Thursday, August 21, 2008

i amsterdam

I am not checking passports at the airport & letting everyone wander through customs without question.

I am not taking tickets on the train into town, even after you labored over which ones to buy.

I am continuing a conversation with my coworker instead of offering you assistance.

I am speaking English to you before making pointed remarks in Dutch to my friend.

I am an unexpectedly sincere face in antique stores, coffeeshops, and behind red-lit doors.

I am driving like a bank robber while you try to cross the street.

I am
the whiplashed pedestrian anxiously avoiding speeding trams, cars, bicycles & scooters.

I am 750,000 people packed into a 3-mile-diameter city.

I am a conflicted history of strict Calvinism versus joy of the riches from commerce; of tolerance & acceptance at odds with conformity.

I am dirty yet lovely, like an orphan on the street.

I am the dedication of Vermeer, the anguish of Van Gogh, and the bravery of Anne Frank.

I Amsterdam.