Friday, April 25, 2008

Amsterdam Afternoon

Internet cafes are a little hard to come by here in Amsterdam, so I'm seizing the opportunity while I have it. But first, some of the postings aren't proof read (in case you didn't notice the obvious) as it's sometimes tight for time to avoid extra charges.

We rented the bikes I mentioned earlier today, and what an awesome thing to do! It was simply magnificent to roll around town on two wheels, not to mention how happy my feet are to get the rest. To add to that pleasure, I got to revel in the nostalgia of my childhood as the bikes we got were the oldfashioned kind with high handlebars and foot brakes. It didn't take long to get used to either one. However, I quickly realized that there's a big difference in the physics of the high handlebars compared to the lower ones I'm used to at home as you don't get as much power for pushing off quickly when there's an urban assault threat such as a rapidly approaching car or tram.

We started off by riding to Vondelpark, a giant open park on the outer edge of the city center. There, I turned on my itunes and rocked out to ''Stuck In The Middle With You", which made me feel so happy. It was just like being at home and riding about town. After Vondelpark, we just kept on riding all over town for a few hours. Bike riding here is great for so many reasons. The distances are very manageable. Streets are fairly flat and there are bike lanes everywhere. Hence, everyone and their grandmas ride their bikes. I wish I could upload the pics to show you the uberfilled bike racks at the Centraal Station. There has to be at least 5,000 bikes parked there. I couldn't help but wonder how long one would have to sort through that bike mess before finding one's bike at the end of the day.

After our three hour bike ride, we figured we had earned our Flemish fries, so indulged in some yummy fried potatoes with curry sauce (for me) and American sauce (for Brian). American sauce, we learned, consists of mustard, ketchup, and mayo mixed together. Sounds like a totally gross concoction. But, it wasn't as bad as it sounds. Wasn't great exactly, but not quite as gross as one might think.

Now, we're off to grab our backpacks and head over to sleep on someone's couch. I say "someone's'' couch, because I don't know this person. Brian found this website called where people from all over the world offer up their homes/couches for you to sleep. Brian's been chatting with this Amsterdam woman online and she's letting us crash on her couch tonight. From the e-chatting, she seems nice, but we'll see... Hopefully, it'll be better than the airport.

P.S. I know that since I'm in Amsterdam, a lot of you are looking for decadent details...and there are some details of the decadent kind, but none that I'm posting here.

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