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I Have Achieved Recursion! Holland in Holland Part One
Girl Genius, Oggie, Jenka, Studio Foglio, Jagermonster
 I have achieved recursion!

That’s right, folks – at the moment yours truly, Holland, is in Holland: Amsterdam, to be more specific. I arrived yesterday, and have been having fun (albeit at a slightly higher price than I expected). I am spending till Tuesday here, and it is awesome.

The people here are really nice, the city is beautiful, and no one cares if you’re a tourist wandering around with a map, because they’ll help you with directions. That said, Dutch is incredibly difficult to pronounce, and unlike in the Spanish I’ve been speaking for the past 4 months, there is not a 1:1 correlation between what is written and what is pronounced. Loon is pronounced not like the bird, but like “loan”, for instance. There are consonant clusters that stick in the teeth, and it’s similar enough to English that it makes you think you might be able to understand it if you listened hard enough, but alas, no dice.

So after I got here (flight was ok, sleeping in Madrid airport was something I will never ever do again), checked in, and stuff, I went to get the museum card, which for 40 euro gets you into all the museums in Amsterdam. I had my four day pass for the tram system already. I then went to the Museum Van Loon, which is a19th-century canal house preserved as it was when a family lived there. The house is full of art from the period, including several portraits painted by the former lady of the house. Lots of lovely furniture, as well – the Asian influence on Dutch culture is very evident. I had a nice time exploring it, and then I went to book a canal cruise for Sunday night.

I had the fries that are popular here, the local way, with ketchup and mayonnaise (I skipped the onions that are usually added, though) and they were amazing! Not very good for you, but hot and crispy and delicious and cheap. Asian takeout is also common here, and the local fast food chain Fabo has some odd stuff. For example, the Satay Burger: a hamburger with peanut butter. I have not tried that yet, but I might out of sheer curiosity. I did have a goat cheese sandwich, and I bought a muffin, which I saved for later. I walked around and explored a lot, and then headed back to my hostel to rest.

Today, I got up early and went to the museum quarter. The Rijksmuseum is amazing. Even with most of it under renovation and only a portion being shown, it was wonderful. Two hours of paintings from my favorite era, especially portraits, and I got to see a lot of Rembrandts, including Night Watch! I got a lovely book there, too, and when the museum is fully renovated, I am coming back to see it. Same with the Van Gogh museum and the Hermitage Museum (which I see tomorrow). I then went to the Van Gogh museum, which was lovely, and there I met a wonderful Spanish couple, and we hung out for a bit. I went to the Diamond Museum and learned a lot and had a lovely time chatting with them (I’m around the same age as their daughter, apparently). And then I went to the modern art museum, which like most modern art museums, had me going “This is art?!?” more often than “This is art!”

I grabbed a waffle with powdered sugar from a little stall, and socks and underwear with my name on it from another stall, then grabbed the tram to Koenigsplein and the flower market. Mostly bulbs there, but some wonderful flowers. Took lots of pictures. Also found a hat with my name on it (which I am wearing now, as well as my Holland: Can’t Dutch This t-shirt).

Now, I’m going to head off to Central Station to meet my tour group for a tour of the famous Red Light District, and then after that, going to the Sex Museum and grabbing some Asian food for dinner.

Amsterdam is awesome, and it is neat to see my name everywhere.

(I do have several Spain trips to write up. I will do that – I have half of the Gibraltar writeup done, and then will add Segovia/Madrid, and Salamanca and Monfraguë)

Till next time folks!

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Sounds like you're having a blast. I'm really jealous of the Van Gogh Museum trip.

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