Our man [formally] of Amsterdam

A day in the life of …
November 1, 2009, 11:02
Filed under: Amsterdam

Saturday 31st October: 1am
Finished first draft of Othello essay. It’ll do. 1500 words with 500 more needed.

Rode to Cafe Corso, rugby bar and home base for the local Heineken 7s team. Brutish windy weather. Scarf, gloves and beanie needed. Air temp about 11 degrees but wind chill makes it fell more like it’s well into single figures. Cafe located smack bang in the middle of red light district. One of the few venues with Sky Sports that does not broadcast English football 24/7. Wallabies and NZ in dead Tokyo rubber.  Once again leave defeated, two double espressos, and croissant two hours later. One working girl, whose window I can see from my cafe seat, has disappeared and returned twice, in course of the game. Perhaps she went out for some caffeine and nicotine?


Left bike locked up outside Moulin Rouge and wandered down Chinatown to international news stand; bought weekend Guardian and banana, but no seats inside Rembrandt corner, instead found rare well-lit window bench at Cafe Danzig, with great view looking back along Amstel River; ordered fresh mint tea with honey. A pram ran over my foot. Read interesting feature about Twitter.


Wander through flea market at Waterloo Plein. Try on black jacket (25 euros). Decide against buying said black jacket because of unknown stains on left cuff. Entertainment provided by solo trapeze artist, about 60 years old, wearing a lime g-string that would make Borat blush. Whatever!

Wander down Geldersekade, just past Nieuwmarkt, Cafe Cuba full, but find seat at bar of Cafe Stevens instead. Order glas huis rood wijn. Read Out of Africa essay for class Monday. Take notes. Eat warmed chicken salad. Read more Out of Africa. Order another glass of house red wine. Bar stool crashed into by pram. Note to self: find a seat in future where prams can’t get you.


Wander back to red light district to collect bike. Same girls still hard at work in the windows. Wind fierce on ride home. Go via library to collect books on reserve. Stop at supermarket for supplies; no brown baguettes (bummer). Buy yoghurt and wine and soup (pea and ham).

At home, read next section of Out of Africa novel. Spend too long responding to arguments on PolPhil online discussion board: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows.” Of course Orwell (Winston in 1984) is saying that it does not matter if this is true or not; you only have to believe it’s true? Why can’t they see that?

Dinner is packet of mini Friet (crisp chips shaped like shoestring fries or sticks) and water. Later, met kids from the apartment block at Blauwhooft for their regular Saturday, pre-clubbing warm-up drinks. Have missed the last few sessions so overdue to attend. They are in fancy dress for Halloween. Note to self: do not attend pre-clubbing drinks with kiddies on night of Halloween.

Kiddies depart for club, I head home. Read more Out of Africa. Can’t put it down now; grows slowly on you, as a fire warms a room. Log off and lights out ’round midnight.


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