Friday, July 8, 2011

Hallo from the Fertilizer People - Amsterdam Pt. 2

Yesterday Todd took his whole day off to accompany us back into the central part of Amsterdam. We wanted to see more of the city but we were also on the important mission of trying to find out why Vaughn's Nintendo DS had stopped working and to see if we could perhaps pick up a cheap phone.

The area Todd took us to was nicer than where we'd been the day before and we window shopped in antique stores and along the block-long flower market where there were hundreds of boxes containing different tulip varietals. The indoor mall used to be one of Amsterdam's two prisons and there is a fantastic statute still above the entrance of a couple guys in chains. Todd patiently escorted us from electronic to game store explaining our situation until we were able to get a 220 power appropriate charger and save the DS. There was a DVD of an episode of Little House on the Prairie in Dutch and I squealed with delight when Todd told me that in this magical land they still play Little House on TV.

After the shopping we returned home to meet Reinhold and drove out to a sweet little area where a half-dozen windmills lined the water. At the first windmill there was a painting of a serious looking skeleton sitting upon a stone. Todd translated the inscription which basically said that if you were ready to commit to yourself wholly to him, your reward would be that they would never run out of work for you. It didn't seem like the best proposition.

Like the day before, we spent the early part of the evening chatting and looking out over the grasses and water with Todd identifying local birds for me and all of us trying unsuccessfully to keep Joey from going swimming. Todd asked where the name Mestman was from and he explained that in Dutch, it meant "Fertilizer People" or "People of the Fertilizer" or something that made Jacob's complete lack of interest in gardening funny.

We took Todd and Reinhold out to dinner as a thank you for letting us stay with them and then went back home and stayed up until 1:30 drinking wine and talking. Sadly, at 4:30 am Jacob and I discovered that we both had terrible insomnia and hadn't slept at all. It is extra unfortunate since today we leave and travel to our next home, a woman named Monique and her husband and three children just south of Utrict that we met on Couchsurfing.

I'm sad to leave Todd and Reinhold not only because I will miss them both terribly but also because they've pretty much kept us afloat these first few days. Out of the nest we go.

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