My mom and I got up earlyish in the hope of avoiding long lines at the Anne Frank House. As we got in the vicinity of the museum, we were stopped by a small group of people who asked us if we knew where the Anne Frank House is. I said that’s where we were headed, and we knew it was around here somewhere. After finally encountering a nontourist, we figured out that it was on the other side of the canal and that we needed to cross over on the nearest bridge and double back. As we walked, we chatted with one the people in the new group, a Brazilian man, perhaps around my age, in white pants and a fedora. “Where are you from? Germany?” He asked.
“No, the USA,” my mom said.
“Oh, USA! I love the USA!” He turned to me. “You look like Lady Gaga.”
I laughed, not quite sure how to take this comment. I suppose it could be flattering or not so, depending on the day. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Lady Gaga look the same twice. “Shhh,” I said and pushed my sunglasses tighter to my face. “I’m trying to be incognito so the paparazzi will leave me alone for a bit!”
We arrived at the Anne Frank House, where there was virtually no line. I’m not sure what to say about seeing the house itself, along with reading and hearing the story of the Franks, except that it was an incredibly moving experience. The story of this smart, thoughtful little girl has touched so many, and it’s mind boggling to think that this is just one tragic story of millions.
After we finished at Anne Frank House, we were in the mood for something a bit more lighthearted, and headed to the Museum of Bags and Purses. Since it was my birthday, I thought they might let me choose whatever I wanted to take home from the collection (or at least give me one of the awesome tulip purses), but no such luck. Anyhow, the museum was fun, and, after deciding I was not going to buy them, I stood in line at the register to purchase a few other trinkets and stared at some beautiful gloves by Dutch designer Hester van Eeghan that would not stop beckoning to me. Need I say that they are now in my closet?
Next on the agenda was lunch. We ate at De Blauwe Hollander, where I enjoyed my first stamppot (sourkraut), along with cheese croquettes. Yum!
I love a good street market, so, of course, I had to visit, the Albert Cuyp Market, probably the best-known market in Amsterdam. A hat, a scarf, and a few other treasures later, we left the market and headed to the Gall & Gall near our apartment. “You’re still here, huh?” the man behind the counter said as we entered. This was my first time in the store, but apparently, my mom and C had done a bit of wine drinking while I was at my conference. We picked up some wine reinforcements and a bottle of bubbly because, really, what’s a birthday without a little bubbly?
Dinner that evening was probably my favorite meal of the whole trip: Indonesian food at Kantjil & de Tijger.
I got some nice birthday greeting calls/skypes from my dad, my brother, and Ian. My dad agreed that I look like Lady Gaga. I’m still not sure what to think about that.