This is another one of those semi-planless trips. On the way back from picking up my passport I stopped and looked at the Rijksmuseum…and then I was lost.
1. When was the last time I stopped and looked at the Rijksmuseum? Visiting… yes. Looking… not so much. And then on Wednesday afternoon the sunlight made me stop and gaze a while.
2. Lines and objects fly every which way: watching them can make you lose your balance.
3. When you think about it, that is a pretty fine way to travel. Sitting up front, watching the city glide by. No need to pedal; all you have to do is enjoy.
4. Sometimes I end up waiting for ages for something to happen. In this case the hope was for someone to come along and create a superfly shadow on the Van Gogh museum wall. It didn’t happen, and after a while I left.
5. It’s not that the hot dog car is out of place—sitting as it does on the north edge of Museumplein, but… there is something about; I just don’t know what—yet.
6. Once upon a time I really didn’t like those letters—we all need to be grumpy about something. The thing is, over time my attitude has mellowed: every time I see anyone near those letters they seem to be having fun. And as we all know: fun is good for the spirit.
7. To paraphrase our good man René Descartes: I am, therefore I pose. This is an essential aspect of tourism.
8. You know, I have never seen an Amsterdam pigeon refuse a snack. I don’t know if it’s a pigeon thing, or an Amsterdam thing.
9. How many ‘not-sure-of-where-they-are’ fingers touch that map in a day?
Large cars are becoming increasingly anti-trend on the streets of Amsterdam. This little buggy is the way we’ll be rolling in future.
…And then a super quick sprint through one of those streets I never seem to visit.
Just a guy on a mini-digger, doing mini-digger kind of things. Absolutely something to see here, so please don’t move on just yet.
10. It’s not paranoia, but that church spire has been watching my every move for a very long time. I ask: “Why?” and it answers with silence.
11. The good thing about exercising in public is that you’re subconsciously encouraged (by what you think everyone else thinks) to do your very best.
12. This is a funny little bridge. You look, and there’s no one there. You blink, and it’s: “Hey! Where did they come from?”
13. The Blue Tea House smiles and remembers the summer. The terraces were full of noise and life and sun-brightened conversation. Ah well, just the autumn, winter, and spring to get through.
14. This is definitely ‘something’ but I don’t know what. Note to self: come back when it’s open and find out.
15. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the stage whisper: “Give me music. Give me a band.”
16. Late autumn: low sun, elongated shadows. Meanwhile, over towards the bottom right, a dog probes the ground—there’s always a chance of finding something interesting.
17. Another look at that church spire: the one that’s been following me around. I know it’s up to something.
18. A late afternoon gathering, drinks all around. On the cycle path, away from the noise, he looks at her as she talks on the phone.
19. Are bicycles everywhere because cycling is a completely normal thing to do? Or has cycling become the norm because there are so many bikes?
20. I know that bunch of flowers sitting out in the sun cut a deal with the owner. In order to improve the chance of a sale they were the first flowers to go out, and the last to go back inside.
21. Three arches, three windows, plants catching sunbeams on the balcony: I liked the set up.
22. The fly-tailed chameleon has evolved the ability to transform from one object to another. Unfortunately, a last minute contractual hiccup means I am unable to show you the chameleon: you can have these instead.
23. …And now for a set of patiently waiting windows. At this particular moment we’re unable to tell what they are waiting for. But we guarantee you, those windows ‘are’ waiting.
24. I just about managed to catch the clock on the roof before it slid out of sight.
25. Why do arches always behave like border posts, with different ‘lands’ on each side?
26. I’ve thought about it long and hard, but I do believe that little blue house is making a statement.
27. Aha, that roof clock again! You know, the one that moves around from time to time.
28. According to those in the know: there is no time better than ‘personal chill time’.
29. It’s the bricks around the windows that made me stop and look. You see—even though you can’t—they danced back and forth in something of an architectural cha-cha-cha!
30. One quick glance between the boat houses—just to make sure the city’s still here. It is, so I’m good: time to walk on.
31. Funny how the immediate world around us has a way of becoming so normal it turns invisible. Until, that is, a passing stranger expresses their surprise at something we’ve forgotten to see… such as canals, bridges, houseboats and so on.
32. Well… I do like Amsterdam in the autumn!
33. One rumour says these houses were inspired by layered cakes. Another rumour claims that rumour is nothing but hearsay. I suppose the truth must lie somewhere in between.
34. Messages, messages…
35. That bench in the lower left foreground… How do I get there and rest my feet?
36. White paint, tram lines and other surface marks; also known as ‘road-writing’
37. Those flashes and glints of late evening sun can be seen as promises of a better tomorrow 🙂
38. One more bridge, one more corner, a few more metres and I’ll be home again.