Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday in Amsterdam

After a late-night wrestling with various wireless internet options (T-Mobile: expensive and weak signal, or HotspotAmsterdam: cheap, stronger signal but expired security certificate that made paying for access impossible) I slept in until 10.30am.

We walked south looking for an open coffee/breakfast venue. The first place I found had pretty ordinary coffee, but I went on to a Coffee Company outlet that provided a brew to roll back the blinds. I should hasten to add that Bondi was welcome in every arcade and shop: food, music, books, clothing, whatever and often had water brought out to him without asking. What a pleasant change!

Heading back to Centrum, I visited the American Book Center, which had quite a few newish US publications at very cheap rates. Picked up pb of Philip Roth's The Plot Against America (aka Fascist Aviator Election Shock) and a translation of German writer Andreas Eschbach's The Carpet Makers. Then it was back through the Dam square with its statues celebrating the eternal bond between man and pigeon.

The eastern part of Centrum is the sex district, where once you've risked eating at the Good Luck diner, you can pop on some of the Simpsons condoms and visit a 'DVD cabin' (probably not screening a marathon of Kieslowski's Dekalog) or a "F**king Real Live Show" (or was that "Real Live F**king Show"?*) or even shop for a sex-worker parading in one of many windows. The latter part is actually rather tedious, with jaded jades often staring off into the middle distance. However I was with a guaranteed jade-magnet-on-a-leash and we were waved over to say hi to a couple of Spanish transsexuals at one door ("heee'th a biggg juan") and had air-kisses delicately wafted towards us by a smiling buxom Pacific Islander in another window.

The flea-market was rather dull - a modicum of books, african prints, bongs and DIY jewellery.
Woman in street : What sort of mix is your dog?
Me: He's pure Alaskan Malamute
Woman (turning to companions): He's a mix of wolf and German Shepherd
Me (thinks): d'oh! [Aga1n censored because Miss MSN might get her delicate butterfly-printed kn1ckers 1n a kn0t. [Reference to when this part of the blog was hosted on MSN Spaces]

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