Hi Friends,

Tuesday: All the leaves are green, and the sky is gray. Something’s wrong, right? The sky has been gray from yesterday until today (not trying to rhyme intentionally). It has poured buckets, thus I spent most of my time ducking in and out of shops, fingering items that I don’t need, and wondering if the rain will ever stop. On a bright note, Amsterdam is shopping central (Who cares? Nobody rides a bus for almost nine hours to shop). *Note: the hip hop songs that the stores boom aren’t censored, and as one looks at horizontally striped tops, “Nigger let me blow your mind” and other such questionable lyrics echo in the background. Disconcerting.

It rained vertically and it rained sideways; the sky vomited water until its insides were aching and bare. Its face, a chalky gray. After my umbrella blew inside out for the fourth time, my inner voice screamed that I should “go back to the hotel and try again tomorrow.” And so, I did, cold and wet like an abandoned pup.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKIrqC2QUvg&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL73AE959F9DB22758]

A nice Nigerian man joined me for dinner and over lasagna and red wine, he pontificated on good and bad Nigerians, scams that he himself had experienced, the scars of slavery on Jamaicans (and thus ” Jamaican anger”), the oil boom, why teaching isn’t a real job (especially not language teaching), and why I’ll be single forever. Hm. He guessed my age at 29, so the Nigerian, with a name of a nation and a gap between his front teeth, could’ve said anything he damn well pleased.

Note: This weather’s only suitable for flora and fauna.

Wednesday: The sky’s still sulky and overcast, but no drops have appeared yet. Oh wait, there they are. The line for the museum was too long, so Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Anne Frank’s attic are an excursion for tomorrow. However, in between the raindrops, I saw many canals and bridges, more cyclists than I could count (be careful walking here, there’re possibly many deaths by cyclists), gorgeous flowers holding onto their lives, gossiping birds, an enormous amount of tourists sitting at outdoor pubs, and amazing-looking Amazonians roaming the streets. What a beautiful city… one that I must visit in a different season.

* I wondered why this man was standing on a bus stop screaming and then I saw…

* a woman screaming from a balcony and it all made sense. Romeo and Juliet.

* “I stopped into a church, I passed along the way… I got down on my knees and I began to pray.”

Tomorrow, I’ll do something that I rarely do– hop on a double-decker red tour bus and get it all in one go.

Adieu for now (go with God for real in all this rain),

Val

p.s I hear it’s raining all over the world, so I’m gonna build a boat… or  just stay here and cotch on a houseboat (*cotch is Jamaicanese for “stay with someone (for free)”).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnLyoNmOogQ]