I have been wanting to go to Amsterdam for awhile now, so when my parents said they were coming to Europe I was able to convince them they wanted to go as well 🙂 I was slightly nervous about traveling with Deb and Stu to a non-english speaking country. My parents are, well they are middle aged Americans, a breed not known for their ability to seamlessly adjust to new surroundings. But I must say, they did quite well! I give a great deal of credit to the people of Amsterdam, they were warm and friendly, spoke fluent english and seemed to actually find humor in some of the questions my parents asked.
My father asked a number of people if they spoke Flemish, despite the fact I’d already told him that Flemish was an old language not really in use any longer and never the language of Amsterdam. My mother tried bargaining with a number of shop keepers, despite telling her this wasn’t a country where you could do that. I was a little embarrassed but it also made me realize, I might be a little too willing to adjust to whatever culture I’m in.
I’m so Dutch!
I suppose to some Amsterdam might not be a place you would spend a week with your parents, what with their legal drugs, prostitution and morally corrupt reputation (see Fox News). But I am happy to report Dad did not relapse into a pot-smoking hippy and Mother is not working in a brothel. The ‘special’ coffee houses and brothels are there, in fact my Dad accidently walked into one looking to buy a coffee. He quickly realized it wasn’t the kind of coffee he was looking for when they told him it’d be €12; a funny exchange between my father and the shop owner ensued and the man pointed him in the direction of a ‘non-special’ coffee shop. So, the coffee houses and brothels exist, but are not prevalent in most of Amsterdam, bikes however, are in abundance!
I LOVED it. In fact, I want to move into a bright sunny flat along the canals, buy a bike, and learn Dutch (maybe Flemish). As I said the people were lovely, they all dressed so well too! There was so much to offer in a rather small space. We wondered around the canals, went to museums (Anne Frank House, Maritime Museum, Jewish History Museum, Van Gogh Museum), ate lots of cheese and seafood, enjoyed the sun in the parks, and drank lots and lots of Dutch and Belgium beers.
I would love to be able to return while I am still living abroad. Spring was just beginning to surface, so we didn’t see many tulips or the canals covered by tree canopies. We didn’t rent bikes either, so that will definitely be on the list!
Until we meet again Amsterdam xxx