Seen in Amsterdam

One of the great pleasures of traveling alone is no one to distract you.

Instead of chatting with a travel companion while strolling the streets or sitting in a cafe, the focus shifts to observation. I was reminded of this recently during a winter trip to Amsterdam, when I found myself with two, cold, January days to fill however I pleased. I walked a lot. Drank too much coffee. Read newspapers from cover to final page. And opened my eyes. I watched how people interacted, what they did, where they went, what they ate. The result was a firm impression of local daily life.

These are things I saw in Amsterdam.

A mother riding a bike with a baby in front and a toddler in the back — wearing heels.

A couple riding bikes along a quiet canal at the same pace, and holding hands.

The canals almost frozen solid, almost ready for ice skaters.

GATD-ams-2Unplowed streets where people simply stomped down a couple inches of fluffy snow.

Cafes with tables full of newspapers and magazines — not a person fiddling with a device in sight.

Locals taking off their gloves to eat a hot bag of french fries.

Lone man at a bar with a small glass of jenever and a book.

People eating cheese for breakfast.

GATD-ams-3A grandmother feeding a toddler tiny bites of steaming croquette.

A couple having breakfast, comfortable enough to eat quietly while reading the paper.

Students stopping for a quick, cheap bite of stroopwafel, or two thin waffles stuffed with a cinnamon syrup.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Sophie says:

    That cheese looks so salty and delicious!

    1. Jessica Colley says:

      Two-year aged gouda — it was delicious! Thanks for reading.

  2. Amazing what hotels did you stay in while you were there?

    1. Jessica Colley says:

      Thanks for reading. The Andaz is a lovely new hotel with a great location. Are you going to Amsterdam soon?

  3. Peter Poulos says:

    You really captured Amsterdam and its people here. Bravo. Thanks for writing this.

  4. Peter Poulos says:

    You really captured Amsterdam and its people here. Bravo. Thanks for writing this.

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