June 24, 2019 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

One thing I have a special talent for is sweating. I mean, I don’t just *sweat,* heavens, no. I also turn bright pink in the heat. I have graced Holland with my own special “lobster-still-dripping-with-cooking-water” look for the past few days. Lucky Dutch.

Today from my bus window I saw a woman wearing an effectively transparent top with no bra. She looked otherwise quite conservative – thick black hair that Asian women are blessed with tied back in a ponytail, cropped white chinos, white boat shoes, hobo purse. I don’t know if she didn’t realize her top was transparent or if it was too hot for her to care. (By the way, congratulations.👌) Anyway, it was the kind of heat that makes the otherwise modest bare all.

I visited the Homomonument, a public square – make that public triangle – that commemorates the struggles and celebrations of LGBTQ people, past, present, and future. Done in a sort of pink granite. Nice concept, and the gentleman in the adjacent information booth was very outgoing and happy to explain it to me.

Walked around looking for Indonesian food, which I was told by my formerly-Dutch neighbor is something to be enjoyed. Took a few photos on my walk. Almost gave up finding an Indonesian place that was open, but spotted one just as I was about to cave to a regular beer pub. As I waited for my food, a South African mother and college aged son sat next to me and started a conversation. (Explaining why I only have a surreptitious photo of my beer and none of my lunch.) He had been accepted to the University at both Amsterdam and Maastricht (where his father, still at home in SA, was originally from), and he was coming to check them both out. I helped them out with the little public transportation info I had mastered, told them about free WiFi on all the buses (they were pleased and astounded), and helped them get onto the restaurant wifi. We said goodbye and wished each other well.

Got on the tram to get to my bus station. The tram driver spoke English to me without me having to ask, and let me ride for free because he said it was only two stops away and he didn’t want me to have to buy another ticket for the bus when it was such a short ride. (This was my second free ride of the day…I somehow managed to get on the train with a ticket that was only supposed to work for bus and tram, which I did not discover until the end of my ride when I was denied exit by the gate. I had to be creative and follow very closely behind a woman with a legitimate ticket in order to escape…) Apparently bus and tram drivers are more friendly on a Monday than on the weekend, because my bus driver willingly spoke English to me and made sure I bought the correct ticket as well. I do understand. I like Amsterdam better on a Monday, too…

Took a few photos on my bus ride home (slideshow below), including a few mundane-yet-somehow-intriguing ones of the GIANT flower growing and shipping area I pass through each day. Hundreds of flower shipping trucks from perhaps as many different companies. There are three or four stops within this growing compound alone. So much for majestic fields of tulips?

A nap, a phone call home, and preparations for departure to Prague tomorrow morning.

A couple of random things that tickled me today...

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