Having spent several hours over the last 2 days wandering Amsterdam, I've come to one conclusion: I feel weird being a tourist here.... I could see myself living here, working here, but not visiting historical sites and taking pictures of buildings. I feel strange doing it, so I haven't.
Funnily enough, going back all these years later, I felt the same way.
For roughly the last 20 years I've taken note of Henry Rollins' talking show tour dates, and seen him whenever I can, so when he was heading out to Europe for the first time in 4 years, I had to get to a show. Because Jody is a Bristol City football fan, we originally tried to arrange a trip to see a game and Hank's show in Bristol, but the date didn't work out. So instead I picked his Amsterdam gig, the night before my birthday.
I met Jody in Edinburgh on the 27th, and we hopped a short KLM flight over to Amsterdam on the 28th. And then did a lot of nothing. The night we arrived, I spent a long time looking for a supermarket to get us some provisions while Jody had a nap... and found nothing. I came across pretty much everything else: dentist, dry cleaner, bicycle repair, every kind of food restaurant imaginable, Starbucks, and enough weed cafés to come back to the hotel with a contact high, but nary a place to pick up some grocery-type foodstuffs. So we went hungry until we found a Chinese place for dinner before the gig.
Rollins was fantastic as always. It was Jody's first introduction to the man, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself, despite becoming dehydrated while having to stand for almost 3 hours of talking.
Also, Jody was on high alert and still almost got hit by a cyclist on our first night in Amsterdam. It's always chaotic with bikes, motorbikes, cars, and trams all coming at you, but he had the added Scottish disadvantage of looking the wrong way for traffic.
There's a reason I always opt for modern art museums; I walked by all the paintings surrounded by gawkers, and thought that's a nice picture, but nothing really grabbed me. Not until the last room of paintings from the last couple years of Van Gogh's life. Toward the end he finally started to get a little bit weird. Pretty pictures, meh. Weird, I like.
After the museum, I decided I wanted a doner kebab for my birthday dinner, so we picked me up a shwarma to go and a cheap bottle of prosecco (surprisingly good for
--> €3.79), and had a night in watching Spy. --> -->On Saturday, for our last day, neither of us could get motivated to do anything touristy. We did a bit of shopping and wandered through the Vondelpark, but it was too damn cold out to stay for long by the time we got started. Another quiet night in, and only 2 photos to show for my trip again.
So I guess the conclusion is that I like Amsterdam as a city, but I have no motivation to partake of anything it has to offer. If there's a next time, I just have to remember that it's a comfortable place to hang out, and not plan on actually doing anything there. Which kind of takes the fun out of visiting, doesn't it? Might as well just go someplace else.