An email I sent out on July 25, 2006 near the begining of my summer adventures.
Well here I am in sunny and dry London where naturally the topic of conversation is the heat. The amusing part is that the heat here is nothing like the temperatures back in Toronto when I left a few days ago.
All is well in Amsterdam where I swear around every corner I turned there was Bern. It was a bit strange, but everyone in this city looks like Bern. At least not the ones that are toothless and whacked out on crack. They just look pathetic.
The city has taken a bit of a downturn in the cleanliness aspect.
Garbage is strewn everywhere and as I walked up the deserted early morning streets after my plane landed I knew exactly what had happened the night before. A lot of drinking and vomiting. I would have said that it was a result of a Friday night but the streets looked no better during the day on following Sunday or Monday mornings.
It has been 3 years since my last trip to Amsterdam and I was able to make my way to the hotel without a map to guide me and I only got turned around once. Not too shabby I'd say. In my typical fashion I walked until I could walk no more that first Saturday and by mid-afternoon I was in the Vondelpark enjoying some green space when suddenly the skies clouded over, the wind picked up and the temperature began to drop (which was definitely welcome). When the thunder and lightening arrived I did what any Science teacher would have done - I took refuge under a large tree. The wind picked up some more and I checked my backpack to make sure that my camera was still dry. I did not want a repeat of last summer in China. My camera did not need to get broken on day one.
The wind picked up some more and as the tree I was under began to fall apart around me I decided to make a dash for the relative safety of a bridge a short distance away. I was not alone and soon everyone ran under the bridge including the hot dog vendor and his cart. The rain came down as if someone had just opened a spillway, the lightening flashed and a sternum shattering crack of thunder exploded above the bridge. This brought even more people under the bridge including a guitar player who began to seranade us with his rendition of Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire. Next in sauntered a few more people including one dressed as a penguin. They were shortly followed by a couple of dancing African gypsies. And all the while the guitar and singing continued with Ring of Fire. The gypsies danced in the rain and at one point were joined by the penguin -that is until a blast of thunder sent him scampering back under the bridge. The path in the park had turned into a brown river and puddles appeared everywhere. In about 30 minutes it was all over and the eclectic group broke up I think more seeking refuge from another round of Ring of Fire.
Now I must cut this short since I have been told that my flight
from Berlin to Krakow has been cancelled and I must try and figure out just what to do, then I might saunter over to the British Museum since it is free.