Amsterdam in harsh, punishing sunlight.
A pre-cold is threatening my weekend, reminding me of bodily frailty, as I and my companion trudge through cobbled streets fraught with traffic peril from onrushing bikes, their bike bells a-clanging.
The street scenes in the city center were the ones I’d been told to expect: tourists toting tourist gear, the smell of people smoking not-cigarettes, everywhere, and lots bikes.
We saw: a cat café, which was not a café – more of a feline prison.
At a critical juncture, we taught ourselves to use Amsterdam’s “collective traffic” (public transportation, as a Swedish-speaking person might say it). That was good. Our reach extended, we grasped for better and fancier environs. The plan was to do something more cultural.
Then, a cup of espresso quickly followed by a well-chilled ginger ale, and in we went to the Museum Het Rembrandthuis. We got an etching-and-printing demonstration, as well as a glimpse of an oil-paint-making demonstration.
We then trudged and traveled to get to our hotel. It was good.
Today I also learned about Happy Cow, a search engine for vegetarian eating. Here’s a sample search.
Having used it, we then promptly ditched all those finely annotated search results, threw caution to the wind, and frequented a recommended Indonesian place: Kartika on Overtoom 68. “Sorry, we only have two fixed options: the vegetarian one, and the other one. Serves two, at minimum.” We agreed to the veg option and were inundated with amazing dishes in bowls, on a long metal warmer. Food was enumerated, then enjoyed. Thoroughly.
After this, a stroll in the park, as the last rays painted immaculate contours around everything. A stand-up comedian was entertaining a big audience. People in the park had not yet given up on the park-life and were frolicking on grass, playing instruments and enjoying themselves.