Amsterdam, oh Amsterdam;
Your narrow lanes and Calvinist-steepled architecture have me drifting into bicycle-ringing traffic–as of now I’m a spinning mind of Northern-European proofs. But don’t take my awe quite to heart now; I’m American: My mixed-blood gets giddy when I see something so historically finite as Medieval 3rd-floor trimmings. It’s that simple.
Anyway, as it stands I’m here alone at the Hotel Croydon (ward-esque hostel for short, or, no, just better-put), sandwiched between Condominium (clever, clever), and a leather bondage emporium. From this vantage point I face a cobblestone alley of fifty-euro one night stands and hookers on the half-shell–red lights, red lights….
But enough gawking–things have happened: I wandered aimlessly through the Tourist-Capitol of the free world upon my evening of arrival; eating Halal food, treating Heineken like Budweiser, and trying to find out just who the natives were. Three aspects of experience I find (in hindsight, as always) more valuable than any words I could potentially govern to the page. But I drift. Tourism is a cultural art here. It’s a romance. Even as a United States-man I feel like a part of this human circuitry pulsating in and out of Irish pubs and Amsterdam “coffee” shops. Just look, for instance, at what this thrill’s done to my writing–I’m practically bleeding flowers. But whatever, all things can happen once, and I’m loyal to this tourist-beckoning support for now. For the time being, I’m well.
Being alone in a foreign country is like being hungry….. You do what it takes, to paraphrase. And so integrating over beers and Halal with the randoms is what I’ve been doing. And I don’t want to come off false here by saying that if you put yourself out there well and hard enough things will come your way–but, in this particular case, they have. I’ve run into familiar faces at pubs after only three nights; purchased other’s drinks, been purchased drinks, lived in the moment at drunken will, etc. etc… And an off-duty bartender I met over a cigarette my first night poured me an Amstel on the house three nights later.
But I brag. My stomach’s just full, so-to-speak, or, I’ve quenched my thirst. It doesn’t matter how I put it, really–the meaning’s only to be temporarily trusted. So to close–with emphasis, no doubt: Alone now I feel at-ease, at place, and ready for the inevitable random of a foreign country. #Rare.