While I’ve had far more than my fair share of visits to the Holy Trinity of Amsterdam tourism (the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum), I’m happy that I got to do a little something different with each guest. There’s really so much to still do and discover in this city!
Mom was pretty low-key. She was content to stay home and share my domestic diva lifestyle. She also spent a lot of time bonding with Rogue.
We also rented a car one Saturday to drive out to the Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum about twenty minutes from Amsterdam. Truth be told, I found it a little too touristy for my taste, but I think it was just Mom’s speed… and made for some pretty pictures.
The best part of the Zaanse Schans for me was getting to see a functioning windmill from the inside. It’s pretty amazing what people will think up to get out of having to work so damn hard.
Since Mom was such a big fan of the neighbors’ roses, I also took her through the Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s “floating” flower market. “Hindi ba talaga tutubo sa Pilipinas ito?” she asked, rifling forlornly through the flowers. “Malapit naman ako sa Tagaytay eh!”
With Jonathan, the agenda was completely different and can be summed up in one word: boys. Haha! So our first stop on a scorching Saturday was the Vondelpark, where everyone and his mother/girlfriend/barkada/boyfriend goes to take off his shirt and soak up the (rare) sunshine. While shirtless hunks were in attendance, so were bikini-clad babes.
Still, Amsterdam did not disappoint
me us Jon in my our his search for Dutch, er, treats. We were particularly impressed with the array of waiters the city put forth that week. While customer service is far from being one of this city’s strong points, we certainly couldn’t complain about service from waitstaff like these.
Boys aside, we also meandered through narrow side streets…
… and along the canals, which never fail to amaze me.
Jon’s interest in the social sciences led us to the Oosterpark…
… to visit the Tropenmuseum, one of Europe’s leading ethnographic museums. It houses exhibits about non-Western cultures, and includes an excellently curated exhibit about the Netherlands’ own colonial history.
The biggest surprise about the Tropenmuseum was also the most admirable: it very matter-of-factly stated that the Dutch colonial history was very deeply linked with slavery. No whitewashing (pun not intended), no sugarcoating: the simple facts of slavery and how it contributed to the Dutch golden age laid out for every foreign visitor, every schoolchild to see… and learn from.
… followed by another Amsterdam tourist staple, a first for us: the canal cruise.
We surrendered most of Sunday to a fog of kabangagan that can most adequately be summed up in this photograph.
Let’s just say we were extra happy… because Gutsy was in town! Right Guts? Yay!
It’s been weeks since our guests have checked out, and I miss them already. While playing hostess was tiring, it sure was tons of fun. And I hope playing tourist in this town never gets old.
So, who’s next?