Thursday, October 05, 2006

Amster-damn!

Amsterdam, as expected, was a blast. It was a welcome difference watching a Champions League match over dinner, instead of waking up in the dead of the morning as we do over here.

The match in question was Liverpool v Galatasaray, and the Turkish and Greek community in Amsterdam turned up in full force to vent their worldly frustrations on the British team (any British team will do, I'm told). At 3-2 though, I thought Istanbul - Part Deux was on the cards. Sadly, Liverpool and Peter Crouch deeply disappointed us all that night.

There is obviously more to Amsterdam than the Red Light District, and the Noveau Hash Bars ("Hash is legal there, right?" "Yeah, it's legal, but it ain't a 100% legal..."). The cycling crowd, for example, is a sight to behold. It is estimated that 150,000 bicycles enter Amsterdam every day. Bank managers in their Italian suits cycle. Prada-wearing blondes off to their designer jobs cycle. Policemen, postmen and other Dutchmen cycle. Anyone heading within 5 miles of their destination cycle - daytime, or after sunset. It simply is the most efficient way of getting about town.

A common denominator of all things Amsterdam is that most everything is narrow - houses, streets, buildings, walkways, alleys... everything but their state of mind(which is evidently very broad). Buildings that look no more than 50 feet in breadth look like this on the inside:

Still, spending afternoons strolling parts of Amsterdam with its canals, churches, bicycles and windows aplenty was an experience indeed. The A1 GP race at Zandvoort was a real blast, with 85,000 Dutchmen in their orange garb adding a bit of tangy zest into the atmosphere. And to top it all off, we had invites to the swankiest club in town on one of the nights, to watch folks like Danni Minogue, Jay Kay of Jamiroquai, and Ruud Gullit shimmer by (with their 6'6" Dutch bodyguards).

So all in all, it was a 'Dam' nice trip. Of course, no post is complete without a cursory reference ti my beloved Manchester United, and boy, isn't it awesome to see this fella scoring again!

26 comments:

Mamabola said...

Welcome back, Keropok. Nice pics.

Jemima said...

You're back! HUGS!!!
Miss you la.

You betcha! Ole's the MAN. ;)

Gallivanter said...

Welcome back to the haze amigo, the closest thing we'll ever come to hash...LOL

Mr D said...

I want your job brudder!! Nice to hear you had a good time there and my question is - did you try the space cakes or cookies??

Kenny Ng said...

nice pics! Solskjaer still the best! Have a good weekend bro!

A Shabby Singh said...

Nice pictures. Did you take them yourself? I like the one in the church..... feels like heaven, but then again, it can't be, cos you were in Amsterdam!!!

Spurs are slowly making our way to the top, so keep an eye out for us!!!!!!!!!

Mamabola said...

Yes the pictures are very nice. I notice you have a liking for sunlight.

visithra said...

welcome back - photos look good - love the one in the church - it looks amazing

Jamiroquai was there? gasp ;p

yes yes could we take turns having ur job ;p

Desparil said...

we're top! let's see how long we can stay there..

Gab said...

the 3rd picture is just so breathtakingly beautiful.

Metria said...

I agree - the 3rd pic is really nice!

Mirebella said...

Amsterdam? Sigh - nice! Was planning to go there in July but got sidetracked to Scandanavia instead.

Pics and trip sounds simply amazing!

And aint it grand that on the same week that Red's lost - United had Ole back in form? Am hoping that it our fortunes will last - fingers crossed.

Mr D said...

Matey, you have been tagged to reveal 6 random facts about yourself. Aim to make them weird because the word throug the e-vine is that this would not be too hard for you :-P

Mong said...

Nice pics. Is it still summer there? The sun seems to be quite bright.

Did you *ahem*... visit places of interest in Amsterdam?

spiller said...

u should have stayed for the next A1 GP race in Czech. Alex Yoong did us proud.

Freak & Geek said...

i like those men in orange outfit.

they looked like a troop of walkimg pumpkins.. hehehehe...

ok, that's bimbo in me talking..
:-P

Keropok said...

Mamabola: Yes I like photos with blue skies and sunshine. The abnormal summer in Amsterdam made sure we had lots of both.

Jemima, Kenny Ng: He is the MAN indeed. Good to be back.

Gallivanter: The haze sucks dude. At least over in AMS you just walk through clouds each time you pass cafes!

Mr D: I humbly refuse your tag. Can or not? And nope... didn;t have any space cakes. Drugs are baaad...

Shabby Singh: I'll wait for the day Spurs are in the top 4 again. I'll buy you a beer.

Visithra: Three months ago I would have gladly swapped jobs. Then comes this motorsports project and WHAM!

Oh, and the church was truly beautiful. I felt like I died and went to heaven, then I remembered I was in Amsterdam!

Keropok said...

Desparil: Let's stay on top as long as possible mate.

Gab, Metria: Thanks. The church was truly breathtaking.

Mirebella: If the Euro permits, do take the trip there. Stay outside of Amsterdam though. It get's nasty when it rains. And it's a bit expensive.

Mong: Yes, I visited all the places of interest. The Rembrant Museum, The Ajax centre, went for a ride along the canals, etc... are those all you meant? ;)

Spiller: Alex was a blast, wasn't he. He was kind enough to spend close to an hour with us in Zandvoort, including taking us on a tour of the pitlane and garage. Cool dude, people judge him to quickly and much too harshly.

Freak & Geek: Those 'pumpkins' were walking all over the circuit. I bumped into them 3 times. Quite a group.

sic6sense said...

where're the pics of the 'prada-wearing' blondes?

Keropok said...

sic6sence: Too 'hawt' to post here ;)

Mr D said...

No you have been tagged and you can not pike out. Otherwise your blog will be cursed.

So do not be a typical MU supporter and come up with some lil excuse. You are tagged and you have to deliver :-P

kickciggys said...

it seems to be a new educational experience every time i pop by ur blog these days..keep it coming.u should put ur cv in for discovery's travel or sumthin...they could use a guy like you.......an bout ole....dats a good description of the word loyalty...cheers..

Pantani's 2nd Cousin said...

Hidup cyclists!!

Keropok said...

Mr D: I have taken out cosmic and carnatic insurance on this blog... and thus am immune from curses, tags or any other slurs.

Sorry mate, but no tag for me. This blog remains as impersonal as ever.

Kickciggys: More pics to show you when you come by. It was a good trip, but tiring nonetheless. Thank goodness for the sleeper seats in Business Class ***brag alert***

Pantani's 2nd Cousin: Go live in Europe. You'll fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Hi Keropok,

I think I know who you are. I wandered in here some weeks ago, and if I'm right you're him! Hav not seen you for a long time though... how are you these days? Still as witty as ever? Still having a laugh?

ROM

A Shabby Singh said...

I am wondering how come there hasn't been an England bashing post after the 2-0 drubbing this morning. Have you somehow overcome your loathing for them? Or was it just Beckham/Sven that you hated? Or what???????