Day 51 – 30/6/11 – Amsterdam (NL)

went to a free tourist tour starting from the national monument.
tim, the friendly and funny tour guide showed us around and talked about the history of the city and several areas like how they built once a dam to deal with the amstel(r) fought the germans again and again, made business all over the world, slaved the indonesians (but kept their good food), confessed and paid for sins in advance at the church near the brothels and… why dutch are cyclopaths…(angry people on bikes without using the breaks even if they could do so…)
…where and why the jews flocked into town after they got kicked out all over europe…
and why they were allowed to stay. buildings in the former jewish quarter are looking like they have been built by some students on lsd in the 6oies (because that’s what they were)
where beheadings have been on show and autopsies have been watched (rembrandt was a resident guest)
the somehow discreet catholic church in a normal narrow building…
the chinese buddhist temple in “china town” nearby…
and so on… he pointed out several times and i believe it’s true – the amsterdamers and dutch in general seem to prefer to stay neutral and let people do there business as long:
they keep it discreet, don’t hurt anyone and pay the taxes… seems like a haven for anyone who feels oppressed i’d say.

later we went for a stroll and some drinks near the canal and then went to set up jon’s tent in zeeburg camping site. the woman at the counter inside the tram was unexpected and really friendly. good they have that here. if i think about london transport…

finally we arrived at the site, tent was up and we walked back into town. met some funny guys from utrecht on the way who asked for a pen and paper to write down some lyrics for a song about being stuck till 5am in amsterdam… luckily i had a spare biro and some paper.
one of them suggested to play the last minute game – just go to the airport and book a flight whereever you could go with the money you have left. maybe i should try it soon! 😛

had one for the road at the national monument. full circle. back home…

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