Archive for May 4th, 2007

Special Guest Star, two fronts

Dutch Word of the Day
Groote-Brittannie: Great Britain
Ik heb gisteren Groote- Brittannie.
I was in Great Britain yesterday.

(Bear with me and the chronology)
But before I went to London, my friend Alex visited me for a few days. It was finally warm enough for a canal cruise and we even saw IJburg on a class field trip, a new series of manmade islands that you can find above Centraal Station to help ease the housing shortage. You can see one of the plans here. (Including a “breeding center?” Yeah, that woman’s English wasn’t on point.)

Insert Queensday.

Then I was in Islington (part of London) visiting Ashley at SOAS. I wasn’t there long enough to get the full feel of the city, but I liked what I saw. I went to The British Museum, Harrods, and saw a bit of the VA, but I feel like I have to come back. You can get a full flavor for Amsterdam in a shorter span of time because it’s much smaller, but London’s quite big. The Tube system’s very nice, though. But the train itself is very tiny, much smaller than the trains in New York. And the Body Shop is everywhere. I had some pounds remaining when I got to the airport so I went nuts and got so much Body Shop stuff.

Remembrance Day was today, and Liberation Day is tomorrow (both Holocaust related). It’s strange to be spending so much time in a country where the Holocaust happened. Even with the Anne Frank Huis and Homomonument down the street, it is still hard to fullly wrap one’s head around the horrible things that have happened here. On the one hand, I live in America where slavery was everywhere. But as a New Yorker, even as a black New Yorker, I’m not in a place that’s still as visibly scarred as other regions of the U.S.. I’m not used to being in a place where evidence of a terrible place is so close to the surface.

Today Albert Heijn closed early, there was something going on near the Westerkerk, and Dam Sqaure had a huge TV screen that I was too far from to really get a good look at. Aside from tomorrow’s Cold War Kids Concert, we’ll see how Liberation Day feels.


May 2007
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