Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dutch Treat

I can remember in high school, at least in the late 50's, when you went on dates that were not really a date, the guy and girl each paid their own way. We called it a "Dutch treat." I am sure it as named after the frugal Dutch with, as I am seeing, good cause.

Amsterdam is very different from Norway and Denmark. Part of it is because we have no Danes guiding us around but more of it is because of how tourists are treated. Considering the variety of people's we are seeing and hearing, we definitely are not alone. We ask and people ask us. Everyone speaks English and are usually helpful but its frustrating getting around.

When we headed out to the Van Gogh museum on a cloudy day that finally turned into rain it was chaos. I have never seen anything like it. Lines stretched out in two directions and near the entrance was almost a mob...a squirming one at that. My wife went one direction and I headed another to find out where we should be. There was a guide doing her best but clearly she was swamped. We bought a 48 hour pass and were entitled to line three (though she said line 2), so texted my wife and we waited with some vague mob at line two, three or whatever. The right line had tickets for a time. The others well, good luck. We waited over an hour where few moved. There was nearly a riot when a tour bus arrived and everyone was ushered in. Chatting with a Danish couple, they bought fast line tickets. We want in at the same time.

Officials didn't help standing above us wringing their hands. Obviously they had never heard of Disney and crowd control.

We finally got in and it was a wonderful experience but it wiped out the rest of the day.

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