Thursday, July 03, 2014

Amsterdam The Sequel Vacation Highlight: Roaming and Realizations

Having been to Amsterdam before, I was happy to skip many of the traditional tourist things. All I wanted from this short break was to roam. Roam the streets of a liberal city and enjoy its liberal perks.

So roam I did.

My first night in Amsterdam, I met Arthur, who introduced me to some fantastic Thai food, some great bars with extensive beer selections, and gave me a ride on the back of his bicycle. Fun fact: apparently there are gender norms for riding on the back of a bicycle. When I got on the back, he said "So, you're going to sit like a dude?"


So many beers, so little time.
The next morning I found my way to a coffee shop I had frequented the first time I visited Amsterdam. It's neat to go back to a city, look up and know where you are. Getting to the coffee shop was like muscle memory, no maps required, just my solid sense of direction. (HA!)

I continued my roaming, with the goal of getting to the Indonesian restaurant I had loved so much during my first trip. After telling Arthur the name of the restaurant, he scoffed. Apparently this was not the best Indonesian food Amsterdam had to offer.

Undeterred, I headed for the restaurant, and I have to say, was a bit disappointed.

After the concert, which Arthur joined me for, we headed for Febo and it's fast Dutch food. Croquette sandwich? Yes please. We continued to roam and headed for another beer bar.

The next day was all my own. I roamed the streets, found Amsterdam's oldest croquette place, and ate and ate and ate.

I always forget to take a photo of my food before I devour it.
Props to food bloggers who have the patience to wait. 

As I headed back to Dubai, I realized that while I live in Dubai now, this city will never truly be home. There was a comfort, an ease, a fit about Amsterdam that Dubai doesn't offer. The more I live here, the more it becomes clear, I'll never truly fit this city. I'm too ... off center, too weird, too honest, too pedestrian. That doesn't mean I'm leaving any time soon, there's still too much that I want to accomplish, but it does mean I won't be planting any deep roots here.

So thanks Amsterdam, for being awesome and staying as incredible as I remembered you. Mooie Amsterdam indeed.