01 April 2007

Follow me... to Amsterdam! (Day 2)

Since our only plan for today was shopping in Nieuwendijk, Kat and I were sleeping late and chilling in bed when, upon reading my map more closely, I discovered that the Royal Tropical Institute is in fact, NOT a botanical museum (there is a huge park next to it) but an anthropological one! As you might know, the Dutch engaged in colonialism in the Dutch East Indies in SEA, the most prominent examples being Indonesia (tons of indonesian restaurants across the city) and Sri Lanka. Kat gratefully agreed to accompany me to have a look.

It cost 6€ concessed, so we split up another time: She wanted to see Vondelpark while I indulged in the SEA collection and some of the others. My map had praised it to the skies and it really is good value for money. You could spend a whole afternoon there! It is nicely arranged and interactive for both parents and kids. See below for a Philippine Muslim artefact. I still wish I could have seen the one in Leiden. It is said to be quite good as well and Leiden has a distinguished reputation concerning anthropology and SEA studies.

In the evening, Kat and I met up with the crowd to go to an Irish Pub of all places in Amsterdam where I courageously tried potato skins (yes!) for 6.30€. Bart was entered to sing "It only takes a minute, girl" without knowing the song. Unfortunately, there was no musical talent he could have compensate this with - in short, it was hilarious! The unforeseen highlight of the evening though, was Kat who "happened" to give a real concert, including backvocals and dancers (see below)!

After dinner, we moved to "11", a nightclub on the 11th floor of a building. I paid 15€ entry for staring two hours at disturbing animations on videowalls trying not to fall asleep while dancing. I guess some people find it a "cool place" but the only cool thing about it for me was the splendid view of Amsterdam at night.

At around four, we called it a night and returned home to our beloved hostel because our coach back to London leaves at 11.30 and we wanted to catch some sleep before that. On our way back to "the island", we drove through Brussels and the Eurotunnel, the latter of which was a bit of a weird experience.

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