It appears I managed to miss the first good weekend in Amsterdam (weather wise) by being in London. Anyway, it has markedly improved making wandering about town much more enjoyable. To my surprise, my dad was here for a few days, so after I don’t how many years, we could catch up on life. Right after my sister arrived and we enjoyed a day on the bikes and an entertaining time with her friends. I am back at school as well.
Surprising catch-up with dad: I haven’t had much contact with my dad throughout my life. In fact, the last time we met is more than 10y ago. We are, however, on facebook where he did congragulate me on my Lhotse summit last year. On the occasion of his birthday last week I asked if his river cruise would take him to Amsterdam anytime. To my surprise, he said that he will be here only few days later. Time to catch up with what has happened over the years, other siblings, relationships etc. Hope we won’t wait another 10y for the next time.
Cruising the canals with sister’s friends: Frances was the first to book a flight to come and visit. Her visit turned out to coincide with that of herr good friend Johanna who visited their common Amsterdam based friends. They have been here for a while and own a canal boat. After a solid day out on the bikes (a first for both of us in AMsterdam), we had a great time floating around in Amsterdam with the friends and finished it off with a nice dinner at their local restaurant. Even the weather played ball and provided for a fair amount of sunshine on the fine afternoon. Thanks again!
Upgrade at school: I decided to take another 2w of Dutch classes. When interviewed on the phone (something i didn’t immediately realised), the head teacher suggested to skip the A1/2 level and go straight for A2/B1 – a level I am working on still for Russian and Spanish. German knowledge clearly helps. The class is pretty fun with 3 new faces (Abdo from Lebanion, Katya from Moscow, Akin from Jamaica) though i can feel the step-up in level and homework now takes a little longer than I was used to. But its coming together. I guess one grows with its challenges.
Fun night out with the Irish: Sean, an Irish chef, I met pretty early on in Amsterdam. A man with an incredible amount of optimism! He invvited me out while his friends were visiting. Great fun to hang out in my favorite Irish pub on Rembrandtsplein and a coffee shop nearby, confusion included ;o)
“I arrived in Amsterdam with three fucking lighters and have none left. I am here not even 24 hours!”