I always wonder how to start an article. I have so many thoughts in the mind, trying to make their way to have a clear picture on a paper and make some sense, that this time, I thought I will allow them to directly appear, as they are, without any formal start or introduction.
Two weeks back, I had a chance to travel to the Amsterdam from Enschede – a transition from village life to city life – new things to observe, notice and ponder over. I planned the tour, filled the bags, for my 1 night – 2 days stay in the Amsterdam and left for the Enschede train station. There is this scary experience that I had, mostly because of my ignorance: I had to change the trains in a place midway from Enschede to Amsterdam. And the first train was running a bit late. Which made me run with the bags to cross the platforms and to catch the next train which was about to depart. The train doors are automatic. Used to the experience of Mumbai local, despite of the Red light (which means that the doors are about to close) I tried to board the train. And what happened next! I was almost stuck in between the two closing doors, a gush of fear moved through my body (What a start to the journey!). A man standing on the platform came running and pushed me inside and also the doors started to open, I was at relief after that. Unfortunately (I mean it!) I could not say thank you to that stranger who quickly helped me as the train started to move. I learnt a lesson (and also heard some lectures from parents and friends) and decided to be careful, being alone in the foreign land. The journey thereafter was pretty much comfortable…I figured out how the metros, subways and trams in Amsterdam work, and travelled easily from one point to the other in Amsterdam.
I stayed in a hostel for female solo travellers. I had breakfast on an “international” table where I heard stories from solo female travellers – young to old – from different countries in the world. It was a new experience. It is good to see how we learn to help and support each other as we travel alone in an unknown city, because we can relate to the situation of others more closely.
The first place I visited was the renowned Van-Gogh museum – a place where collection of paintings, letters of famous artist Van-Gogh are kept. A good system here is that they have an audio guide and you can listen to the information with the headphones without disturbing others. I am not an art critique and barely understood the significance of paintings, but it did give an impression that the paintings are, in some sense, a reflection of the painter’s personal life, to put it more philosophically, they show you the bare soul of the painter, you do not think the painter as a body but as some spirit which appears in those paintings.
That evening end with visit to another museum – Stedelijk museum – where I got to see really weird (with respect to the imagination of the artists) stuff! I was lucky that day as this visit was not planned and when I reached to the entrance and asked them where I can buy tickets, they told me that the entrance was free that day!
Well, the word “musuem” is my weak point – I always get confused in spelling it – God knows why, but this post has made me revise it so many times that I hope I do not get confused the next time I use it 😐
Because I was requested by a few impatient readers (including myself :p) to keep the articles short, I decided to write it in parts this time! See you guys in the next part where I describe my experience of canal cruise, begijnhof, red light district (no, I did not try weeds – writing is my drug and it is enough ;D) and royal palace!