So once again, the english are crap. I'm currently in Amsterdam, and EVERYONE here speaks fluent in english; it's basically bilingual. Yet again the continent puts the UK to shame and shows them for the linguistically egotistical lazy cunts they are.
Dutch is not a language I know. I can do french and german, I can understand Italian well enough, and I'd even wager an attempt at Russian if I found myself there. Dutch however, is something I have no idea whats going on with. To start off with, it's one of the few languages (certainly in europe) that I have exceedingly little concept of pronunciation rules. And secondly, for obvious reasons, my mind keeps getting mixed up with German. Damn languages developing from the same route. I must remember things end in '-straat' not '-strasse' and '-plein' not '-platz'. As a linguist, I find it highly embarrasing and awkward to have to walk into places and launch into English, as I have no idea what 'hello, do you speak english' is, let alone how to say it. For shame england, for shame.
In related news, I have now been here a total of 9 hours. I have got lost about 7 times so far, had god knows how many smokes, been shagged once, and drunk nothing. It's like a sordid version of BJD in the making - though the drinking is likely to stay the same, given I don't like beer, and Heineken being the big thing here obviously. Tomorrow has a concert, some smart & coffeeshops for halluncinogenic trippy joys, and a visit to the red light district of course; all the things everyone comes to Amsterdam for at the end of the day (no-one cares about clogs, or windmills, except the Moulin Rouge, which is in France anyway).
I don't mind getting lost, in fact, I aim for it, I go where my feet and eyes lead me. Taking the uptown flying pig hostel, instead of downtown, I was forced to acquaint myself with the public transit system early, and buy a 3 day ticket. The constant tram tracks everywhere remind me of being in San Francisco with all the trolleys going everywhere, or crossing the road outside a Caltrain terminal. Going slightly out of the way for the hostel however (which by accidental incidence is 2 mins away from the music venue tomorrow night), pays divdends quickly, as you're that much braver with getting round the city. I have also always had a bizzare talent to get completely lost in really dodgy areas of foreign cities, and not had so much as a glance at me from anyone ubiquitious; it took me 3 years of living in london to suffer my first mugging, and even then the punch didn't hurt - i didn't even drop the eggs I was carrying!
There are of course, some very very beautiful, absolutely stunning buildings here. I think Chris would actually enjoy here more than he thinks, purely on account of the architecture. Unfortuantely, a massive public works programme is obviously underway, as all of the best buildings are 90%+ covered in Scaffolding - the Centraal station building, the rijksmuseum, the building on Dam Sq etc... Clearly an excuse to come again.
Also, one of the tram stops was called kattenburgerplein. ... icanhascheezburger?
No doubt more posts for you to live vicariously will appear soon. Being in a city like amsterdam does rather give me some things to be truthful about: i''m being pre-emptive at the moment, but my mother probably doesn't possess the sense to *not* ask how my trip was.
Mood is gonna be too out of it to care, and will be for the forseeable future I imagine.
Music is whatever the flying pig barman keeps putting on the CD player