This day in Amsterdam was spent the best way I know how–sleeping in, museum-hopping, eating sandwiches, and last but not least, drinking beer.
The first item on our agenda today was to go to the supermarket and buy food for the next few days. We bought sandwich ingredients, pasta, snacks, donuts, etc. We ate our breakfast over a few episodes of Friends, and then we made our way over to the Anne Frank Museum. Fun/embarrassing fact: There is free Wi-Fi in the Anne Frank Museum so Ninna and I spent the first half hour in the lobby playing with our iPhones.
The museum was pretty cool, mostly because I got to physically place myself in the actual home (if you can call it that) where Anne Frank and her family hid out during the Holocaust. Seeing the rooms, the pictures on the wall, being in her bedroom–it was all a part of putting myself in her shoes and reminding myself how lucky I am to be free.
Here’s a quote from her diary:
After reading that and realizing that I couldn’t directly relate to her, and that I have never even felt caged in any way, I grew to appreciate the simplicity in freedom and being alive in general. That’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate my freedom before I ever read this quote but part of it really struck me deep. Imagine what it’s like to look at the same part of the world through the same window, season after season after season. Sounds like torture to me.
Outside of the museum, we sat along the canal and ate sandwiches. I have to point out that it was a picture perfect moment–seeing the city so deeply was something I remember appreciating at that moment.
After our sandwiches, we walked around the city a little bit more and explored. We attempted to go to another city attraction–Amsterdam Dungeons–but it was closed when we got there, so we found the closest place to have a beer…or three.
One thing we discussed over these particular beers were the fact that, in Europe, time is a concept that is appreciated and recognized with a completely opposite viewpoints than it is in the United States. In Europe, people sit outside and take their time. They eat meals outdoors on sidewalks and appreciate moments for as long as they can. Americans, on the other hand, see time as money. They rush everything trying to multitask. Everyone wants to make it in America–it’s become so cut-throat that the competition has taken away every second there is to appreciate.
Thinking about it even more now makes me recognize how differently each culture reflects itself. Europeans seem to take time while Americans use time. Europeans value the lack of time so they slow down and appreciate it; Americans value the lack of time so they speed it up to make the most of it. Both cultures acknowledge the value of time, but they each go about gratefulness so differently–that in itself is beautiful.
Enough with the philosophies right? Perhaps that’s what happens when you drink beers over long periods of time outdoors on sidewalks and under umbrellas in Europe.
Hours later, we met up with a friend at a tapas restaurant and let me just mention that I don’t think I could ever forget how delicious it was, especially after our a-beer-ppetizer.
After dinner, we went home. However, on the way home, we passed very lively street with bars and restaurants and we just couldn’t resist so we sat down for another beer…or three.
We ended the night a little bit early so we could get some rest for tomorrow–PARIS! Like I’ve said in previous posts, Paris was my favorite part of the trip so I’ll try to make that post a favorite too.
PS- I must apologize for my lack of blogging lately. I got carried away with the summer waves (and obviously the Olympics) and have seriously been slacking on my media use. I’m seriously back this time! Hopefully.