Thursday, February 1, 2007

In Amsterdam, Nov. 6, 2005

We took one of the Mercs, most of the taxi in Amsterdam are new Mercs, to our hotel, Novotel. After checking in I thought of taking a two hours nap as it is still very early, I should have known better, I ended up watching the Ducth programmes which I did not have a clue to what it was. It doesn’t matter to me as I was very awake. As planned I called up my friend, Chukai, who for the last two years has been living in The Hague, Den Haag to the Dutch, and as he was expecting my call, answered immediately. He said he would be at my hotel around 9.15 am to take us around before going to his house in the evening for a bit of Hari Raya Open House.

The weather was for us, we were very lucky said my friend, the sun came out beautifully and the cold sky was brilliant to watch. Chukai decided to take us to a tourist village in Zaanstad to enjoy the windmills, cheese and clog making, and to take the full benefit of the nice weather. We played tourist and enjoyed ourselves, the kind of things that I missed when I was in Amsterdam last year and early this year. The inner side, the working, of the windmill really proved to be a revelation to me. It was brilliantly done and it was constructed in such a way it serves multiple purposes. One spin of the windmill would work a grind to grind chalk, pulling in water, giving electricity and many more innovative things that you can possibly think off. We spent about three hours there before we decided to do the museums.

We parked at the Arena, Ajax Stadium, and took the metro to downtown and subsequently the trams to the Leidseplein. We walked around the museum and then decided to proceed further down towards Central Station to take a metro back to the Arena. It was a pleasant walk.

We reached my friend’s house around 6 pm and on the way there I simply drifted in and out of sleep. The jetlag was working fulltime and I was a zombie for a while. I have been to my friend’s house before so I know what to expect. A nice family was already there when we arrived. Eventually two more arrived and we had a raya feast, my first time in Holland. As if to confirm that this world is really small one of the guest was actually someone that I knew. We left Den Haag at 9 pm and immediately dozed off as soon as I hit the bed. Unfortunately I was up at 4 am in the morning

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