Though I am rapidly approaching my 28th birthday and can remember to change my sheets on an (almost) weekly basis, there are a few “not a girl, not yet a women”-era traits I find myself clinging to. Holdovers from the university and backpacking years of my late teens and early twenties that I just can’t seem to shake (not that I’m trying all that hard). One of these is a magnetic attraction to anything “free.”
There are certain things in life we just have to face.
Food that is good for you so rarely tastes as appealing as food that is not; people get older and wrinklier as long as they’re alive; when you go to Amsterdam, it will probably be raining.
Of course, there are many options for rainy days when you’re in a city, especially one as full-to-the-brim as Amsterdam. Find a cafe, sip a coffee, and people watch. Eat some bitterballen under the heated and umbrella-covered Leidseplein. Go shopping, visit one of the many museums, or, hell: embrace the plain reality of Dutch weather and just soldier on in your outdoor exploring.
Despite the assumptions of a good many people who know me (and, frankly, should know better), the fact that I live in the Netherlands does not actually mean I live in Amsterdam.
Actually, I live on the other side of the country from the Dutch capital city. How do you like that?
Of course, if you want to get nitpicky (and really, who am I to talk?), the “other side of the country” is only an hour and a half away by car, inevitable traffic notwithstanding. I visit Amsterdam fairly regularly; and while I’m hardly a local, I have learned a few lessons that — being a sympathetic fellow tourist — I’d like to share with you. (I think this is the small-town-influence kicking in. Enjoy it while it lasts).
I’m a bit of an imposter when it comes to this whole “outdoor flea market” thing – it’s time I just came out and said it.
In my dreams, I stroll through such markets at a leisurely pace, lovingly eyeing old rotary phones and vinyl records, chatting to the stallkeepers who have worked there for decades, and then magically discover something breathtaking that I will cherish forever (/sell to someone else for 100x what I paid).