April 4, 2005
Leaving North Carolina, Entering Amsterdam
A few of us met for dinner the last week of March at Bandido's in Chapel Hill.
These bunnies greeted me at the AMS airport.
The first couple of days here were sunny and conducive to wandering, so I wandered near Central Station.
April 14, 2005
Amsterdam: Not for Straight Faces
People can't keep a straight face when the word "Amsterdam" exits my mouth. Amsterdam is more than legalized marijuana and prostitution! (But not much more.)
A statue of Anne Frank.
The bookcase that concealed the annex and delayed Anne Frank's capture.
Anne Frank's first diary.
The Rijksmuseum itself was closed, but the fountain in front was open for business.
The coffeeshops sell cannabis, hash, and even coffee.
Smartshops sell mushrooms and paraphenalia.
Racks of offensive postcards are as ubiquitous as the experiences they advertise.
Women sell themselves and potential customers give window shopping a deeper meaning. Photos are prohibited in the Red Light District. That statement is supposed to justify the substandard quality of these photos.
I used to collect railroad spikes and quiver at the thought of witnessing an oncoming train. In Amsterdam, trains pass in the middle of the cobblestone streets. (There's time to move out of the way.)
Bikes. And more bikes. And people on bikes!
DJ Harry Dee spun old skool drum'n'bass mixed with reggae and hip-hop two nights in a row at The Flying Pig Downtown.
I shared a room with Caz and Nitya for a couple of nights at The Flying Pig.
Seeing Burger King and McDonald's is simultaneously comforting (familiarity) and disappointing (homogenization of culture).
There are canals all around the city.
April 22, 2005
A Day in Brussels
Belgian Waffles in Belgium
Is this Heineken or Manneken?
I met James (far left) and Kyle (far right) at Centre Vincent van Gogh hostel in Brussels. We met the women in the middle, who only spoke French, at the bar. I served as a translator when gifted bilinguals were absent.
An ant's view of Grand Plaza. I got his permission first.
A rainy cityscape from within the Musical Instruments Museum.
April 27, 2005
Parlez-Vous Butchered French?
Marie and Israel on the Eurail from Brussels to Paris.
An unlikely confluence: Marie and friends after dinner.
The Arc de Triomphe at the end of Champs-Elysee.
It rains spontaneously and often for brief periods in the spring.
I got close to this duck on my way to the Eiffel Tower. It quacked at me several times. I was amused.
The Eiffel Tower
The American Dream can be found off Champs-Elysee by Gap and The Disney Store.
A portion of the ceiling at the Louvre.
I gravitated toward a castle and found this statue.
Everybody Loves Mona
Colorful entrance to the Paris Metro.
On some trains, the subway cars are connected without doors. The train is like one long car.
I enjoyed the rain in this moment.