Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amsterdam Opens its Arms to Me

And it lights its joints for my brothers...

That said, I emerge from the perpetual cloud for a few observations...

I like this city much, much more than I anticipated. The first time I came here it was with my best friend, and we had no money, no place to stay, no map, and, well, no money (that's no money, squared). We went to the Anne Frank house, the Rijksmuseum, then ate hash brownies and 2 for 1 Euro donuts in the street, walked through the red-light district, and went to bed before sunset.

Now, I'm with my folks, and they're paying for shit. And I'm not hungry or lost. I can just eat, humor my parents, and let my brothers teach me about the wonders of cannabis culture. My younger brother used the sweetest tone I'd ever heard him use when he turned to me and asked, "Would you like to try to roll this one?" With the help of a Dutch artist friend, I know all the little trendy gallery venues, which I can escape to when my parents have thrown in the towel. AND there's a film festival (the IDFA), a chocolate festival, and the cannabis cup ALL AT ONCE.

So I love this city right now. I can float along the streets as if I'm drifting along one of the many canals here, not thinking about anything really. My siblings talk and complain, and I can just look, snap photos, and happily not express any thoughts, opinions or feelings as the world busies itself around me. I'm not part of it, I'm an implant. I don't get upset about long lines, about the rain and the wind. Want to go out? Sure! Want to stay in? Sure! Ah! A canal! Ah! A handsome couple on a bike. Look! Graffiti. Snap, move on, open umbrella, get dinner.

At the end of the day, I take my friendly little pill. I sleep. And then a new day starts, where I don't have to go to work, or owe anybody anything, or be worried that I might bump into somebody. Or understand someone else's conversation, for that matter. My lack of opinions (even to me) seem utterly virtuous. My cellphone is off because I'm out of the country. No complaints. I'm not getting emails from work anymore, everybody's on break. It's just me, my loud, opinionated family & the Dutch (who generally keep to themselves, tend not to shout out to girls on the street, and are tidy and respectful!).

Yes. I can just drift. Like a house boat. Pirl. Like the fraternal smoke plumes that envelop me.

Thank you loud, opinionated family, thank you foreign lands. Amsterdam, I love you! Let me just drift, be. Sleep. I'll think later.


Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you're having a good and relaxing trip! Willem said he had a drink with you, and I hope he is as nice in person as he seems in cyberspace. Can't wait to see all your pics and hear about all your adventures.

Chris said...

It was really fun. Im glad you came and had a good time. Sorry you are such an outsider. I noticed some of the behaviors you mentioned. Maybe one day it won't be quite so awkward.

L said...

Chris: I didn't feel like an outsider, or that anything was awkward. I was participating to the degree I wanted to--it was nice. It would've been unpleasant if I just wanted to look at stuff and not talk much, and everybody else wanted to talk with me all the time.

I just needed down time and this trip really was good in that sense! That's what I meant.

Eliz - Willem was a sweetheart, and it was great to meet 'im. I got to ride on the back of his bicycle in the wee hours of the morning!!! It was magical :P