Observing Europe – Part III (Amsterdam)

March 11, 2012 § 5 Comments

Going to Amsterdam was a spontaneous decision. The Netherlands wasn’t part of my (poorly planned) Europe itinerary and now that I think back on it, I’m not sure why.

It was a freezing cold Saturday and my dad was  already in hibernation mode and firmly entrenched on the sofa. I could barely see his face as he was submerged under a rather impressive  mound of blankets.  Trying to coax him to get out of his nest and to drive us 2+ hours to Amsterdam was like trying to separate a fat kid from his half-eaten chocolate cake. Fortunately for me, I mastered the puppy eyes as a young child and my mom perfected the “she’s-only-here-for-two-weeks” speech. Between the two of us, we managed to guilt trip my dad to abandon his blanket cocoon and into the driver’s seat.

the beautiful canals

During the drive up, my eyes eagerly embraced the lush green pastures, a variety of farm animals, and quaint countryside. Once we left the border of Belgium, windmills began to slowly emerge into the view. The numerous pictures and travel shows I’ve seen all my life slowly developed into something real and tangible, as those same images began to unfold in front of my eyes. It was exhilarating.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Amsterdam. Friends who have visited before, bring back stories of getting high, tripping out on shrooms and watching tons of (unforgettable) sex shows. I have a great relationship with my parents, but I have no desire to watch any sex shows or do any form of drugs with my parents. It’s bad enough when nudity comes up when you watch a movie with your parents, I can’t imagine how awkward it would be to watch a sex show in Amsterdam. No doubt it was going to be a rated PG trip.

One of my marketing projects during college was to write a marketing business plan. My group somehow decided that we wanted to sell bicycles in the Netherlands since apparently everyone owned a bike. Turns out we picked a severely competitive and mature market to try and enter (hence the low marks) but I was attracted by the idea of a bike-friendly environment. I never lived in a city where bikes were the primary form of transportation, so I was pretty intrigued to see how the city would look.

i have never seen so many people on bicycles in my life

Tempted to buy a bike myself!

i love how bike-friendly this city is!

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“Newsaint” – Terry Allen

November 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Newstaints by Terry Allen, Bronze, 1991

I had the chance to visit the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University today with my parents and grandpa.  The museum is beautiful and they had some very interesting exhibits while we were there.  This bronze sculpture was my favorite piece there.

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