Crooked Buildings and Fairy Friends – Amsterdam, Netherlands

My last few days in Amsterdam was so much fun. I met so many people. I had a wonderful talk with Fabio and his Italian friends about dreams, romance and passion. I found a great CD store where I found an amazing compilation called Utopia. Its a mix of a bunch of movie theme songs with some classical for good measure.

I found the most magical little Fantasy Fairytale shop with trolls, fairies, dragons, wishing wells, and magic mirrors. I hope that this cheered up my fairy loving friend Calen as he was experiencing the initial shock of getting a tongue ring. Ouch!

I visited a very powerful museum in Amsterdam which had an exhibit of photos of HIV positive orphans from Nairobi. These children were so beautiful you could cry. I am not sure why before now I hadn`t realized the state of emergency of the homeless and sick children around the world. I mean, yes, I have watched the shows about kids from Africa and Asia who are starving. But I just got distracted by the phone numbers and credit card logos flashing across the screen. This tragedy is real. I am determined to spend more time observing children and trying to learn from them. They are our greatest teachers. And we give them no credit.

I met a great group of Canadians, Aussies, Brits and Scots. I was especially fond of Kerrie Anne who fell in love with a man across the room whom she didn`t get to speak to….I reassured her that when the time is right, he will find her.

The buildings in Amsterdam are all crooked and the streets are wavy. It was built on a not so solid foundation which causes major shifting. I saw one building that seemed to be leaning further than Pisa! I got lost more than once a day but I had no problems getting directions. Dutch people are so friendly and eager to help. The hostel I stayed at, Bulldog, has grown so big (they told me they started the first “coffee shop” in Amsterdam) they are now opening a backpackers HOTEL.

I got a tour of the new digs and I must say, I was more than impressed. They have leather couches, pool table, DVDs, self-serve kitchen, even Payperview in the rooms (who gets the remote?)! They said their prices will stay almost the same…I say they are setting a very high standard for hostels in Amsterdam. They say that they have been very successful thanks to tourists and travellers, and it is time to give back. I cant wait to go back to visit.

I had so many amazing experiences in Amsterdam…everyday is drastically different than the day before. I think Amsterdam is a place where people go to live out their fantasies. I have to admit I didnt` sleep much but honestly, I am not tired.

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