Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Is it a wonder I am reluctant to try and learn their language.  Still, as these are the nicest people in the world -- and I have been there-- I am making an actual effort, no matter how awful it sounds, or, even worse, feels, where you actually have to clear your throat on a great many of the words, and I imagine they think that's pretty.
   But Sunday, the good Daniel and his troop, the lovely Marlies, her adorable Zoe, the on-her-way-to-stardom, India, and the resident tourist, me, all went to this citadel of windmills and wooden shoes, where along with the ancient sails(they are actually called, and I am fearful to ask what they're called in Dutch) still turn in the wind and you can get a guided tour if you want to, through the ancient fields or marshes or whatever they are, along with elegant Japanese ladies in full formal dress, to the ground, or the floor, or the pebbles, whatever it is.  I have, by the way, begun to completely forgive the cobblestones of Amsterdam, having discovered on this excursion that it is because the whole city is placed on turf so uncertain, that they have frequent need to pull up portions of what would anyplace else be considered a sidewalk, and the way it is, they have only to pull up a few of the stones at a time instead of breaking up what would otherwise be a great expanse.  All of this could have been avoided of course if they hadn't decided to build a place in the middle of what would usually be considered an ocean.  But then, I might not be having such an interesting time.
      So we had a beautiful touristic day in this unpronounceable remnant of what was once, I guess, the power system of an entire nation.  Everybody had pancakes, which the legitimate residents actually had with ham and cheese on them UNDER the floods of syrup. whereas I, being a woman of what is seen here as odd taste, elected to have them simply with apples.  I understand that all of this is less than room-rocking information, but if I live to be much older I imagine I will one day want to look back at what has made this unlikely adventure so interesting, so I had best make note. Then we came back in time for the torrential rains of Sunday, unusual even for watery Amsterdam, so even though Daniel is the offspring of clergy, and espouses being a non-believer, I can't help thinking we were blessed to have gone when we did, or, at the hard-headed outside, really lucky.
     Now it is late Sunday afternoon, and I, once again, consider myself blessed, as the rains wiped out the open market that would have been there yesterday, when I was determined to buy what I had remembered as an irresistible wooden statue of a clown.  I had spent all night trying to place it in my head in my New York apartment where there is no room for anything, hardly even me.  But I am happy to say that when I went back today it wasn't as I remembered, and I didn't want it at all.  Saved by the rains.
     I understand that all of this sounds trivial and ridiculous, but that is the wonder of it.  I am having a really good time with what is trivial, and so maybe not so ridiculous.  Maybe it is Life that is meant to be the true celebration, not just having your books published or your children turning out interesting or your musical opening on Broadway.  Although none of those would be so terrible, really.  Do you think?