Day Three- Amsterdam

I hate Vincent van Gogh. If he were in this room right now I’d bite off his other ear.

Vincent

Why do I say that? Because he paints a bunch of stuff and then gets all famous after cutting off part of his ear and ultimately shooting himself in the chest and then they build a big museum for him in Amsterdam where you get to stand in line to buy a ticket and at first the line moves reasonably fast and you inch forward bit by bit thinking the whole thing might take maybe 1/2 hour at the most and after you approach the front of the line and stand and stand and stand, all in the rain mind you, you realize that no one has moved for at least 15 minutes, which turns into 30, which turns into 45, and ultimately you don’t get in for nearly 2-1/2 hours at which point you decide that Vincent van Gogh was a jerk and his paintings all suck. I was ready to spray paint over his name on the museum and replace it with Vincent van Stop.

However, Carolyn finally channeled the dark side and they eventually had to let us in.

Once in, we went to the first exhibit area which featured the theme of, well, prostitutes. Picture taking was forbidden but since I felt it unlikely they’d grab the camera and throw it into a canal like in the Red Light District, I snapped a few before they chased me out with a broom and a stream of Dutch profanities.

There were a couple more than the above but they include images of boobies and this is a family website.

I was a little irritated to have waited in line for 2-1/2 hours only to find the gallery virtually empty in places… plus there were pictures of boobies in said places, so you’d think it would’ve been packed. I couldn’t understand it. But then we went to the van Gogh portion of the exhibit and discovered that’s where all the people were. Apparently people would rather see van Gogh paintings than boobies. Go figure.

After a few hours of wandering around the exhibit our feet started barking at us, and we just ended up plum tired. Of course, on the way home, Carolyn had to get her door fix in:

And we thought it would be cool to post all of these beautiful flowers that were in pots lining the way to the gallery:

And otherwise we just walked to the hotel in the rain, and Carolyn promptly fell asleep and I posted this stuff. Sometimes you just have to have a day where you do mostly one thing, or nothing, and this was one of those days, all thanks to a frickin’ endless wait in line for an art exhibit.

Since this wasn’t the most exciting day ever, I’ll close with some observations about the Dutch thus far:

They mostly dress very casually; we’ve only seen a few ties here and there. They are actually quite a beautiful people as well as about the tallest, on average, in the world. It’s also rare to see anyone overweight. They do, after all, ride their bikes. A lot. Also, so far, other than a Burger King at the airport, we’ve only seen two McDonalds. That’s it, no other fast food anywhere. No Taco Bells, no KFC’s, no Carls Jrs… nada. See how easy it is to be so much smarter than Americans?

Speaking of which, we talked with our Uber driver and learned that in school they taught English, French, and German, although he said nowadays they’re down to maybe two of those. Still, it’s interesting that all you have to do is say a word or two and their incomprehensible Dutch turns into nearly flawless English immediately, and in very easy to understand and fluent English besides, without a lot of accent to it. He also told us they’re very blunt, which can sometimes be mistaken for rudeness. My impression is that they simply don’t feel the need to waste time with unnecessary verbal niceties.

Overall, I really like the Dutch. They have a live and let live attitude as exemplified by their liberal approach to social issues. It all works for them. They seem happy, and peaceful, and of course very bikey. Virtually every sidewalk we’ve walked on has a bike section to it. God forbid you linger too long in that section –as I have multiple times– for you’ll get run over in a heartbeat, or at the least have their little bells ding at you right before they would have if you hadn’t jumped out of the way. Even the motor scooters share the lane with the bikes, all of them going about the same speed. When you think of how many cars they’re keeping off the road, and how much exercise it gives them, well, it’s a model for any city out there. At least any flat city; the lack of hills is largely what makes it work.

IMG_1763.jpg

On the left is for pedestrians, on the right for bikes. If you cross the street, you can’t stop and feel relieved for missing the cars, because you’ll be standing right in a bike line, and those will be on you faster than you can say Amsterholyhell.

Anyway, that’s all for today. We’re just gonna chill tonight I think.

2 thoughts on “Day Three- Amsterdam

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