Amsterdam was where I would be spending Saturday, hanging out with my very good friend Ruthie. I had to find my way there from Gorssel, and actually did a pretty good job at timing how long it would take me to get there, bus to the train station and train to Amsterdam Central Station. When she asked me where I wanted to meet, I said "Starbucks!" and she pretty much laughed at my little addiction. It wasn't only about the coffee, it's that Starbucks was the only place in Amsterdam that I knew that I knew that I knew that I could find on my own.
Caffeinated at last, Ruthie asked where I wanted to go first I said "The Apple store!" and she, again, laughed a bit. So we leave the station and start walking around downtown, having some conversation about who-knows-what. Then suddenly, we get ready to cross the street and she looks up and sees the Apple store. She gives me this surprised look and says "Oh, look! There's an Apple store right there!" to which I stared and said "Starbucks and the Apple store, I only learn to find the places I need!" Then I got a screen protector for my iPhone, and we kept right on walking.
Only in Amsterdam can you find these two in the same place...
This is what Ruthie is gonna look like when she is old. I'm sure she wants the world to know.
The one thing I regret about my trip to the Netherlands last year was that I never got to see the Van Gogh museum. So visiting this time around was definitely a must. I was super excited to be able to see all the paintings with vibrant colors and intricate textures. Especially my very favorite painting of all time: "Starry Night" So I excitedly went around the museum, waiting to randomly run into it casually hanging on a random white wall. So I walked, and walked, and then I was still walking. Finally I had gone all the way around and still no sign of it. So I found an information computer to find out where it was. As it turns out, it's in New York City. Oh, well... I guess I'll put that on my bucket list!
After the museum we were happy to sit down for a bit and cross the city by tram. We had passed about one stop since the time we got on when I suddenly saw that we were passing an american bookstore. Backtrack: This year I came to The Netherlands with my grandmother, and we walked through pretty much the entire Frankfurt airport looking for a bookstore so I could buy a new Nicholas Sparks novel. He is my favorite author. They don't sell his books in English in Spain. So I was super happy when I picked up "Safe Haven" at the airport. OK, back to the tram in Amsterdam! So I see the american bookstore, practically jump out of my seat and say "Books in English!!" and take a picture of it as we go by. Ruthie says we should get off, so we jumped out in such a hurry that we barely gave the tram enough time to stop. After buying 3 or 4 books (and me buying her a copy of "The Last Song" to get her addicted to the stuff) she suddenly realized that we didn't "sign out" of the tram. Meaning that we now had to pay a whole new ticket to go across town (about $3 worth) instead of just being able to hop back on. Stupid since we were only on the thing for 3 blocks or so. I almost convinced the driver to let us out though. Did I play the sad confused tourist card? Yes, yes I did.
Our time in Amsterdam was almost over, when we happened to walk across this bridge. I was taking a couple pictures of the boats, bridges, and canals when this boat came around and some man started saying hi to me as they started to go under our bridge...
I thought it would be hilarious to cross the street to the other side of the bridge and say hi back, so I did. It was some kind of a party on that boat or something. So sure enough the man tells me to jump on the boat. I say I would but it's a little too far (now being about 15 feet away) and then the guys tell the captain to stop. They actually got the boat on reverse and started backing up. Ruthie stares in disbelief. Now there's a group of about 15 people telling me to jump on the boat. People stopping on the street to see what happens. Ruthie is looking at me, and I know that look. It's the "Adina-is-actually-trying-to-calculate-the-height-and-consequences-of-the-fall" look. The fact that I looked down at my camera, the boat, and then glanced quickly at her, while lost in my train of thought, didn't exactly help either. More people cheering me on to jump. More calculating the fall. More people on the street. Finally I determined that I would break my legs and be stuck on a boat with half-drunk strangers. I politely declined and after yelling "Where are you from?!" as the boat took off, we just walked away while laughing our heads off. All I can say is... it's all in a day with Adina!" :P
Then we drove, and drove, and drove. We listened to good music, and had some great conversations. We stopped for dutch food, and drove for miles on what 'til-this-day I am convinced wasn't actually a legal-to-drive-through road. Then as we drove through this small town I made Ruthie slam on her brakes and drive around the block once or twice so I could photograph this.