Yen's Blog

Lens, Wheels, Skates, Keyboard

Amsterdam

City of canals

My fondest memory was seeing the city from a tourboat which meandered on its numerous canals. With perhaps the exception of Venice, which I haven’t visited, I couldn’t imagine another city which would be more accessible from the water. The canals were more than curiosities, they performed the function of streets and thoroughfares. This alone made Amsterdam a unique destination indeed.

We couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the famed Rijksmuseum, whose best-known possession is perhaps the painting The Night Watch, by Rembrandt. While moving from one exhibit hall to another, I literally ran into a familiar face. After a few seconds of dredging through memories, I made the connection. It was my sister’s college friend, who was living in Taiwan at the time. The chance of us being on the same continent, country, city, building and room at the same time was indeed infinitesimal, but it did happen and a joyous reunion ensued. Incidentally, this wasn’t the only time it happened. My sister later serendipitously ran into another classmate at the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris. She’s still yet to win the lottery, so far as I know.

The coffee shop and its natural extension to the waterfront. Starbucks this ain’t.

Traffic! Must be rush-hour.

Some water tower!

We enjoyed lunch at an outdoor square packed with people. There was some sort of street performance going on, the performer being a middle-aged Dutchman who was doing some stunts with a long pole. It wouldn’t have seemed unusual except he was wearing only what could be best described as a golden Speedo. Which would have made it particularly inconvenient to pocket tips afterwards. This prompted my friend’s sister, who was rather traditional, to keep repeating, “It’s not normal”!

Last visit: June 1999