Oh Amsterdam, I will always flirt with you.
I’ve had the joy and pleasure of traveling to this city many times. You’d think I would have more photos than I do for all the times I’ve been there, but the those times weren’t for travel and tourism. There is nothing I dislike about this city. The culture, the trams, the friendly Dutch vibe, accidentally getting run over by a bicyclist, the museums, the flower markets, the clock that chimes in Beatles tunes, french fries of war, the discrete but funky outdoor toilets where men can take a whizz, the way a policeman will light a marijuana stick for you, the outside dining under umbrellas with heaters at the Leidseplein, toastjes, white beer with lemon… the list just goes on and on.
There’s plenty of people, shopping, great restaurants and historic landmarks and museums. Yes American tourists — there’s a Red Light District where prostitution is legal. Yes, you can buy pot and smoke it to your heart’s content. Once you settle down with the fact this actually happens — remember the Rijksmuseum, housing European masterpieces, Ann Frank’s House for a sobering reminder of history as seen through a Jewish teenager during WW2, and the Van Gogh museum – the largest collection of his works under one roof. There’s cathedrals and botanical gardens, flea markets and flower markets. Sure, it’s still a large city and has it’s share of petty crimes (scams, pick pockets) places where you shouldn’t travel alone at night, etc. Overall, the hairs on my arm never raises when I was walking around by myself.
It’s hard to describe the repetitive feeling of deja vu every time I am there. It’s like I knew this city before I ever set foot in this city.