On the second day in Amsterdam I woke up kinda late, around 10.30. Tiemi was packing her broken bag and the Russians were on their ipads. Me and Tiemi made a rendezvous for 4pm next to the big statue in dam square.
I left at midday, attempting to have a stylish day, because it wasn´t that cold, although it wasnt gloriously sunny like the first day. I got a solo Asian tourist to take a photo of me next to the I Amsterdam sign, which was just outside the hostel. Then I bought a ticket for the Van Gogh museum. I went to find it but of course got mildly lost. Eventually i went to a cafe for breakfast because I was starving. The cafe was super nice and had pictures of celebrities from the classic hollywood era drinking coffee on the walls. There was mostly older people inside, breakfast was served on a little silver tray, and there were English newspapers on the commonal dining table. I read the New York Times Global Edition, I have so much news to catch up on! Apparently there was a fire in a club in Santa Maria, Brazil that killed over 230 students, almost as bad as the Christchurch earthquake. Santa Maria was where Livia or Greg was from I think- if not them, someone else I have met. I finally made it to Van Gogh, I had to cross a bridge that lifts up to let boats through to get there.
The exhibiton was really great. I had to immediately buy a notebook to write down things it made me think about, just like in the Tate Modern.
When I finished it was 3pm, raining and dark outside. Losing all glamour I put on my red beanie and bought a tourist umbrella which was bright yellow and said ´Dutch Cheese´all over it. Along with my ochre pashmina and beige coat I looked very Van Gogh inspired.
I run into Tiemi in an archway opposite the momument we planned to wait. She had spent the day trying to find a new suitcase because hers was broken. We went to an Italian restaurant which seemed really nice and cheap... we stayed for hours because we didnt want to go into the rain outside. During my cup of tea I saw something bolt across the floor out of the corner of my eye. My extreme dislike of feral rodants at once put me on high alert. Soon enough, a little mouse appeared under a distant table. I put my hand up for the waiter and told him quietly. However, as he walked away the mouse darted towards our table, I leapt out of my chair and screamed while Tiemi laughed. The few occupied tables looked up. We paid quickly and left.
I said goodbye to Tiemi in the lobby in the hostel. I lay in bed for a while trying to muster the energy to go out and make the most of my favourite lighting conditions for photography, city lights and rainy streets.
I got absolutely soaked, right through my jacket, but I produced some nice photos of restaurants and canals.
When I arrived back there were two crazy Australian girls in the room, annoying the Russians.
They were loud and interesting, travelling together all over Europe and on the home stretch like me. We planned to spend time the next day.
Day 3. I got up late again, the Australians were still asleep. Eventually they woke and we planned to have a drink together in the evening. I wandered the streets of Amsterdam, marvelling at the history visible in the canal houses, leaning out and on each other like crooked teeth. My imagination kept running away from me of times of pirates and ladies dressed up in huge dresses in the 1800s.
I had a really great coffee in a cafe on the corner of a canal street. There were big glass windows so you could watch the bikes zipping by and the occasional van squeezing through. The coffee was just as good as Berlin, and I got a yum BLT which was served open on a plate. I went to see Anne Franks house. My year 10 English teacher Mrs Pound lied to us, Anne Franks room was small, but it wasn´t obscenely so. It was about the size of my room in Aro Valley last year. The whole exhibition was really good, but really sad. I spent a lot of time trying not too cry, although other people were. Anne´s house was in the art district, I would have liked to look around the shops better but it began to rain again. I raced back to home base. Sorry to say, Dutch Cheese succumbed to the weather.
Me and the Aussies went out to some pubs in the evening, a nice way to spend my last night in Amsterdam. They had lots of funny stories to tell about their travels, and highly reccommended Barcelona, my next destination. I was itching to go South.