woensdag 31 oktober 2007

April 2007
Arriving in Amsterdam today is chaotic; Centraal Station, and indeed most of the city, is in the middle of a huge building project, the Noord/Zuid lijn – the underground system due for completion in 2011. Chaos does not stop Amsterdam offering an unparalleled tourist experience. The city provides everything from sex to soft drugs and diamonds to dancing; not to mention raw herring, cheese and tulips.

My Amsterdam is somewhat less brash, however. Friends hold art events in cellars or squats; we meet to eat and chat in small restaurants in the Jordaan. We walk along quiet canals on Sunday mornings, where we see no one but a serene transvestite in tweed skirts and beard arm in arm with his wife. We shop in street markets; eat Turkish pizza for lunch in a church reinvented as a grand cafĂ©. We go to “The Movies” an art deco cinema which serves dinner before the film and dessert after the film ends.

My Amsterdam is intimate and inviting, seductive but paced to my needs and wants. I don’t feel rushed or pressured here, I have freedom to do anything I want, but most of all I can be myself.

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