Well, as you may have guessed it, I can’t turn away from not logging on to the Internet before I go. Besides, I have about 8 hours to kill now before my plane is due. I have checked out of the hotel, put my bags into storage and am now in Damrak again at the easyInternet café. It is raining quite heavily out there, which makes Amsterdam a wee bit gloomier – but at least it washes away the dirt, and there aren’t so many tourists and shoppers in Kalverstraat. Hehehehe.
Paula, stroopwafels are thin waffles with caramel in between – they are really yummy (and fattening). One of my favourites! You can actually get them at Woolwoorth’s if you are curious. In the Netherlands, you can get various types of stroopwafels with honey, etc.
There aren’t many other things to report or write actually – I’m going to spend the whole day quite leisurely. Hopefully the rain will ease soon, so I can walk around Amsterdam without spending a single Euro (well, one can only dream!). I’ve done all the souvenir shopping that I need, and have all the things I need to return home. I’m going to take a shower at Schiphol before I’m due to fly home – even showering at the airport will cost me 20 Euro! Afterwards when I land in Singapore, more than 12 hours later, I will also take a shower and freshen myself up at Sjoerd’s apartment. Unfortunately I will also need to rearrange my bags, as I won’t be able to bring any large cabin bags and am not allowed to bring in any liquid into the cabin. Just to complicate things more, I wouldn’t want to open my whole bag as well at the Customs in Australia since I have some stuff to declare: wooden articles and sweets – so I would need to localise the declarable things in one bag. Ah well, the joy of modern-day travelling, eh? 🙂
Lastly, I thought this quote is really appropriate … it’s from the movie called “The Spanish Apartment” or in its original title “L’Auberge espagnole”. It really reflects my sentiment about a place when I feel quite comfortable with it already. Like the protagonist in the movie, I also stayed in a building (in my case international students’ dormitory) that housed students from many nations. The experience really shaped me into a person I am today. I got to share a couple of great years with students from the Netherlands, Denmark, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Sweden, and of course, Australia. Like the character, it is also weird and exciting when I land in a foreign place and learn the strange names of the places or stations – whether it is Pooraka, Sloterdijk, Zoologischer Garten, or Malostranka.
These words are spoken by the main character in the movie, Xavier:
When you first arrive in a new city, nothing makes sense. Everythings unknown, virgin… After you’ve lived here, walked these streets, you’ll know them inside out. You’ll know these people. Once you’ve lived here, crossed this street 10, 20, 1000 times… it’ll belong to you because you’ve lived there. That was about to happen to me, but I didn’t know it yet.
Urquinaona, which sounded Sioux, was added to the list of once bizarre-sounding names tucked into my brain. Urquinaona slipped in next to Honolulu, Punxsutawney, Piccadilly, Massachusetts, Saskatoon and Machu Picchu. It became normal and familiar.
Just like the old SBS’s tagline … The world is an amazing place.