May 19, 2005

What day is it?

I can't count the number of times I was offered cocaine last night by african men as I walked around seeing the night sights in Amsterdam. That and E. It's subtle and no real pressure. The dealers walk around and they ask you quietly 'en passaunt' (In passing). I've been approached by drug dealers before in at home and it's still not something I'm comfortable with. Thankfully, I only needed to shake my head and they were gone off to the next prospect.

I debraded my forehead this morning. A very long and sometimes painful process. I'm just hoping to keep from getting an infection in the open skin. It's not like my flesh is open to the air, but you know how if you scraped yourself and a couple of days later you notice that you have a very light scab on the surface of your skin? Even though I've always felt I looked a little dorky in a hat, I'm seriously considering finding a hat shop to find something to wear during the rest of my trip. The sun is out in full force today which is going to limit me to careful walking down certain sides of the streets.


I went back to the book shop this morning. Not just a graphic design bookstore, but dedicated to art, architecture, design and photography. I think there was an interior design section as well, but I avoided looking too close. I did enough damage in the design section. I spent enough money to have over 10 Kilos of books. That's over 22 pounds. They had books by publishers I've never heard of. Amazing stuff. THe place is called Nijhof & Lee - International Booksellers


Food report. I had steak last night at a Argentinian Steakhouse. Under different names, there are tons of these in Amsterdam. I had to see about the Argentine method of cooking steak - over wood logs (open flame). Pretty good. Although the meat tasted a little gamey which was odd for beef. I keep forgetting that food is entirely ala carte here and that you have to order each course on your own. They don't sit and say - salad? main course? beverage? If you forget to order water, you don't get water. And you might end up short on your food quantity if you don't order each course. I'm not saying you have to order a 4 course meal, just that you have to remain aware as you order that the responsibility is entirely yours to get the proper meal.

I had a kebab for lunch at a little place just off the tourist lane. I didn't know when I ordered it that it was going to be loaded with curry. Tasted pretty good, but I'm sure I'm going to to regretting it in awhile. I'm not used to eating curry, and I've been careful on this trip to not eat foods that will upset my stomach. Oh, well, this is an adventure after all, right?


I'm watching the Giro de Italia on Eurosport while I type this, and it's strange to not have Phil Ligget and Bob Roll announcing the race. Well, that and the fact that the broadcast is in German. I realize how much I've forgotten. I'm thinking of enrolling in classes for Italian or French. I love Tuscany so much. I can see me going back there again. It would be nice to be able to speak to the people there in their own language. It makes all the difference when you want to make an impression.


I realized yesterday that I have no idea what day it is anymore. Without a structured work week and people that are regularly talking about what day it is, it's hard to keep track of the calendar. I think it's Wednesday, but it would take me a lot of day counting to figure out for sure. I'm also having trouble recalling how long I've been here. I have a 4 night stay in Amsterdam, and I think last night was only #2, I've done so much since I got here - you can get that effect with so much packed into one day of different stuff. When you are doing or seeing the same thing all day you just don't have that happen, I'll call it suspension of time. The definition is when you are so busy that you think something you did that morning was a day or two in the past rather than 12-14 hours. :-)


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