascinated with the brief glimpse I had of its history, and I feel a lot of resonance with the “mentality” of the city. It’s creative and arty and clever, while also being pragmatic and efficient. A beautiful mix of form and function. I can’t wait to return.

I hitched a ride with a friend driving from Amsterdam back to Germany, and got to experience the Autobahn for the first time. It’s fantastically liberating to cross the border from the Netherlands into Germany – from a sensible speed restriction to “off you go then” – and plant your foot to the bulkhead. I do like that stereotypical German efficiency extends to “if you have a long way to travel on a wide road, it makes sense to get there as fast as possible”. I can understand why Germans make so many nice cars. I can also understand why the licensing system in Germany is so rigorous. Sure, I get the convenience of being able to magically exchange my Australian license for a German one for a meager fee, but I don’t know that I entirely trust myself to react correctly when a truck travelling 80 pulls into my lane when I’m going 200. Without a car at the moment, at least I won’t have to find out.

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