Mijn indruk van Amsterdam in het Nederlands, staat bij de vorige foto.
Now I am absolutely not a city person, not at all, but Amsterdam was a match. So green ! Every tile that can be left open, is planted. In every tub and in every object that can be filled and placed somewhere, there are plants. Many house boats are full of plants. A front yard in a Flemish city is usually full of tiles or gravel, has a monotone short cut lawn or a single buxus, but here front yards are a complete wood. No nagging here about high trees (they take away the light, there are leaves falling off, they grow), no raking to remove every pile of weed, but flowers, bushes and trees in abundance, with even a spot for a table and a bench in between, sometimes even a swing. In Amsterdam there is an optimum use of every square decimeter for green. The result : a city that I experience as livable and cozy and where I feel at ease. An average Fleming immediately goes into the attack with pruning shears and poisoning can, what a wilderness, what a shame. But not here, here there obviously is an agreement that green is cozy. All the time people cycle along. They look, I don’t know very well how to express it, but they don’t look average : they look artistic, with a very own and outspoken personality, free, individualized, full of character. Their expression and their clothing shows it. They dress unique, tasteful and striking in their original combination of garments. Very beautiful. I’d like to make dozens of portraits, but everything goes too fast. Lots of bikes have a personal touch too and they get everything done : carrier bikes (with happy kids in it) or two easy child seats at the back. And further there is water everywhere with trees at the sides : canals with house boats and sailing boats and bridges. I experience that as very pleasant too. Amsterdam is also full of markets and stalls and shops : think of something and you can find it there. There is a whole bunch of everything : terraces, restaurants, coffeeshops, shops, second hand books, wooden shoes, tulip bulbs, bikes, bridges, boats, canals, people, cycling people, coloured people, and also museums, a botanical garden, a zoo, a subway (large but rather filthy), an extraordinary photo exhibition in the open air (Spirit of the wild), a China town, small high houses with typical facades, hotels, chips stands (with real Flemish fries), it is very busy too and a lot of store and catering personal forgot that they can speak Dutch. They do understand you in Dutch, it even is their mother tongue, but only English keeps coming out of their mouth. Very bizarre. Undisciplined behavior you can observe there too. To cross the road, there is a counter : you only have to wait 34 seconds before you may cross, the numbers are counting down to help you pass this waiting time, yes waiting is incredibly difficult for them. Then a woodpecker starts pecking, very cozy, so that you also can hear that you may cross now, but it doesn’t help : after 16 seconds half of the road crossers ignores the red stop light. Imagine driving there or cycling : attention, crossing wild life ! But furthermore nothing but good. Oh yes, there is also a tremendous choice in post cards, I’ve never seen so many different ones. OK, that’s about all. In the next days I’ll show you some photos to illustrate my impressions.