As near as I can tell, typing from within the second-story window of my mom’s friends’ flat while the first rain/lightning/thunder combo in recent memory goes on outside, Amsterdam has been a blast. Beyond the itinerary—two humid days of writing from the bottom bunk, a couple more exploring with wonderful travelers from Baltimore and Austin, and the long-foretold reemergence of Beloved Harvard Roommate, with a cluster of siblings and hangers-on in tow (major goal for this part of the trip: not to come off as the Seth Rogenesque “my brother’s/friend’s brother’s college roommate” character—for whatever reason, harder than it sounds)—the details either feel nonrepresentative or elude me. Today I wrote emails, then screwed up my courage and cut my hair in the bathroom. Yesterday, switching from hostel to flat, I napped until late until the afternoon and may have lost my beloved iPod. Everything is carefree here. The canals almost never have boats with people in them.
July 4th slipped past without any fanfare, everyone riding their bikes and feeling hot. The day before I met up with B. H. R. and associated Cluster at the Van Gogh Museum, where the artist glowered at us while we giggled through two months of catch-up. Now that I’ve got a €59 all-access museum pass and can come back whenever I feel like it, the pressure is significantly lessened to soak up art, which is not how it always should be but how it should be right now.
Plans are forming for the rest of the summer: Oregon road trip, discovery of (“the other”) Vancouver (BC), Boston, beautiful New York. This totally languid moment is gathering static like the last few days, before it rained.