Friday, April 9, 2010

Another year gone by

A busy week in the US; a late flight back to the Netherlands.  It was a challenge keeping ahead of things throughout the trip.  The low point was grabbing a bite of dinner in a nearly empty Denny’s at midnight, finishing work on an academic paper due the next day in Rotterdam, and knowing that I needed to be up at 6 a.m. to drive to meetings.

Fortunately, the paper got done (well), the meetings were a success, and I was settled comfortably into an upgrade seat on the plane by mid-afternoon of the 7th.  A Tyler Brule moment, sipping a glass of (free) wine and looking forward to….

Birthday !

I dropped into Amsterdam early on the 8th, not feeling (anywhere near) 56.  Travel keeps you young?  Expat life?  Among the Dutch?  It may be that sleeping through the movie “The Boat That Rocked” did me good.  I might have just been insensible from the jet lag.  But it was a sunny, warm, thoroughly splendid spring day in one of my favorite cities.

It was well spent, walking along the canals, enjoying the new buds leafing out on the trees, poking into shops, enjoying a beer alongside the square.   Dam Square was not too pleasant, full of subway construction with shrouds over the City Hall  while its being cleaned.  No sign of my favorite street mimes.

Finally, dinner at the restaurant d'Vijff Vlieghen near the city center.  It was a real treat: Dutch fusion food, all fresh organic ingredients, wonderfully presented, with lovely old atmosphere.  The accompanying wine flight was also wonderful, highly recommended if you are having a special evening out.

‘back in Maastricht this week, catching up and moving forward as always.


Ladybird... and butterfly said...

So I take it your birthday was the 8th of April? Congrats to you :D (and to me... the 8th is my birthday as well!!)

Have another great spring day today!!

Dave Hampton said...

Happy Birthday -- Indeed, mine is also on the 8th. I hope thta you had a fun day and got to do something special.

The 8th is also the day that the Japanese celebrate the Buddha's birthday (Hana Matsuri). The actual date is a bit murky, but, like Christmas and Queens Day, it's a big celebration. They hang lanterns, enjoy parades, and bring spring flowers to the temples. Some day I want to go over over to enjoy the dual celebration.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday (even if a bit belated)! Sounds like an enjoyable celebration!

Dave Hampton said...

Thanks, Oranje -- it was a good day off to do nothing in particular. A good example for how weekends should be in the coming year.