Some quick notes. It’s 12:26, getting late and I’m tired (I’m thirty now after all – can’t just stay up for days at a time anymore…)
A wonderful day in Amsterdam today. Perfect weather, which I never had the first time around. Back in my beautiful Hotel Nadia, the same room, a perfect circle for these three weeks.
Checked in, unpacked, and then off. First thing was up the tower of the church across the canal – it has a name, but I always forget it and just call it Anne’s church. And from the top of the bell tower, what you can’t see from the street – the secret annex, the roof and the attic window.
After that, a long walk through the city. I love it here, I really do. Just wandered, north south east west. The canals, the main square, the ‘view’ in the red light district…
Oh! And I answered my own question – about what happens to the abandoned bike carcasses. Strolling along a canal, a barge goes by loaded with mangled bikes cut from the bridges and bike racks.
A long hunt for dinner – as usual, I wanted to find the perfect pace. And I did – Restaurant Haesje Claes. This might be considered my birthday dinner. It was fantastic – this local gin to start, a goat cheese salad, rack of lamb, a beer from a local brewery – everything was local in fact, and all very good. And the restaurant was cool, an ancient little place, all dark and bricks and old wood panelling. I walked for ages and just stumbled upon it, so no idea where I was.
Amsterdam is my favorite by the way. I’ve been trying to decide, and it hit me this afternoon. I just feel so comfortable here. Everyone is so friendly and relaxed and polite. If I had to choose which of the cities to live in, it would be this one in a heartbeat.
Some notes made during , dinner:
– I’ll be thirty in four hours.
– I’m going to stay up till midnight and watch it happen
– Farewell twenties, it’s been nice
– Dorothy Parker was right. And I shall stay the way I am, because I do not give a damn.
– I came to Europe to hide from tomorrow. Part of me sort of wishes I was spending it with my friends. But I don’t want any fuss (from here on in – perhaps this will be a tradition – if a birthday happens in Europe and nobody sees it, does it make me any older?).
After dinner, a long walk through Amsterdam at night. All the bridges over the canals are lit up at night.
A final observation – Romance in Amsterdam: holding heads while riding bikes side by side along the canal at sunset.
I’m tired. Going to bed in a few minutes. It’s been a long day.
The bells of the church rang out midnight, it’s here, the thirty. No more running. Time, it marches. I’ll face it.