Udi, my Amsterdam buddy for over 20 years, was exceptionally busy, trying to wrap up all of his work assignments and projects before leaving for vacation – a 30-day excursion to Vietnam, Bali, and Malaysia.
But he put aside enough time for us to see a hilarious play at the Stadshuistheater (Husbands and Wives, based on the Woody Allen movie from the 80’s), have dinner, and spend an afternoon drinking wine at a crowded cafe, and have dinner with his fellow Israeli friend, Noomi, a talented artist, and her very nice husband.
It’s always a pleasure spending time with them, and her authentic homemade middle-eastern meals are to die for.
The weather for late February in Amsterdam was exceptionally mild. Most days started in the low 40s and climbed into the mid 50s, but there was a brief stretch where it climbed into the mid 60s, and it was fabulous. Amsterdam in the summer is the most pleasant place on Earth, and this was very reminiscent.
On one particularly warm afternoon, I biked to Westerpark, popped into the Tony’s Chocolonely flagship store and sampled about ten varieties of their chocolate (the sales clerk enthusiastically encouraged me to, which is not what you would experience in New York, for sure),
hung out in Westerpark for a bit, and then biked to Vondelpark, where I watched ducks waddle and dogs romp. I laid on the grass and fell into a meditative state just short of a nap. It was perfect.
The time in Amsterdam flew by pretty fast, and I had to start preparing for my Thailand trip.