November 2004



Last night I took the train up to Amsterdam, an hours ride north of Rotterdam on the train. At either end, I took public transportation to connect to and from the train. In Rotterdam, that consisted of a Metro ride and a tram ride (including a quick stop at the hotel), and in Amsterdam, I took the tram.

One of the Netherlands’s greatest strengths is its public transportation system. When I got off the train in Amsterdam, I knew that my tram/metro tickets from Rotterdam would work on the tram up there. I just got on the tram and validated another couple of “stripes” and was on my way.

I had an immensely wonderful and enjoyable dinner with my friend CW. It was a rather rainy and cool evening, and for some reason we both wanted the same thing for dinner, having decided so independently. I had desired hearty comfort food considering the weather, and CW articulated that as “I want steak.”

Odd, considering how infrequently I want steak, but it fit the bill. We ended up at a tourist restaurant, The Three Sisters Steak House on Rembrandtplein where we some how lost a few hours. I knew it was a tourist restaurant when there was somebody demanding 50 cents at the entrance to the toilet. (I used all my one and two cent pieces I could in order to come up with fifty cents. Mean, I know, but one and two cent pieces are hard to get rid of otherwise.) I had my back to the majority of the restaurant, so when I turned around I was surprised to discover that sometime after we’d sat down, every table in the place had filled up.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but suddenly it was 10, and CW needed to head home to go to bed, and I needed to catch a train home, so we hopped a tram from the Plein up to the Centraal Station, where I hopped the train, and CW hopped the bus.

Thank goodness for public transportation though, for when I got back to Rotterdam, the weather was horrid: heavy driving wind and rain. I had planned to walk back to the hotel dropping by one of Rotterdam’s friendly gay bars, but I ended up walking about 20 meters across the front of the train station before deciding to hop the Metro back to the hotel.

Probably for the best-last night was the first time since Sunday that I’d stayed up past 10, and this morning was the first time I didn’t get up at 6:15; I managed to sleep until 8.

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