Thank you for listening to my rant about children. I really do love them, but this one is insane.
Amsterdam is great. Its such a nice place. I went to a cafe called 'The Doors' looking for the good stuff. I saw the pot, and that was wild. I kept looking around for the cops to rush in, and then I had to remind myself that 'Its ok! I'm in the real land of the free!'
Dutch people are very nice. They aren't Euro-stylish, but stylish and casual. Lots of people wear sneakers and jeans, but they are funky, colorful sneakers, and not running sneakers and jeans. Its odd being in a land where Indians are a true minority in every sense of the word. Not just Indians, but those who are not tall and blonde. One thing, the Dutch are lovely people who ride their bikes everywhere.
One thing I love to do with any vacation is to see the sights, but to get a feel as to how people live. What does the supermarket look like, basically what do the regular people do on a daily basis? Staying with my cousin has given me the chance to do that. I've been to the grocery store, visited the playschool, went to the regular shopping mall, taken the bus...things like that.
Amsterdam is a small city which doesn't take long to see. I think if I was in my early 20's, and didn't have family here, I would stay 5 days for all the partying, etc. Its easy to get around.
I went to Austria by train last weekend. Myself and 2 of my friends met up at one friends house. (1 friend is from Holland, and 1 is from Austria)...we went to this small town on top of a mountain 20 minutes past Salzburg. It was gorgeous. The mountains are amazing, and there are so many churches and beautiful houses built all around the area. All I could think of was the Sound of Music. Thankfully, my Dutch friend thought the same. We didn't do much and that was perfect. Spent time by the lake, went sailing, played a game, had dinner at my friends boyfriend's place with his family, who were very nice. Although my German is very minimal, so there was a bit of a communication gap. The best part were the young kids trying to practice their English talking about a show called, 'Pimp Up My Ride.' I know the show is called 'Pimp My Ride', but they all say, 'Pimp Up My Ride.' The kids love it, and they were imitating the way X-ibit talks. Let me tell you, if you want to see comedy in its purest form, check out some young Austrian kids trying to speak Ebonics. You'll fall off your chair.
A little background, my friend from Holland, Austria and I worked together in New York, and thats how we know each other. We used to hang out all the time. We haven't seen each other in 2.5 years. I'm surprised they haven't met up either since they are in Europe. So it was just wonderful.
We would eat breakfast outside...butter here is great, and I love a typical German breakfast.
So anyway, Sunday, my Holland friend and her husband went back to Holland, and I went with my friend to Innsbruck where she works. This time, we were at the bottom of the mountain, where you'll find an Ikea, H&M, etc. Not how I pictured Innsbruck, but it is still beautiful. Along the way, we stopped at another lake outside Munich and I had a typical Bavarian meal, which consisted of a lot of meat.
Monday morning I left Innsbruck by train, and went on a crazy train ride which took me all along the Rhine, to Cologne, and finally finally finally, back to Amsterdam.
I went to 3 countries in 3 days. I'm currently 2 hours from Belgium and 4 hours from Paris. Its so strange to say that, because I'm 8 hours from Canada, and 30-something hours from Mexico. I guess that's Europe.
One very good thing that has happened since I came is that the dollar has gained an ounce of strength against the Euro. I'm hoping for more!