Postcards from Amsterdam

Whenever Amsterdam is mentioned in conversation or on the news Doug always looks at me innocently and says, “That’s the place you loved so much you kissed the ground you walked on.”

When we went to the UK back in 1998 we were offered one of 4 destinations in Europe as an early-birds side trip. Yvette chose Munich for the Galleries, but as it was Beer-Fest time, and prices would be doubled, she settled for Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Gallery was closed but we could see his works at the Rijksmuseum. Our travel agent organized a triple room at the Hotel Acro now called The Poet Hotel which turned out to be not only a bargain but a really nice place to stay. Close to everything we wanted to see.

On our last morning I realized I was a postcard short so we walked back to the little corner shop we had visited the day before. That was my first mistake. I picked up a card and asked for a stamp. Second mistake! The somewhat grumpy shop keeper lectured me. “I can’t run this shop at a profit when you tourists waste my time buying just one postcard and a stamp.” He looked me straight in the eye; I was momentarily speechless.  However, I recovered and assured him that the day before I had spent 37f (Gilder) in his shop. He looked sceptical but when I pointed out some of the souvenirs I had bought he remembered me. Whew! I hurried out of the shop. Mistake number three. If I scribbled a quick note on the back of the card it might just get to Australia before I did. After addressing the card I pointed to the post-box across the road. “I’ll just dash over and post this.” I told Doug. The road was empty, (no cars allowed) and there wasn’t a bicycle in sight, so off I charged. Mistake number four.

Now the strangest thing about Amsterdam is the tramlines, they are about six inches higher than the roadway with a concrete curb. I googled it today and found that now the curb’s are painted yellow but back then they weren’t. My toe hit the kerb and I went flying. I mean really flying. Somehow I landed flattened arms wide and legs astride. All I could think of was I had to get up off this tram track, and secondly I hope no-one saw me. I somehow scrambled to my feet. It was then I saw the American couple looking concerned. “Are you all right dear?” the lady called.

Oh no! Someone saw me fall flat on my undignified face. Don’t you hate that! Of course I am not all right I thought, I’m hurting all over. I smiled as I feigned a straight (somewhat wobbly) walk to the post-box. “I’m fine.” I didn’t realize the tramlines were raised.”  Meantime Doug had been looking around wondering where on earth I had gone until he saw me and came to my aid. Ever since then he’s never let me forget it. But don’t worry because the proverb says a merry heart is as good as a dose of medicine. So the laughter which takes place every time it’s mentioned has done me the world of good.(Prov.17:22) Also, maybe one day I’ll talk about someone’s summersault in Cranbrook. (Kent) By the way we had a marvellous three days.

 was raised.”  Meantime Doug had been looking around wondering where on earth I had gone until he saw me and came to my aid. Ever since then he’s never let me forget it. But don’t worry because the proverb says a merry heart is as good as a dose of medicine. So the laughter which takes place every time it’s mentioned has done me the world of good.(Prov.17:22) Also, maybe one day I’ll talk about someone’s sommersault in Cranbrook. (Kent) By the way we had a marvellous three days.

Canatello

Yvette and I in the Canaletto Restaurant, bad picture but great food. (just around the corner from our Hotel.)

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About Veronica Nowell Author

Veronica Nowell has published four books since 2008. 'a farthing cone', 'a fourpenny wafer' and 'six chocolate coated ice creams'. These have now been produced as a trilogy under the name 'ice creams'. the fourth book is titled 'rainbow icecream'.
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