Friday, August 03, 2007

July 3, Amsterdam

Shopping in the morning. I buy way more books than is good for my bank account or my back. Finally some good Dutch dictionaries, too.

I suddenly realize that I understand most of the uncomplicated things that the salespeople say to me. Weird, and great. Despite having visited Dutch-speaking countries many times and being able to read the language somehow, my comprehension of spoken Dutch had usually been about nonexistent, and suddenly I understand a lot of what these people are saying. Go figure.

Another suddent linguistic revelation is that Leidse in Leidsestraat, Leidseplein, Leidsegracht, etc. refers to Leiden.

Afterwards I just hang out in town, which is what I intended to do all the vacation to begin with.

In the afternoon Ville, Leena and I go check out the only roleplaying bookstore we found in town. The people there are nice and talkative, but the store is not very impressive. They have huge dice though.

Leena (bad, bad influence) drags me into a bookstore again, and a book jumps into my hands. It's Filth by Irvine Welsh, and of course I can't resist buying a book where, according to the cover, a bad cop is being persecuted by his own anus. Now that I've read it, I can also say that this was a mistake: the book is way too tasteless even for me, and I am saying this as a former regular of alt.tasteless who usually likes Welsh.

We find Marko and go to an Indonesian restaurant called Orient, where we finally get rijstaffel (I really like it and was advertising it to others since the beginning of the vacation).

The restaurant has a sign saying that they have smoking and non-smoking areas, but the first thing we hear upon asking for a non-smoking table is that they don't have a non-smoking area, at least yet. They sit us away from all the smokers, though, and their rijstaffel is quite good, and they have no problems bringing us tap water. They give us a huge doggie bag in the end, too.

We go home, and look at the clouds over the railway station. "If they put those into some game, everyone would complain that they are unrealistic," - says Ville.

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