Sunday April 11, 1999 Amsterdam Edition

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Jim T. Mintha

Amsterdam

What does 11 days, two continents, three countries, four cities, one very clean passport, two dozen doughnuts, Ferris Bueler's Off Day, a waterbed mattress, long overdue going away party, crawl-spaces, and pizza make you? Very very tired.

Work was busy and I was taking a Dutch course twice a week so I thought I would just take a short trip back home. Unfortunately the part of my brain that made this decision forgot to inform the other part of my brain that was lining up things to do whilst in Canada. In fact this part of the brain got so carried away organizing things that it started including places that are not even in Canada yet.

Undaunted (or was it just unhinged) I left Amsterdam heading for my first experiences in New York. The city that never sleeps how could I not love this place? Things actually got interesting even before I left the Netherlands.

A certain person (who shall remain nameless!) was kind enough to wash my jeans before I left. My passport, having been through many a foul place, jumped at the chance for a free bath, and stayed firmly entrenched in my back pocket. I on the other hand, did not place a high value on passport hygiene, nor would the custom officials, I suspected. However, the document was still readable, and given that I was leaving in one day, my options were few.

I was not very worried about it. That is, until the customs official in Amsterdam wished me fairwell and "Good luck at American Customs". One spy novel, and Will Smith's Enemy of the State had me envisioning being held in a tiny cement room while CIA thugs interrogated me for hours, by the time I landed at JFK airport. Well my fears were slightly exaggerated. With just a bit more than normal hassle I was let in. Having taken on the Man, I was ready for the Apple.




Written and Maintained by Jim Mintha (jim@ic.uva.nl)