Writings

A stroll through town


It's been a long time since I had a day as perfect as the one I had today. We woke up at the human hour of 10 am, something I don't think has happened since Iomi was born. We had a lazy breakfast while allowing ourselves to be seduced by the alluring never ending supply of online entertainment, had a second breakfast while enjoying seeing the day unfold with no musts, no appointments...completely unplanned.
A stroll through town
We decided to walk down to the city centre. Down in our neck of the woods, we use the car for everything, we live a bit outside town and Iomi's school is not within walkable distance. Our appointments takes us all over the place, so to have a walking day felt refreshing and different, enhancing the feeling of vacation and Amsterdam being the beauty she is, held up her promise of tickling us with her charm.
This city centre, the inner more affluent circle of town, excels in attention to detail. The stores and cafe's are like little museums in their creative display of what is being merchandised, and there is an original touch to everything. It feels like it's just come out of the box, it's fresh, beautiful and very inspiring. Down in the commercial district, coffe shops where the smoking of tobacco is forbidden are dominating the scenery with sex and grow shops sharing their space, and whereas in other cities those types of establishments are hidden away in a more questionable part of town and perceived as slightly shameful, in Amsterdam they make up a substantial part of the city's centre. Making it so, whether intentional or unintentional sticks a rebellious middle finger to those neighbouring countries who frown upon the generous drug and sex legislation the country keep proving so succesfully not only works for them, but seems to makes their population proud and thriving.

I'm pulled in to one of the shops, a beauty shop, tricked by free soap. Yes I am a sucker for free things, (there have been occasions where I've gone to a particular supermarket twice and thrice during the day even if I didn't really need to shop simply because I knew they were offering free cheese samples. Not because of financial circumstances but only because it was free, which would make me feel curiously happy...), so there was this persuasive salesman who offered me a free soap and before I could just slip the free goods in to my pocket, say thank you and skilfully escape my part of the bargain, he somehow persuaded me to come in to the store and witness what miracles he could do with my nails. I pleaded with him telling him to be reasonable, that someone looking like me, completely void of make up, dressed in sweats and a fleece simply wasn't the right player for his game but he didn't give up, he grabbed my hand started speaking rapidly about how he was going to perform magic with my nails, and while I was distracted trying to protest, 'Bam! There he was, sanding down the top of my nail with some sort of cushion looking nail file. It was over in less than ten seconds and when he proudly asked me to asses and admire his work I had to say I was kind of impressed, the nail was, without any cream, polish or lengthy process, shining like the still surface of a lake on a summers day... Now even though I know I would never use it down in my 'real' life, for a moment I was tempted to buy it, just because it was such an efficient invention, such a great product...luckily Igor came in to the store with his male impatience and effectively broke the spell. I walked out the store without the magical cushionfile. The salesman shouted, as a last desperate attempt to lure me back in, that the treatment he just gave me would last for a week but it was too late, I was outta there. My nail still shines now, and I will try to remember to check in a week if the natural glimmer and my expert salesman live up to their promise.

Igor got to decide the treats of the day, I thought since he had been such a good sherpa and I got my chinese take out wish fulfilled, he should get the perogative today so we ended up eating eggs on toast and fries. A man of very simple tastes my husband, but also a very cheap date... The bar we ate in had some tables outside and the mild spring sun kept us company the whole meal. The mid aged woman sharing a table with us was sipping white wine and she, had her feet up on the neighbouring chair, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, a detail that made me appreciate Amsterdam even more. A completely normal looking grown up woman putting her feet up at lunch enjoying the sun, a picture of tolerance where freedom and decorum are balanced for everyones pleasure. Hats off to you Amsterdam, for that image, I will cherish it hopefully.

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