Saturday, October 06, 2007

Amsterdam

We drove up to Amsterdam this weekend just to tour the city.  For breakfast, we met up with Nathalie, a friend of mine from high school who is doing the doctor thing here. I think her story's interesting. She and her sister were born in Suriname a couple of years apart, but just so happen to straddle the date that Suriname became independent from Dutch rule. So one sister is a citizen of the Netherlands and the other is Surinamese. All the more interesting because they are of Chinese heritage, and in the local tradition kept the full name of the immigrant ancestor. So her last name actually looks like what is normally a full name in Chinese. Crazy, no?
  After parting ways with Nathalie, Kacey and I went over to the Anne Frank House/museum. It really was like stepping back in time to see how they lived in what were effectively crawl spaces. Being over six feet tall, I had a tough time just on the tour, let alone however long they lived like that. The noisy school kids in the group in front of us kind of broke the mood for us, as something like that would be better experienced in the hushed silence that likely existed back then.


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If you're in Amsterdam, you really should take a canal cruise. It's really the only way to see the city from this unique perspective.

After the tour, we visited the Poezenboot or "Cat Boat." It's an animal shelter in a canal boat. If we didn't already have two cats, we probably would have thought about getting one (but I'd like to get a dog next).

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And of course, no trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a stroll down the Red Light District. Probably the funniest thing I saw were some locals pushing a baby stroller in front of one of the 'display windows.' I mean, folks there accept it as normal, so if you gotta take the kid for the walk...
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