I was tagged with the Sylish Blogger award by the wonderful Laura of For Those About to Shop. You’re meant to share 7 things about yourself, but I did that recently, so instead I’m going to give you 7 things about Amsterdam, illustrated with some detail shots of the city! Enjoy!
1. I could see myself living in Amsterdam. I was a bit apprehensive before we went about it being quite sleazy, what with the red light district and it being such a popular stag do destination, but it wasn’t at all. We had to walk through the two red light district streets ever night to get to our flat, and I found it less full on than the equivalent in other cities. The whole city was really chilled out and pretty. It seemed less of a fast moving cultural and artistic, so the fantasy life I was leading in Amsterdam was more like the life we have in Edinburgh, and less the parade of gigs and exhibition openings I imagine I would have in Berlin or Paris.
2. It turns out I love Ethiopian food. It’s strange, but that was seriously the best thing on the whole trip (I told you I was a foodie!). I wasn’t hugely keen when Dave first suggested the restaurant because I was prejudiced against African food on the basis of my knowledge of Malawian food, i.e. mainly maize based stodge with virtually no veg and meat as the thing to provide flavour, and of course I don’t eat meat. But of course it is extremely silly to write off an entire continent based on one country, so off we went and let me tell you it was AMAZING. Huge trays with little bits of mainly lentil based spicy curry type things, lost of choice for veggies cottage cheese, yummy pickles, fresh salads, all eaten without cutlery with the help of sour dough pancakes. YUM! I am completely converted to Ethiopian food now and when we go to London in June, I’ll be making a point of seeking out Ethiopian restaurants. (recommendations, Londoners?) Sadly, the only African restaurants in Edinburgh are North African, and one South African deli.
3. The cyclists are mental! Amsterdam is basically a car free city because the roads are so narrow, though I did see a massive old Jaguar making an ill advised turn into a street that can only be called a lane. But cyclists are everywhere, though it’s certainly no Copenhagen style two wheeled utopia. The cyclists go really fast everywhere, including on pavements and ignore everyone else. The guide book actually advises anyone hiring bikes never to stop at red lights because other cyclists will get so annoyed.
4. We failed to procure drugs. For us, drink is the drug of choice, but given that we were in Amsterdam, we thought it would be weird not to visit one of the hundreds of coffeeshops. So one night, we left the pub early to visit one but we weren’t served. For once it wasn’t because I look young, but because there is a law that ID must be asked of everyone without exception. And of course I didn’t have any, since I don’t like carrying my passport around with me. So we went back to the apartment and had tea and chocolate instead. We did mean to go out again but inertia prevailed even without any hash related products.
5. Everyone speaks English really well. Being a multilinguist, I usually feel really bad for not speaking the local language and assuming everyone will understand English (this was a major thing in Barcelona), but in Amsterdam everyone’s English is to such a high standard that I didn’t mind. I mean, in Berlin everyone speaks English too, but they don’t sound like they grew up speaking it, which they do in Amsterdam.
6. This history of handbags is fascinating. We went to the handbag museum, which I thought would be a bit of an excuse to look at lovely 50s bags n(and there were lots of those, including some s, but it was actually a proper museum and I learn a lot about what things were like in the 16th century! Pretty cool!
7. We drank A LOT of beer. Dutch brewed, and a lot of Belgian. Almost all the pubs had the Belgian blond beer La Chouffe on tap, and la Chouff coasters. Through wich we discovered that there is a brown version of it called Mc Chouffe. On which the little gnome that is the La Chouffe mascot (see photo) is wearing a wee kilt. This amuses me greatly!
The rules of the award are as follows:
1) Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2) Share 7 things about yourself.
3) Award 10 recently discovered bloggers.
4) Contact those bloggers and let them know they’ve won.
So here are my newest discoveries:
- By Anika
- Cloud of Secrets
- My Capacious Bottega
- Orchids in Buttonholes
- Penny Dreadful Vintage
- Statements in Fashion
- The Girl who stole the Eiffel Tower
- Watch me dress
- Big girl. small budget. tiny town.
Happy award and meme time! Obviously feel free to ignore if memes aren’t your thing.