I remember very little about this trip except renting a bicycle on Day 1 and almost killing myself and a few others along the way. Luckily, Amsterdammers seemed good-natured enough to tolerate the little Asian girl struggling to touch her toes to the ground while her bum stayed on the seat of the giant Macbike-cycles. But really, they’re huge and red and scream ‘Look at meeee I’m a gormless tourist!!!’. I would recommend the black ones from Rent-a-bike on Damstraat for next time.
The city is easy to navigate once you figure out the concentric shape the canals make; and also infused with design. I couldn’t get enough of the home-offices I could peek into, with their huge white work tables in the middle. Me being me stuck my head into the door of a house under renovation and was invited in by the construction workers and given a run-down of the development plans. My future home’ll be a space anywhere with good light, furniture donations welcome.
In the evenings I’d make it back to the shelter (yes, it was called a shelter) in time for dinner and spend the evenings chatting with people- I met Luci when I gave him an imaginary cigarette and Andre the cleaner when he tried to pry me away from my readings (it was 3 weeks to end-of-years) to read the Bible. Meeting people’s always the best part of trips out on alone, although I’d say Amsterdam is a city best enjoyed with some friends. Wouldn’t want to OD on space cakes alone now, would we?