Amsterdam Evenings

Photo of Amsterdam, taken at the end of November!

My photos are all in one place. I have a strong internet connection. I’m unemployed. I have a home.

It’s the perfect time to start recording my travel memories.

However, I’m going to make these posts short and sweet, relying more on photo essays and thought snippets. I love writing essays, but essays need editing and flow and structure and concrete ideas and a larger point and and and…that’s a lot of work. It’s easier to sit in my new apartment, make an interesting cocktail, and read a book about cowboys and indians and not blog.

And now I’ll stop blogging about blogging because don’t you hate blogs where all the blogger does is blog about his or her blog?


Let’s talk about the picture up top. There isn’t a big story behind it really. I think Andy snapped it on our way back to the tram stop in Amsterdam, before we got into a fight in a grocery store, before I made mediocre pasta at our friend’s house while Andy had a business call. We had not yet trampled over yogurt on a grocery store floor or seen our friend’s band rehearse in a public music facility. We had yet argue, heatedly, with a bunch of Dutch folk about the meaning of nineties grunge and the genius or not-genius of Kurt Cobain or deal. Our shoes were in good repair, as they had never trampled through slushy European streets. I did not yet know what it meant to yearn for public space of our own in which we could practice, create, share–that unexpected jealously had not yet blossomed. We had never driven a car in Belgium or drank warm, flat beers in London. Andy had only dreamt of walking through Paris, a conspicuous American with a cup of Starbuck’s coffee in hand. He had never met the Mathers, residents of Crockernwell, tour guides of Devonshire. I had never been on a cruise.

It was after I learned the phrase “neuken in de keuken,” but before I deployed it distastefully on public transit*.

It was after a stroll through the heart of Amsterdam, with heady smells and funky scents dissolving into public air from crooks in alleyways and coffee shop windows. We already experienced a disappointing stroll through the red light district, where the window girls looked bored and played games on their iPhones under an unflattering crimson glow. It was after we walked quickly past storefronts in achingly beautiful buildings full of hawkers hawking goods and wares with clogs, tulip bulbs, pot seeds, and sweaters with marijuana leaves all over them.

After we boarded a train from a small, wine-producing Rhine town.

After Berlin, Munich, Zürich, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, and Turkey.

Russian, Mongolia, China, Nepal…Thailand.

It was after a lot.


*If you’re going to Google that phrase, be prepared that your results will most definitely be not safe for work/children/parents/easily offended people.

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4 Responses to In the Middle, Towards the End

  1. Tom says:

    I Googled that phrase. I almost dropped my laptop in shock!… I jest, I was in a fit of laughter – brilliant! Would love to hear the story of how you used it on public transit!

    • Susan says:

      It was an accident! The phrase was so fun to say, I kept forgetting I was saying it aloud and that others could understand me.

  2. Erica says:

    Of course you would get in a heated argument about grunge.

    I’m also very glad that I decided to wait until reading the whole thing to google that phrase since I’m at work and EVERYONE in the office can see my screen.

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