Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Boring, Picture-less Post about Amsterdam

Yes, Ranty and Co. have officially returned from the Ionian Wonderland that is Corfu, and hey, we only missed on flight out of six! Unfortunately that one flight resulted in a complete reconfiguration of the other two inbound flights... costing us over $400 and forcing us to spend a day in Amsterdam... again.

Not that Amsterdam is bad, mind you, in fact I find it quite charming... just not when I haven't had any sleep and am bitter over a missed flight. At any rate, we've done this day-layover thing a number of times now, so it was almost rote for us.

After digging long-sleeved shirts and an umbrella out of our luggage and stashing our backpacks at the Schiphol airport luggage lockers, we typically hop a train into the city and head straight for the floating flower market. This time was no exception. We had our usual (ranty) coffee, (GS) Heineken, and (shared) bacon and egg sandwich at a cafe across from the sea of tulip bulbs, and watched the pedestrian show.

Amsterdam, at least when compared with the homogeneity of Greece, is a delightfully diverse place. I LOVE walking down the street (or sitting around eating a bacon and egg sandwich, as it were,) and hearing a multitude of languages. LOVE IT! I counted Spanish, Italian, Arabic, English, Greek and Dutch among the snatches of convo overheard... and that doesn't account for the languages I couldn't understand or identify, which were at least two more.

The other cool thing?

They had signs in Somali around the airport.

And here I thought we were unique for that in Minneapolis...

The funniest event of all though, was when the GS and I stopped at an outdoor display, lazily browsing postcards and such to pass the time. I made a comment (in Greek) about wanting to go back and look at a print which had caught my eye around the corner.

At that very moment, a gentleman was passing along the sidewalk, directly behind me. He swung around, smiled widely at me, and called out "Patrida!*"

Considering the fact that I'm 110% American, that comment made the GS's day...

*"Patrida" means "homeland" in Greek. It is common for Greeks to use this word as a exclamatory greeting when happening across a fellow Hellene while abroad.


Honduras Sprout said...

You speak Greek??? Wow!

Ranty said...

Eh... My speaking Greek is about as amazing at you and your munchkins learning Spanish!

In other words, we do what we have to as a result of who we marry!

Life is wild, ain't it? :-)