Archive for the 'holiday' Category

In de Boek

Writing a book during Book Week in Amsterdam. Nice! I just wish I knew why the week was ten days long.

I went to the Bijlmer and the Red Light District (tour), and a boat ride with Paap! I just wish I could be here on Queensday again (minus the ridiculous trance music.)

It’s been a productive week, but it’s been too cold in the city. The days start out sunny, but by 10 AM it’s overcast. The painful ice storms are back in town, of course. I only brought one really warm sweater, so I’ve been wearing the same thing everyday like a cartoon character. Whatever.

I’ve done what I’ve needed to get done. I’ve got about 80 pages so far, but it turns into 68 when I turn it from Helevetica to Times New Roman. It’s a little scary, but I’ll manage. At least I have wiggle room. It won’t last long, but I’ve got it.

More like "Heineken BOO-ery!"

Dutch Word of the Day
druk: busy, crowded
De Heineken Brouwerij was veel druk.
The Heineken Brewery was very busy.

Sorry it took me so long to back to this. I don’t know why, cause I’ve been meaning to hate on this place all week.

So my brother Martin (aka Martlock, cause he’s a lawyer now) came to visit me this past weekend. It was Pentecost and everything was closed so it made it difficult to get around, but we managed. We went to to Pancake Bakery first, which was amazing as usual despite some sloooooow service. Then we decided to go to Heineken Brewery.

I thought the Anne Frank line was serious. Nope, the Brewery was even more special. But with the 11 euro entry you get three beers and a free gift (which you, thankfully, won’t get at the Anne Frank Huis). So we waited and eventually got in. It’s a very Disney looking place, all things considered. There were brightly colored displays and exhibits, and something that looked like a scene from the Haunted Castle, except involving the scientist who helped develop some kind of yeast. Basically, it’s for beer nerds.

Things were going great until we got sucked into this inexplicably long line. It was supposed to be a quick five room walk through showing the different elements that go into beer, but it was packed. We stood on it for what felt like a half hour. Turns out that there were two lines: One for the rest of the exhibit, and the other for a “ride.” Since we stayed on the line for long enough, someone (Martin) suggested that we might as well go on the ride.

OK. So this ride was supposed to mimic what it feels like to be a bottle of beer in the factory. We had to stand in a small movie theater looking room, hold some bars for safety and watch a screen, while the thing we were standing on rocked, simulating the movement of a bottle on the conveyor belts.

I was angry within seconds of getting on this “ride.” This was embarrassingly bad. This terrible music was playing in the background and none of the shots were even trying to be continuous. My brother and I just laughed the entire time. It ends with you, the “bottle”, getting put into a box and shipped somewhere. That box is then opened in a bar, and the tune “Celebrate Good Times” by Kool and the Gang plays. That’s when we really lost it.

At least we got beers at the end. But honestly, if they wanted to make us feel like bottles of beer, they should have filled us with alcohol first.

Empire of Light

Dutch Word of the Day

ontdekking: discovery
Ik heb nieuwe ontdekkingen gemaakt.
I have made new discoveries.

1. Biking in a skirt is a mess.

It’s not a total nightmare, it just makes me feel very self conscious. I could see it taking a while to get used to.

2. I will never get over how bright it is here at night.

This picture is from 10:30 PM at Dam Square.

3. Dutch people love baile funk. And religious holidays.

I knew this from Koninginnedag, but I didn’t know how intense it was. We went to Dansen last night and the DJ was going completely nuts. It was more, “Look what I can do!” rather than, “Wanna dance?” At one point he started to throw in some baile funk for no reason. Like, no reason what so ever. I loved it, but the whole set took a really long time to get good.

If you listen to Diplo’s Favela Strikes back, it sounds a lot like Track 4. I don’t know what song it is, but it sounds exactly like a song I heard on Queensday while I was trying to get through the crowds of orange drunk people. And they were all dancing to this.

As for religious holidays, “Pinksterdag”, which is Pentecost, means a day or two of inconvenience for me. Some of the buildings I need (with nice shiny computer labs) are going to be closed. For a country with so many atheists, they have no problem sleeping in for Jesus.

I’ll have a special guest star edition coming up because the best legal mind in America (no, not Matlock, but my baby brother) is coming by for a visit.


What’s Left. Papers on:
Male Prostitution
Morrocan Rap

Reality Television

So they took down the scaffolding. At 7:30 AM this morning. Heifers! Word of the Day will return when I regain dictionary opening strength. Maybe I’ll even take a two Ascension Day for no reason, like everyone else is.

I promised to my wife and children…

Dutch Word of the Day
oorlog: war
Ik heb Koud Oorlog Kinderen gezien!
I have seen Cold War Kids!

OK, maybe I should use a more poignant war related sentence since today was Liberation Day, but finally seeing them in concert was awesome. Today was a bit less somber than yesterday. There were a ton of tents and things near Museumplein and some stuff going on by the Westerkerk. Too bad I can’t read. Then I went to Vondelpark and tried to read, but the pollen is really starting to be a problem. Then I went to the concert, and the smoke started to be a problem. I’ve been spoiled by Bloomberg, alas.

This is the third day this week that the Dutch people have as a holiday. We haven’t really had any since coming here, they’re all just coming in now. Something tells me that warm weather is playing a role in this…

PS If you aren’t familiar with Cold War Kids, here’s one of their best songs. It’s the acoustic version of “We Used to Vacation.”

January 2022
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