I began the day by finishing packing up the contents of my hotel room in preparation to move across town to the apartment with my mom and C. I checked out of the hotel, requested a taxi, and waited about half an hour. Apparently, someone snagged the first taxi that had been called for me. The hotel concierge was very apologetic and helpful. As I waited for the second taxi to arrive, he looked at my luggage and said, “Is this all yours?”
“Yes,” I said. Little did he know, I had already give my mom a small bag to take back to the apartment the night before.
“Are you traveling all over Europe?”
Anyhow, I arrived at my new dwelling place and successfully navigated the narrow, winding staircase of doom with my luggage. After I had settled in, we headed for Central Station. We ate some much-lauded Amsterdam felafel, which was not only very good but was yet another meal that did not involve tomato soup! With our bellies full of fried goodness, we decided that such a nice day would be perfect for a canal boat tour. Indeed, it was!
When the tour was over, my mom and I took a walk along the Singel canal, where we soon encountered De Poezenboot (the cat boat), a cat sanctuary located in a houseboat.
Next, we headed to Dam Square, where a carnival was going on. I convinced my mom to ride the ferris wheel with me. After going on the London Eye and the Wheel of Gothenburg, I have decided that riding ferris wheels during European trips is a tradition. To some, six Euros might seem like a ripoff for a ferris wheel ride, but the view was amazing and one we wouldn’t have experienced from anywhere else in Amsterdam.
After a beer and a bit more sight seeing, my mom and I headed for home. Upon arriving there, we discovered that the switch for the Chandeliers, the main source of light in the apartment had shorted out in a sparking flash. We walked to the grocery store to pick up candles, matches, and provisions for dinner. As we waited at an intersection near the apartment, a man approached us and said something in Dutch. I shook my head and shrugged. “English?” I said to him.
He thought for a moment and said, “How is it possible…you look so good?”
I burst out laughing. I had been expecting him to ask for directions. And exactly how does one answer that question anyhow?
Back in the apartment, the next order of business was dinner. Salad, tortellini, and garlic bread were on the menu, the latter of which meant that we had to figure out how to work the oven. There was a large stack of operating instructions for the oven in languages including Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, German, Dutch, and what I’m pretty sure was Klingon, but no English. My solution was to turn dials and press buttons until something happened. In the end, it wasn’t the best garlic bread I’ve ever had, but it was toasted and not burnt, so I’ll consider it a win.
After we finished dinner, we decided it was time for a load of laundry in the mysterious combination washer/dryer. Instructions for this were in English but not particularly helpful. Once again, I turned knobs and pressed buttons until something happened. The dryer function proved a bit more difficult to operate, and no amount of direction following, button pressing, or knob turning would get it to start. We added it to our list of queries for the landlords and went to bed.