Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pre-Christmas in Amsterdam

OK, Amsterdammers. It was amusing, at first, to observe how you don't shovel sidewalks here. But several weeks into winter weather, it's lost its charm. Although I appreciate how kind and courteous you are helping people who slip and fall on the ice, is this really necessary? And your determination to keep riding your bikes through it all just adds to the absurdity. The bike wipeouts are really something to see. Trust me, folks, I'm from New England - a shovel and some rock salt goes a long way.

I just noticed, today, the sign at the grocery store that announces:
No Purchasing Alcohol If You Are Under 16.

The Kinderkookkafe, in a hard-to-find corner of Vondelpark, is not as great as it sounded. It's advertised as a place where little ones can cook for themselves! On our trip with Isa and Kiana, they had the distinctive culinary experience of putting decorations on a cupcake.

Tonight's treat was the Christmas party after the last show. A "special guest" was promised, which we figured could only mean Santa Claus or Guy LaLiberte. :) We were right on the first count. Head Usher Philippe did a marvelous job as the man in the red suit, ho-ho-hoing and posing for pictures and giving out presents to the kids. The best part was at the end, when a group of acrobats picked up Santa Claus and tossed him up in the air a few times.

This week, the
Totem show had its last 10-show week in Amsterdam. There are only two shows remaining in this city, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The houses have been packed, as everyone scrambles to get tickets before the show leaves town.

In the meantime, we are immersed in the preparations for Luggage Day on Tuesday. Doing laundry, economizing food and metro passes, counting our last euros, and trying to organize 11 suitcases. And then on Thursday, we're off to London!

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