Amsterdam feels like Asia without steroids. I didn’t realise it when I was there but it becomes more evident as I’m typing this post. Let’s analyse why that is so.
Firstly, you have water canals for trading. Just like in Bangkok (and probably many other places in Asia). But here in Amsterdam the canals are used for tourists.
Secondly, the water canals are just as dirty as in Asia.
Thridly, the streets are so narrow that they just beg for street food vendors. No street food in Amsterdam, though.
Next, public toilets are just on the streets. There’s no shame in peeing on the street. Again, the only difference is that in Asia they do it wherever, but in Amsterdam there’s a dedicated place on the street.
Next, they have KTV bars (karaoke). Nothing is more Asian than karaoke.
Finally, pedicab taxis. They’re not in abundance like in the Philippines, and probably less annoying but they do exist. Should Amsterdam be actually called Little Manila?
Of course, I was just joking. The capital of the Netherlands has its own face, and that’s why it’s one of the most popular destinations in the world. Where else can you see old houses that almost float above the river?
I mean that literally. Some houses actually do float in the river because they’re boats.
Architecture here is on another level. It is simply impossible to take an ugly picture. I close my eyes, sit down and point the camera at a random direction. Turns out I just wanted to tie my shoelace and accidentally pressed the “Take picture” button. Here we go, that’s how a masterpiece is born.
It’s really above and beyond. Usually, McDonald’s butchers the look of the building that they occupy with their huge “M” signs everywhere. In Amsterdam, though, McDonald’s is very modest. It’s just like any other restaurant.
Because old houses are tiny, they use hooks on the roof to lift furniture (or yo mama).
Modern houses look simple but stylish. One important feature is that ground floor windows don’t have grills. Unbelievable luxury.
There are always exceptions, though. I said stylish, but look at this! It’s hard to believe that this khrushchyovka was erected among the 17th century beauty.
Not many know this, but people in Amsterdam are rather forgetful. Count how many “P” signs you can see on this street.
Make a few steps outside the touristy city centre and there will be nobody. Do Dutch people actually live here?
Probably, someone does. That someone is really lucky: they have a metro station right in their backyard!
In your average city lovebirds hang lovelocks to bridges. In Amsterdam they lock lovebicycles there.
Tourists from all over the world generate gigabytes of data to be posted on the internet.
In its turn, Amsterdam generates clogs for them.
So, this is how a first-world church looks like.
It is so first-world that it’s almost about to accept donations in bitcoins.
Yeah, Netherlands is first-world. You can drink tap water in the Schiphol airport.
But you cannot park your regular petrol car anymore. Sorry, grandpa, only electric cars are allowed.
Netherlands has a very efficient train system that connects all major cities.
However, it’s not perfect. We stopped after 5 minutes into the trip. The train driver said something in Dutch and everyone laughed. As result, we were stuck for 15 minutes. That, basically, sums up my very first experience with public transportation in Holland!
Some things don’t change, no matter what country you’re in. Mice choose to live at train stations, and Schiphol is no exception.
I’m not grumpy, though. You see, it doesn’t take a genius to build basic amenities for a train station: escalators instead of staircases, benches instead of nothing, roof to protect from the sun and the rain. Sounds simple enough. Yet, many cities fail. But Amsterdam wins.
Pigeons belong to every city across the globe. They eat whatever they can. I call them flying rats for that very reason. The Dogs & Burgers kiosk at the top right corner of the picture is alarming (did they forget to mention pigeons?).
The Ukrainian flag is used for scaffolding. Not sure if I should be proud or angry.
Driving here is probably unbearable. First, you have to yield to cyclists. Next, you have to pay crazy fees to enter the city centre and park there. Finally, you have to wait for moveable bridges.
Similar to Rotterdam, people without bikes who want to use bike lanes use tiny cars instead.
The past blends with the present through architecture. We should all thank Dutch people for preserving this historical landmark that Amsterdam city centre is.
Thanks for preserving this beauty, thanks for everything!