Great city but the mice problem was an off-put!
Sep 20, 2009
Where I stayed
We had a great flat in the poshest district in Amsterdam, just south of Vondelpark, but nothing worked and the mice eating our bread was the last straw (though it was fantastic bread, so I have to hand it to the mice for having great taste)
. So we headed to a much nicer apartment in a still good district, though Ruud Gullit was no longer our neighbour. On a cultural note, I went to the Van Gogh Museum (Van Gock if you're Dutch, Van Goff if British and Van Go if a Philistine) and the Anne Frank house. Bizarrely, we saw people having their pictures taken outside the Anne Frank house with big smiley faces as if they'd just came off the waltzers at the fairground. I mean, I'm sorry but this girl wrote a diary of her persecuted life, lived in an horrific regime and managed to live through most of it only to die one month from the end of the war (she'd have survived had she not been betrayed, possibly by a 'friend') and you see 'smiley' couples having their photos taken outside the house as if they've just won a speedboat on Bullseye! Human nature fills me with glad tidings and horror concurrently at such moments!
I'd forgotten what a fabulous city Amsterdam is. I'd been there in 2000 (maybe I'd been concentrating too much on England beating Germany 1-0 in Euro 2000) and loved it, but had forgotten how much I had loved it. The houses, apartments, liberal attitude, beautiful tall (blonde) birds, naked women in doorways, dope smoking, late licensing laws! Who could ask for more?? Amstel, Heineken, beautiful tall (blonde) birds (I think I said that already)! Come on, I mean who wants to live anywhere else? Soon we'll be in the US, and it was the Dutch who got to New York first, named it New Amsterdam and realised they should sell it and get back to the old world asap because it's (and always will be) much more fun over here! I think they were right.