Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Amsterdam: Not Just for Stoners, Who Knew?

Amsterdam is The Boy's geographical soulmate. No, not because of that. Get your mind out of the coffeehouse. Because it has a strong foundation that is beautiful but functional above all else. The basic structure of the city was established over 400 years ago, and while it's grown exponentially since then, it's still remains much the same. That foundation was based on ideas and designs that were made to last.

In many ways the city looks the same as it always has because they're so rooted in the past. But at the same time, it's one of the most open-minded, accepting and forward thinking places I've ever been. Yes, that means lots of drugs but it also means it's been a refuge for persecuted people for centuries, particularly Jews. And it has a thriving LGBT community, since they hosted the first ever gay marriage ceremony.
I just realized it might look like I put this here because it's rainbow like the Gay Pride flags but actually it's from a cocktail museum and I thought it was pretty because I like shiny things and bright colors, that's all.

I think I may have discovered the Dutch secret: they raise their children well. It's the only conclusion I can come to, given the lack of annoying children. They've simply created an environment that fosters honesty and acceptance and it seems to start in the home.

For example: when we first arrived, the traffic situation was indiscrutable to us. We couldn't figure out how bikes, cars, trams, boats and pedestrians were co-existing so peacefully on the tiny roads and canals. We hardly ever heard car horns or ambulances, so it was clearly working out somehow.

Then we figured it out: common courtesy. When bikers had to leave the bike lane, they yielded to cars. When cars drove on the tram tracks, they yielded to trams. And everyone stays out of the canal. They all make an effort to be thoughtful, considerate and not an idiot. It was a true marvel.

It's also beautiful and has more museums than you can shake a stick at. Seriously. I spent so much time stroking my chin and looking thoughtful I've started doing it in my sleep. Also, Dutch is the funniest goddamn language I've ever heard.

Clothing I Bought: These Amazing Booties.

How Dutch is this shit?

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