Some days I feel like this is all just an extension of Epcot center. Meaning, Amsterdam is some simulated Euro-town facade at Universal Studios or the Fox Lot. And then, there are some days (like today) where everything clicks and suddenly I know I'm living in The Netherlands. I woke up before anyone else at Suzi's house (I've been sleeping on a couch for the last 2 months; I have an apartment -- the move is by choice) and ventured into the rain on my bike with my umbrella clutched in my left hand. Fifteen meters from the Magna Plaza (which I call the Manga Plaza out of habit), my tire popped on my bike. Lucky, ne? And I say that without sarcasm; if the tire had burst anywhere else on my 20 minute journey, I would have had to walk many minutes in the rain. Instead, I locked up and went into Tony and Guy to get my Haircut updated.
After an hour at the salon, the clouds had broken and the sun shone onto the cobblestone with romantic glee. Tourists swarmed before me like poncho bees, I listened to .Hack//Sign and walked my bike back to Boom. And somewhere along the way, the buildings just came into focus and everything was present and immediate.
There was an antique bookstore between the Herengracht and the Prinsengract, and I just stared at dutch books for an hour. The air was thick with paper dust. I'm happy. I live in Europe.