Travel Stories

Morning in Amsterdam

January 2, 2013

Ok so can we talk for a minute about how I don’t know what day it is? Or what time it is in Brooklyn, or why my entire biological clock is totally screwed right now. We flew ahead of time in some sort of Back to the Future time warp and I think it’s 1997 again but whatever.

I guess I should start with the obvious, answering the question many have asked me leading up to this trip- what made you go to Tanzania? As much as I would love to take the credit for finding such a cool destination, it was actually the idea of my friend Gabriel who wanted to do something different for New Years. I wasn’t convinced at first – I mean like, who hangs out in Tanzania and what’s so great and where is it anyway? I didn’t know anyone who had been, but after doing a little digging and reaching out to the Nomadness Tribe Family, I learned so many wonderful things about the country (and saw some pretty dope pictures of beaches in Zanzibar) and was sold!

So fast forward to Thursday morning. I think. We barely escaped some sort of post-holiday snow foolishness (shout out to sweet baby Jesus ’cause if snow flurries messed up my flight outta JFK, KLM wasn’t ready for the hot fool I was gonna act up in Terminal 4)

This morning we had breakfast in Amsterdam just to be able to say we had breakfast in Amsterdam (how cool does that sound?) Much of the fare was similar to the US, but the traditional Dutch pancakes were interesting. You could pick from a long list of toppings that seemed more like a pizza menu (chicken, bacon, mushrooms ect.) but we tried the mixed fruit to keep it simple. Pretty good!

Amsterdam is surprisingly tame in the morning. No surprisingly flexible young ladies swinging from the street lights or marijuana bonfires in the middle of the street. Just folks headed to work, many on bikes, during what seemed like an ordinary morning rush hour (without the rush. No mowing folks over at 60 mph to catch the bus like NY). The city reminded me a lot of New Orleans, with cobble stoned streets and canals weaved between narrow alley ways.

Even at 8 AM there was a coffee shop open. This shop had all kinds of…coffee. With a very organized menu that reminded me of the McDonalds dollar menu. Young men speaking several different languages smoked cigars back in the smoking area while I stood near the entrance waiting for NYPD to roll up and cart me off to jail for being in there, and then I’d have to call my Mom to bail me out and she’d ask me why I got arrested for being in a coffee shop and thrn I’d have to explain coffee in Amsterdam and then the line would go dead and then the NYPD would laugh at me and then and then….*breaks out in cold sweat and exits coffee shop*

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Before heading back to the airport, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast, walked the cobble stoned streets peering into some “interesting businesses” along the empty streets, and imagined that once the sun set there’s an entirely different city that comes to life.

After an 8 hour plane ride, an hour in customs, and 20 minutes wandering between Kilimanjaro and Arusha, we finally came to our first stop- Arumeru Lodge! Which was the size of 3 of my apartments! Photos coming soon! For now, time to rest up for our first day of Safari tomorrow πŸ™‚

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