Amsterdam, Netherlands Day 87

Amsterdam is pretty close to how I thought it would be. The canals are cool, everyone rides  bike, and the beer is cold and plentiful. I haven’t seen all that much herbal evidence, but then again I haven’t really been looking for that. I started my day at the Anne Frank House. I was choked up almost as soon as I walked through the front door. I read the book in the past year for the very first time, so it was pretty fresh in my mind. There are photos of her and quotes from the diary on the walls, and just being there in the *actual* house was really quite moving. What was especially sad was that she died from typhus just a month before liberation never knowing that her father was still alive. Her sister died just a week or so before she did, and her mother was also dead so she thought she had nothing or no one to live for. Very, very sad. The annex is so small and dark. It’s hard to believe that eight people could have hidden there together for two years. Anne pasted postcards and photos of movie stars and the royal family up on her bedroom walls that are still there. If ever there was a place where history has come to life, it is here.
Statue out front of Anne.
The exterior of the museum.
Anne Frank.
A cool facade on a doorway in Amsterdam.
Sitting by a canal enjoying the sun (when it decided to come out!) Before this I had tried to get a pancake at a local eatery because I was starving and emotionally exhausted after my visit to Anne Frank’s House. I found a place that looked half decent and got a table. I ordered my bacon pancake and waited. And waited. And waited some more. I looked around, there were maybe 15 other people in the restaurant and I realised that not one of them had any food on their tables. Hmmm… that is not a good sign. I then noticed that the woman sitting at the table across from me was wearing a dirty apron. She had been sitting there the entire time, and it had now been over 20 minutes that I’ve been waiting for my food, along with everyone else. Finally she gets up and goes back to the grill, still talking to her friends, taking her sweet a*s time. I’m starting to get a migraine aura at this point I’m so hungry, and I am distressed to see that I forgot my ibuprofen. That is so not a good thing. I’m getting antsy, but I’ve already been waiting for so long and how long can it take to make some pancakes?  I can see the open kitchen from where I’m sitting. She is making them one or two at a time. There is a table of 8 girls who had been there for all eternity, I think, and their food started to come out. One pancake at a time. It was ridiculous. I waited about another 5 minutes then decided I was going to abandon ship. Everyone else had been there before me, it was bound to be another hour before I got mine. I went to my waitress and gave her 2 euro for my drink and told her to cancel my order because it was taking too long and I had somewhere to be. She just stared at me like I had sh*t between my teeth. No apology, no smiles, just a blank stare and disdain. I’m not sure if it’s just Amsterdam or all of the Netherlands, but customer service is not a priority here. There are no niceties, no “have a nice day” that we’re so used to at home. From what I understand, the Dutch people are direct and blunt and view such things as being fake.  Katie had a funny expression that she calls being “outDutched.” Basically it just means getting cut off by someone who has no regard for the fact that you were walking in that same direction, having a bike deke in front of you, being treated like crap by a shop clerk. Yes, you have been outDutched. And if it happens twice by the same person…. You’ve been doubleDutched. It’s just a small way to make you feel better when someone has been rude. Really, you just can’t take it personally. Maybe we’re spoiled by all of the free smiles at McDonald’s back at home, who knows?

It’s a good time for the fruits right now… having said that I’ve really only had fruit beer in the past couple of weeks.

The Netherlands is known for it’s cheese. Sadly I didn’t get to try any this time around.
This was a funny little store that sold British and American foods at exorbitant prices. KRAFT food products, they are here. Marshmallow fluff? You’ve come to the right place. Tums? NOPE! Can’t find TUMS or any close facsimile anywhere. You’d think if they were going to sell the crappy junk food, they’d sell the thing to make you feel better after you eat it! I just like to have the Tums just in case of emergency, and I already used the small pack I brought.Maybe Denmark will have some.
I was going to go to the Van Gogh Museum after lunch, but I get mentally deficient when I get a migraine, and I could barely focus on my map, let alone how to actually GET to the museum, so I gave up and just wandered around in a bit of a stupor. Stupid migraine… grrr.
The National Monument in Dam Square.
Dam Square. It was originally built in the 13th century as a dam around the river.
I may not have visited a “coffee shop” while in Amsterdam, but the beer houses were visited…
Yayyay!)
I thought this was just a beautiful store window.

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