Itís 2:30 on a Monday afternoon. Hoske down the hall just woke up; heís watching Robin Williams stand up on his laptop. I canít hear the routine, but I can hear him break out laughing every 2 Ė 3 minutes. Natalie is making lunch. The three of us plus Chiake from Japan and Gail and Stephanie from Belgium were at Club Escape until 4 a.m. for their Sundae nite. We danced for hours and then we biked home, although I got a lift on the back of Hoskeís bike because mine was stolen. This is pretty common. In the spirit of Save the Earth t-shirts everywhere, in Amsterdam you donít inherit a bike from your parents, you borrow it from its future owners. In any case riding on the back of a bike through the Amsterdam pre-dawn in lightly falling snow after a nite of dancing is about as good as it gets, I think. So the bike whatever.
Unlike Hoske and Natalie, I had to wake up today during what would conventionally be considered morning. Specifically, 7:45. Actually 8:15 after a few snoozes. My cell phone snooze button is only five minutes, so this involves snoozing six times. It doesnít lead to a very satisfying sleep, but it does leave you with the impression you are getting a lot more extra snooze than half an hour.
I went to Dutch class and learned to give directions and use direct objects. The former is pretty useless since anyone I could conceivably give directions to in Amsterdam would not be speaking Dutch. But direct objects will no doubt come in handy.
On my way home I stopped on the Kalverstraat, the main downtown shopping street, to pick up a pair of sneakers, because I am apparently going to start playing lacrosse. I have never played lacrosse, or, if you want to get all technical, any field sport, but the team is so small they donít seem to mind. When I was in Australia I declined an invitation to join the womenís Aussie rules football team, and I always regretted it. Not that lacrosse is a characteristically Dutch sport in any way. But at least I will get to run around once a week and meet some people.
I donít know whatís going on with sneaker style in the rest of the world, but here itís a disaster. Seventies sneakers are making a comeback: thin flat sole, no tread, no bridge, narrow toes, Easter colors. After stopping in about fifteen stores Ė every fifth store on the Kalverstraat being a shoe store Ė I managed to find some dark blue All Star reissues that were thirty Euros and not made in China. Lacrosse here I come.
I emerged with my new oldschool shoes into a huge snowstorm. Huge fluffy wet snowflakes came down in wide drifts and stuck to everything. They covered all the streets and roofs, and fell quietly into the canals. Real winter, for half an hour.
Tags: amsterdam 05