Rediscovering Freezing Weather

It was a nose to the grindstone kind of day and I was glad to have that excuse not to go out because it was just below freezing outside! I actually turned the heat up a tad in the house. But I got itchy feet mid-afternoon, so I threw some clothes on over my thermal underwear and headed out into my immediate neighbourhood. I have to say that with a proper hat and warmer scarf, I would have been fine, so I’m going to stop procrastinating and get said items so I’m ready for England. I’m growing fond of my new coat as it kept me toasty, especially when I turned the collar up against the wind.

I live at the intersection of two “high streets,” if you’ll pardon the British turn of phrase. This is Overtoom. The tram goes up and down it. There is a station just a few stops away from which I can take the train straight to the airport on Thursday, rather than going back to Centraal Station. I just couldn’t figure out how to get a train there when I arrived, even with my host’s excellent instructions, hence why I took the longer route. From here, I’m about 2KM from Dam Square, so definitely not “downtown,” but right on the outskirts of it, in a neighbourhood that is like its own little village. My hosts lived downtown in a canal house before moving here and much prefer this neighbourhood as there are more services.

I have no idea why, but the Dutch word for clip or snip is funny to me.

I made it as “far” as this canal before giving up. I can’t believe I used to camp at 40 below.

That is a serious bicycle!

I headed home on a side street and passed this unusual looking building:

Here is the square outside my flat. You can actually see my flat.

Closeup. That big window at the bottom is the sitting room and my two charges are in the window. My bedroom balcony is right above. The sitting room blinds are brilliant. The Dutch are not fond of blinds and the idea is that people would be too polite to look in and watch what you’re doing, but I couldn’t live on display like that! The way the blind is installed, you can still see out while sitting on the sofa and light can come in from above, but adults can’t see in. Kids, though… My front door is to the left of the window facing it, the first brown door, not the black door right next to the window.

This is the other “high street” near where I am, Jan Pieter Heijestraat. Something told me to explore it a bit further than I’ve been before and I found a small shop roasting chickens. Ever since I discovered preroasted chickens, they’ve been a staple as they are normally quite inexpensive. I missed them when I was in the Balkans and was thrilled to rediscover them in Spain, although they were quite pricy (about 10 euros or 14CAD for one, although you did get a few sides with them).

So I went into the shop and the owner was the first person I’ve encountered in Amsterdam who wasn’t fluent in English! “Please, kip” and doing a bit of pantomiming had him understanding that I wanted the cooked chicken outside and he had me follow him to pick one. Get this, the cost was 5 euros. That is is exactly what I would pay my chicken lady on Isla for a full chicken. Sure, I got rice and tortillas, too, but this chicken was meatier so it works out to the same value. What a bargain!!! That totally made it worth going out into that horrible weather. Needless to say, I hurried home and had a yummy late lunch! 🙂

I think it’ll be a quiet weekend work-wise, so I’ll see if I can finish my work not too late tomorrow and then go to the Rijksmuseum for a few hours, provided I can get in. That will give me Saturday and Sunday to travel to the museums that are further out and do a couple at a time in clusters. It’s really weird that I’ll be in Manchester this time next week, but I still have six whole days left to fill here and that feels like a lot!