Our mission today was to go to the Albert Cuyp Market and observe the different shops. It was an interesting outing and I definitely enjoyed it. The whole market was set up down a long street and there were plenty of tables set up in front of the shop they represented. It was pretty much like a big garage sale or maybe an estate sale. There were clothes, shoes, toys, fish (not my favorite of the bunch) and juice stands everywhere. There were even a few Dutch shops which were interesting.
Once we were done exploring and observing, we made our way to a falafel restaurant. Our pitas were delicious of course, and the lady who served us was kind and had a good sense of humor. The best part of our day was when we unexpectedly started up a conversation with a lady who was sitting next to us. She said she was from the US and she was “stuck” in Amsterdam. She went on to explain how much she detested Amsterdam and Holland in general because there was no, “openness” This at first made me really uncomfortable because she was so outwardly unsatisfied with Amsterdam. But, it was actually neat to get someone else’s point of view on Amsterdam. Of course, as tourists who have never been to Holland, we don’t see it the way the actual citizens do. My favorite thing she said was, “Don’t mistake sex and drugs for freedom. Freedom comes from within.” We parted our ways and we haven’t seen her since but that quote has stuck with me. I think it always will.
Today was a good day. It was nice to be able to immerse ourselves in the culture by talking to someone native to Holland. I hope I will have more experiences like this before I leave.