Well, I finally have an answer for you.
Instead, the girls looked plucked directly out of Tigerland (a collection of slightly trashy bars off of LSU’s campus) and looked bored. They sat on stools, staring off into space and eating sandwiches or distractedly texting on their smartphones. Needless to say, It wasn’t quite as glamorous as I expected.
But that 30 minute walk was the only disappointing part of Amsterdam ( and to be honest, it wasn’t that disappointing… I had an amazing waffle with nutella and banana).
01. If you put in enough time as the significant other of a medical student, they let you graduate, too. (Okay not really… I got my own master’s degree. But I should have at least gotten a certificate for my roleplaying skills.)
02. Y thinks very highly of himself. In the days leading up to graduation, he kept trying to whistle Pomp and Circumstance…but what came out was the Presidential March.
03. The beginning of your birthday month is the worst time to move. I just realized I’m going to miss all of the gift cards that stores send out during your birthday month. As I’ve gotten older, that has come to be one of the few perks of birthdays.
04. There is this video… from The Mickey Mouse Club... that involved Ryan Gosling, JC Chasez, and Justin Timberlake doing some kind of body roll. I had never seen it before, but at least 2 members of my book club remembered this dance move as something that made their elementary school hearts beat a little faster. Do you remember it?
05. I had a really important idea for an invention this weekend: a parental control-like feature that doesn’t protect users from inappropriate adult content… it protects users from SAD STORIES ABOUT ANIMALS. They’re EVERYWHERE. I can’t do it anymore. But I can’t not click when I see Baby Rhinoceros Cuts Off Tusk to Save Dying Sloth or whatever Huffington Post is reporting on at the moment.
06. Becoming a doctor doesn’t change a person too much, apparently. Y has spent his first few days of doctor-dom watching 30 Rock reruns and coming up with a code name for the walkie-talkies we have for our 16 hour drive to Minneapolis. He’s trying to choose between Tin Sparrow and Bronze Viper. I think I like Bronze Viper….M.D., obviously.
Really popular tourist attractions always seem like a great idea until you remember that they’re really popular tourist attractions.
In Holland, the most popular tourist attraction (outside of Amsterdam, I guess) is Keukenhof. Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden (my sources tell me seven million flower bulbs are planted there each year) (my sources are Wikipedia), is only open for two months of the year and the best place to see famous Holland tulips. It’s also home to the largest collection of foreign tourists in Holland, boasting approximately 20 loud tour buses per day. Its fanny pack exhibit rivals that of Disney World’s. And the organ… the organ is in a class of its own.
When we walked in, this authentic Dutch organ was playing mood music. After a few seconds of careful listening, I turned to Y.
“Is that…” I paused, trying to think of the name of the song. Was it something I remembered from childhood? Maybe a traditional Dutch folk song? The lyrics came to me as the organ started playing the chorus.
“Tell me more, tell me more, did you get very far?”
Y looked at me in horror. He hates cheesy touristy things, and although I had warned him that Keukenhof might be full of tourists, he was not prepared for an organ playing a song from Grease.
Scratch that, friends. The organ was not playing a song from Grease, we soon found out. The organ was playing the entire Grease megamix. The same medley you might hear at a Bar Mitzvah party just after the chicken dance.
It was silly, and we would have rather stumbled across a field of tulips on our own than paid 20ish euro to walk around Tulip Disneyland. But we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying Keukenhof, which really was beautiful. We just made sure to do the hand jive the entire time.
Y’s favorite part was talking to this Keukenhof worker about windmills. This guy was legit: not only was he wearing clogs, his mother was born in a windmill and I’m pretty sure he had a “van der” in his last name.
In Holland I, the four year old, was our official family translator. Apparently, playing with Dutch children at preschool all day is a really great way to learn Dutch quickly. (I don’t know if I would recommend this if you’re over the age of, say, 6.) By the time we left Holland, I was fluent. But when we got back to the States, I think it took me approximately one Texas summer to ditch dank je vel for thanks, y’all. Suddenly, I was no longer bilingual.
I was hoping that when we landed in Amsterdam, all of my forgotten Dutch would come rushing back to me. But it turns out I remembered only four phrases:
I remember a lot of things about my neighborhood: leaving empty wooden shoes out on Christmas Eve for Sinter Klaas to fill with presents (apparently he doesn’t discriminate), getting stung by a bee in our back alley, the fact that you turned right to get from my house to preschool. But I cannot for the life of me remember there being a beach. I don’t particularly love the beach now… apparently it’s never impressed me.
Some other pictures from the Hague: