Sunday, October 23, 2005

How Can We Miss It If We Never Go Away?

Well, sometimes the American Africans have to go relax someplace else, and last week we took off for Amsterdam to do just that.

We had a blast. We knew Amsterdam would be cool, but we had no idea how much we would seriously like- no LOVE it. The place is just wall to wall history, and the Dutch have so many good ideas and ways to live- they appeal to us on so many levels, from their sleeping duvets (just like home!) to the bicycle traffic accommodations, to those lucious pancakes! We adore Holland. We walked miles and miles everyday because we couldn't get enough of it- peeking in windows, talking to everyone we could, crossing every bridge we found, reading everything, even when it was in Dutch and unintelligible to us.

We can speak Dutch now. It's easy. Just add 'en' to the ends of
every major word. "Let's eaten dinneren now." See? Simple! We had
so much fun figuring out words from their possible derivations: Te
Huur means For Rent and we decided it came from something like 'to
hire', and Te Koop is For Sale and we liked 'to keep' as its
derivation. We've got the language all figured outen, I tell ya!

They have the best system for mail there- you put a sticker on your
mailbox that says either "Nee-Nee" or "Nee-Ja" (we didn't see any
other combinations) and it tells the postman that you want NO junk
mail (Nee- Nee) or no junk mail unless it has your actual name on it
(Nee-Ja). It saves a TON of waste and would be something I'd pay
money to get once I ever start actually getting mail again. ;-)

Cooper loved it too- we took the train to Delft and wandered all over
the place down there- Cooper dubbed the speed bumps in the brick
streets "cobble humps". Ha! One day we rented a car and drove to
Schaan Zuus and Edam and Volendam to do the touristy stuffs, and then
on up over the water on a looooooong causeway and back into Amsterdam
from the south, clutching our herbed and garlic round of Edam cheese, our
Delftware mug, and our wooden shoes refrigerator magnet.

Cooper was interested in Anne Frank's WWII hiding place - we hadn't
thought we'd go, but when he said he wanted to off we went, and it was
so much better than we had expected. They have been careful with and
faithful to the original office space and hiding place and included much high
tech explanation and incorporated quotes from her diary into the exhibit.
It's really a good thing, so we are grateful Cooper pushed us into it.

Anyhoo, we got home last night and haven't unpacked anything - it was
COLD there so we got into the pool as soon as we got the house
unlocked, then got up this morn and bought groceries so we could get
back in the pool and bake in the warm equatorial sun.