What I Learned In Amsterdam

1) That Fiftig Tinten Gris and Tachtig Dagen Geel (you’ll get the first one without much help, but the second is Eighty Days Yellow) are as ubiquitous in the Netherlands as they are here.

2) That the Vondelpark is a great place to go if you want to see baby storks, watch a man filming his wife doing Tai Chi by the side of the lake, or are a gentleman who wants to cruise for like-minded gentlemen…

3) That if you use any side street on the fringes of the Red Light District as a cut-through, you’ll inevitably walk past a window featuring a blonde in shocking pink lingerie. Said lingerie is unlikely to have come from Marlies Dekkers, who does the classiest undies in Holland.

4) That De Zotte still serves the finest frites in the known universe. And don’t even start me on the Abbey cheese tart.

5) That when Amsterdam was under the rule of the French King Louis Napoleon, the guillotine was brought in a form of public execution, but was only ever used three times.

5) That you can get coffee and a piece of cake for 1 Euro in Hema between 4 and 6 p.m.

6) That I still have less than no desire to visit any coffeeshop that has Bob Marley painted on the window.

7) That, as ever, I’ve come back with some great ideas for stories…

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