I’m sitting on the dock, listening to a small tourist ship squeaking against rubber tires.
To my right is an astonishing pink boat, festooned with lots of Dutch, musical notes and small china figurines. I’ll take a photo on my way back.
I’m alone. Except for whoever’s hammering in some unseen workshop. I like being alone.
On another dock, I saw the cargo ship Layla. Beneath the name was written “St. John’s”.
“O my God – a vessel from Newfoundland, Canada. I’ve been there!” Except Google research revealed that its home port was St. John’s, Antigua. More of the world.
Earlier this morning I walked through the same park as two days ago on my way to breakfast. Do you remember the photo of four folks sitting on four chairs at the edge of the water? Today that was me. I thought of their bums and so many others from yesteryear.
I watched a young man doing push-ups as his girlfriend looked on admiringly. Soon after they were meditating.
I ate at Lunchroom Benny’s, a fabulous Moroccan place with a waiter whose eyes smiled. Amazing pancakes, each folded up, accompanied by goat cheese, tiny nuts and honey.
On my way to the docks I walked on the other side of the lake. An elderly woman was coaxing the world’s slowest dog. I’m sure he or she was smiling while ignoring the pleas to speed up.
Further along the path, I looked across the lake to see the chair I’d been sitting in. An earlier me … and I thought of all the chapters that have been my life. May there be many more.
From over the water I heard kids playing at recess. Later I found the school. Everybody was still at recess, it seemed, and all were moving, except one very young couple enthralled with each other. And there was a football game:
“Bruce, you’re writing too much! Nobody’s going to read all this”
“Too bad … I’m writing it”
Now I’m sitting with my cappuccino … with a great view of Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, and more importantly, of people. Look at these cyclists, each with a story to tell:
And then there’s the car with eyelashes:
What a great spot! I’m looking into so many faces. Plus there are seagulls. Time for a second cappuccino.
Okay, this is amazing. I am witness to hundreds of cyclists doing subtle slow motion maneuvers that I can’t do. I celebrate life.
Now I’m looking at maybe fifty gulls circling overhead. I’d say that I’m home except that Ghent got there before Amsterdam.
Now my feet have led me back to Anne Frank’s home. No Google Maps. I’m sitting across the canal from Prinsengracht 263. Over there, between the sidewalk and the canal, ordinary people are having a beer on a terrace, facing the water. Behind them … so many selfies at Anne’s door.
It’s 4:00 pm and it feels like I’m done with writing for the day. But here are three more pics. The first one shows us lots of Amsterdam residents who have just left the pub and need to rest:
And who can resist boats and bridges?
See you tomorrow