Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sex, Brownie and Madge

In the wee hours of Saturday morning a group of us made our way to Gatwick airport for our flight to Amsterdam for the weekend. Trusting Journey Planner a little too much, I took a train expecting to be at the airport with 20 minutes for checking in processes, and allowing just a little extra sleeping time.....to my near peril! The checking in for our flight was all over red rover, although the first response from EasyJet customer service was "I don't know". Helpful! I just needed to check my bag due to the changes to the hand luggage allowances (oh, and make the gate in time)....but no, noone would help me do that. Having a ready-printed boarding pass printed by Miss Laura back in May when we booked this trip, I decided to give it a go anyway.

Dumping all my toiletries (no liquid allowed), and my actual handbag (only allowed one piece of hand luggage), I then crammed my bag into the wooden bag guide and convinced the guy that it fit. Phew! Then I crawled in and under the massive line to get through security, apologising to all that were lining up, explaining that I was going to miss my flight. Off with the belt and shoes, and through the metal detector...running through to the gate with shoes, bag, passport in hand, and hitching my jeans up, I made it! It's getting more silly, me and this flying business!

After all the early morning drama, we touched down in Amsterdam, and were straight onto the bus from the front of the airport to the city area, and then walked to find our apartment. I had found the apartment for the seven of us through a website, where we found a lovely two floor apartment in Prinsengracht (familiar to anyone?) street, over looking one of the many canals.

After settling in, when headed off for a walk around very pretty Amsterdam. We walked down to Centrum, and Dam Square, where the Royal Palace is and street performers were doing their thing. We then wondered into the daylight version of the Red Light District, and viewed the window displays on offer!

Through here to Newmarket square, and those dutch music boxes (can't for the life of me remember what they are called, but remember them from when I worked at the Tulip Farm!) set up everywhere - with people out sitting and watching them!?

Stopping for a couple of Heineken's and to sample a brownie from one of the coffeeshops, we then went to see the funny and disturbing images on display at the Sex Museum. After the time allowed for this, an alternating giggly and weird evening followed, as we wandered through the streets and had dinner.

The next day, after a late brunch, Laura and I went through the Van Gogh Museum, which was a walked through the painter's life, from his early self teaching days, through to the flower stills and collection of ploughs and fields, to his copies from pcitures during his asylum days, and finally to the introduction of black into his final pieces. His Wheatfield with Crows, laudered as one of his most famous pieces, had me drawn for sometime.

Charlotte and I then visited Anne Frank's House, on Prinsengracht, luckily when the line wasn't too long. Walking through and grasping the Frank's family's two years of hiding in the small spaces, soaking in the fear and imagining the feelings of being trapped, brought my long age reading of her diary so much more real. It was compelling, however, to hear the aged quote from the time of the discription of the Holocaust as being one of the worst human atrocities one could imagine...and then thinking of all that has still happened since, and still.

Then, it was time! Time to work our way out to Amsterdam Arena, and the reason for our weekend. We walked and then metro-ed out to the massive soccer stadium, getting pumped up for Madonna's Confessions show.

Walking into the massive stadium, and soaking in the growingly amped crowd was so exciting! The Arena was so big, and atmosphere was electric!

After keeping the crowd waiting, and getting more and more pumped, Madonna arrived on stage for her all dancing, all singing show. Playing a lot from her new album, songs like Sorry, I Love New York, and Can We Get Together, were big numbers. Interspersing her older classic songs, she played Like A Virgin, Music, and Ray Of Light was a high energy number. The energy, fitness, and physique of the pop queen was mind blowing....

All the controversy regarding the crucifix on stage, which has been getting loads of press, was ridiculus after seeing her do the segment. To Live To Tell, the imagery and message was children in Africa orphaned by AIDS... Did any of the protestors actually see what it was about before going bananas? Madge mingled loads of politcal messages throughout the show, although nothing new to the dispair at the tate of the world.

The show was amazing, and we were all so excited about it. After making our way back to the city and having something to eat at last, we got back to the apartment for minimal sleep before getting to the airport in the morning to get our flight back to London, and back to work.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great - glad you had a good time. Let's catch up soon.


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