I don’t know why I was so scared and worried about traveling alone; really, there’s (minimally) nothing to be afraid of. Each city has its own locals, and all locals wouldn’t think of their city as dangerous, in a way. I mean, they live here. I spoke to an Italian on the train and I told her some of the pickpocketing ways / tactics I’ve heard about in Italy (e.g Milan) and she was surprised, and she said it was sad that people would think this way, and she’s never heard of it or felt her city was dangerous to venture alone. I guess what I’ve gathered is that, well, each city has their fair share of crimes, their own locals, and is a home, a safe haven to someone, a place they grew up happily in as a child. The scariest looking, burliest men smile back so nicely to me when I ask for directions. Sometimes I think I even deliberately approach these suspicious looking men just to see how they respond contrary to what my subconscious would think (pls don’t lecture me about safety). I’m just really glad that I made my way through these cities and met so many people, fleeting encounters, but conversations that enrich my trip and my memories in ways that they do.
On the train to Amsterdam now, so many have told me about smelling the weed in the air by simply being there. Can’t wait to find it out myself. In the meantime, the train passes by cows flicking their tails lazily in the sun, and sheep grazing along the patches of green. This is one of the things I love about the Netherlands 🙂
can’t.. stop.. eating…..
I reached Amsterdam late noon, left my luggage in the lockers and made my way to the central city. My only aim of the day was the house of Anne Frank, and it started to rain awhile after I reached. Skies were gloomy, I caught drifts of weed in the air, people hurried along the streets, cars, I thought to myself, yes well, I prefer the other cities of the Netherlands.
And then, I met 2 very, very kind people here that really brightened my view of the city. By the end of the day I was note-less, but I had many coins and I thought they’d be enough for me to get by. Unfortunately when I bought postcards and wanted to get stamps I realized I ran out of money, so I told the lady I didn’t want the stamps anymore. She nodded and after my purchase of the postcards, she put the stamps in and said, it’s for you, the stamps – for free. Such a nice gesture!!!! :’)) And then I told the bus driver I only had 1.50 euros left, which wasn’t enough for the 2.50 euros bus ride and he nodded and let me in. I wanted to give him every penny I had but he said it was alright. So…. yay!!! Hehehe. They really could have chosen to do otherwise, but they did what they did and I left the city happily.
Also, the city brightened up after the rain. It’s my second time in Amsterdam (the last was an airport transfer) and there’s something about the clouds that I’ve only seen here – golden linings that peek out from behind the clouds, making the sky a yellowish-golden hue. Very pretty.
^ that golden hue i cannot quite capture
I heard from Diana that the queue was insanely long on her last visit. Thankfully, because of the rain the queue was actually pretty short (very quickly grew when the rain stopped) and the only people who persisted were the ones with umbrellas (me, yay!)
The museum was pretty powerful, and i felt chills down my spine many times in the house. It’s just hard to believe that right in front of me were the pages of Anne Frank’s diary. There, so well-preserved, too. Her room, the Secret Annexe, the pictures she stuck on her wall while she was oppressively forced to hide in the room. The creaking floorboards. I read that book so long ago but I can still vividly recall some of the scenes and the things she wrote about. I think it always stuck with me abit because she started writing a diary when she was so young, (the age I did and her language and content is more fluent and with depth..) and you could see the progress of her thoughts with age and the dawning of the Holocaust, and it just makes me wonder about how she’d be if she had been alive. Well I guess maybe her diary wouldn’t have been as famous as it is now? i don’t know. If I have time, I would like to reread the book again.
A little wordy today, somehow I’ve been a tad more emotional today. Otta Frank said one line which made me want to cry: ‘i say this because i have a very good relationship with Anne… that all parents don’t really know their child like they think they do’ (upon reading her diary, and discovering her inner thoughts and feelings so different (or unexpected) from her comments and daily criticisms)
Manchester tomorrow! It’s nice to settle with familiar people after the few weeks of city-hopping. Looking forward 🙂 Meanwhile, here’s to a long night in the Schipol airport…