Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Amstel

Amsterdam 007
My plane arrived slightly early tonight, so I was feeling smug as I negotiated the double revolving doors to the outside of the airport.

Then whoosh! A sudden barrage of tiny hailstones that lasted about ten minutes. I was waiting for Guus to show up in his big black Chrysler and had arranged to meet him by the vast television screen near the airport taxi rank.

There were about fifteen other people with similar plans huddled into the little glass shelter, and I was just getting ready to make a dash to the other distant empty shelter, when I spied the distinctive car and the reassuring flashing of headlights. An effortless drive into rainy Amsterdam and now I'm sitting with a local beer in a bar around the corner from this street.

Tomorrow and Thursday I will have my nose to the grindstone, so I guess I won't have much time for wandering although I expect a group of us will pitch up for a dinner tomorrow evening. Still. Amsterdam's distinct character with canals, narrow streets, merchant houses, bicycles, cafes and bars, sweet smelling cigarettes (!), liberalism, tourists and bustle permeates even a short visit.

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