Amsterdam, day 1.5

The clock says it's been almost 24 hours since I wrote my first post but it sure doesn't feel that way. Rather yesterday seemed over into today and now it's all run together into one very, very long day. And it's still dragging on. I understand jet lag will do that to a person.

Flights to and from Toronto were all good. We got to Schiphol Airport a bit early this morning but ended up waiting the gate to open up, follwed by a mechanical issue that delayed the cabin door opening so the upshot was we deplaned at just about the time we were supposed to arrive. Then the inevitable queuing for customs, waiting for luggage to arrive, and figuring out how to get the right bus (see previous post about patience) meant that I didn't get to the VRBO apartment until about 12:30, a good two hours after landing. It is unfortunate that flying is so unpleasant but once it's over, things get better fast. Mercifully.

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting my bearings in my new surroundings. Marcelle, the place's owner, gave me a verbal walking tour and some tips for area places to eat and drink. One of them, a small cafe with Belgian beer is just around the corner and is on my list for later tonight. (That nightcap is sure to do me in at last.)

Vondelpark is not far from my apartment so after a quick walk around the block to make sure I could find my way to the Belgian beer place later, I headed to the park. The sun was out, with a little breeze kicking up to keep the temperatures in the mid or upper 60s, and it couldn't have been a finer afternoon to people-watch, eavesdrop on the occasional Dutch conversation, and shake off the 9+ hour travel fatigue. That tiredness did contribute to my absently wandering into the bike lane from time to time. Other than the ding-dinging from the ever-present bells, I don't think I interfered enough to warrant a good swearing out. But who knows, I haven't had the swear word lesson yet in my Dutch language course.

After a slow stroll about halfway through the park, I exited to Overtoom straat and looked for a place eat dinner. After much hemming and hawing and checking and re-checking of outside posted menus, I settled on an Ethiopian place, which turned out to be just right. It was a very good dinner of potatoes, carrots, spices, and bread, and all washed down with a lekker (delicious) Ethiopian lager. What more could a person want?

All in all, a day of settling in, test driving the new neighborhood (de buurt), and trying to stay awake. With that accomplished, it's time for that Belgian, then bed.

Tot ziens.

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