And then I woke up in Amsterdam
June 7, 2006 6 Comments
Your friendly blogger has been in the Netherlands for the past couple of hours after a long sleepy flight from Addis Ababa. How surreal it is to step off a plane a few hours later and be somewhere so different from where I left. I have never gotten over the feeling that flying is magical. It is probably because of my deep ignorance of all matters relating to physics and anything with the slightest mechanical function. All I know is that I am in a metal tube full of very heavy people that somehow is making its way through the heavens. How amazing is that?
Amsterdam feels so still, so ordered. Are its differences compared to an Addis or a Nairobi merely a matter of wealth in one and not the others? Blogging at an internet cafe next to a ‘coffeeshop’ from which is wafting the smell of marijuana. It is one of the reasons I love Amsterdam: they know people smoke pot and so why not just legalise it and limit where it can be smoked? It is a policy that I think can only arise from a people who have divorced themselves from grand utopian visions and whose moral concern is focused on the individual and not the group. Having said all that, I do not think I would much enjoy living here. The place of dark-skinned folks like me seems distressingly low. Also, it might be the hour of day but the few Dutch I have encountered today seem ruder than I remember them. Let me walk a few cobblestones though before I make any conclusions.