Moving the feet
crossing the street and the canal
and finding the treasures.
Staying here in the center of Amsterdam brings back memories of my days living in Manhattan. I know that no two cities could be more unlike each other, but they are cities none the less. And in cities you walk places, or here in Amsterdam you can also ride a bike. The main thing though is that you primarily use your own physical power to get around. An easy stroll around the canals and the little streets can quickly turn into a committed walk of discovery and new little vistas and shops open up around any corner and in a moment you can get lost and in the next moment catch your bearings again. At first when we got here Karen and I walked always with a destination. We wanted to find this restaurant or that shop and we headed there with a quick step and missed most of what was in between. This is very similar to getting in a car to go to the store or to a movie. We know when we leave the house where we are going and move with certainty and directness from home to there. So we brought a little of that energy to Amsterdam in the first day or two. I think we realized that way of going about things wasn’t very satisfying here, we tended to zip right by everything that wasn’t related to our desired destination. Both of us had forgotten what it was like to move around a city, we had been out of cities for so long. There is the way you move about a city on a work day when you ARE moving from place to place with out much thought for what and who you are moving past, in fact not in the present much at all. Then there is the way you move about the city on the weekend when you stroll with many possible destinations and all the time in the world and have the most fun when new possibilities pop up in front of you unexpectedly. Well here we are in a beautiful city acting like we are working, and truth to tell we did have a piece of work to do the last two days so our “work mind” was turned on. After hanging out at the hotel bar until after midnight, having a great conversation, we slept in until 10:30 and after shaking off the bearishness with a cup of coffee we began spontaneously altering our carefully made plans slightly to make room for the weekend/vacation pace of life in the city.
All this long story is really about how being in the city sources movement, sometimes unconscious fast movement and sometimes easy strolling and meandering but movement all the same. There is very little sitting in a car or even a taxi. Mostly the sitting is the lucky time you get a seat on the tram or the bus between walking. So the 2/3s part of my program is getting trotted out every day and very satisfactorily so. Today after we finish up here in the room with all of our coffee and hair drying and blogging we are headed out on a walk to a tram to a walk to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum to walk around and look at some incredible art and depending on the weather to have a stroll through the park, followed by a nice dinner in an Indonesian Restaurant, sounds like a great day huh?