The city of Amsterdam has been my home for 15 years or so. My first house was an old, bright apartment on the edge town. Blue walls, blue bathroom. I had lived in the of Utrecht for 4 years. Utrecht was easy for a country girl like me, but Amsterdam was different. The Amsterdam streets were just if not busier during the nights as during daytime. I got shouted at if I waited in front of a RED (!) trafficlight by the other cyclist and my upstairs neighbours ran both an illegal hotel and an a weedplantage in their apartment. All those things seemed perfectly normal in this city but I needed months to finally have the courage to buy my food at the tiny moroccon foodstore.
Just across the corner from where I lived was this bar, called Same Place. This bar intrigued me. Somehow it looked different than all the other bars but it had a very feminist slogan on it's front, something like we are all the same. I didn't know wether it was a lesbian bar, a gay bar or just a congregation place of a feminist group. For years I passed it by without knowing and my curiosity dissapeared. A couple of years ago I cycled pas again and all of a sudden I realized: Oh it is a swingersbar. I laughed at myself. So blue for years.
Today I cycled past again and waited in front of a red traffic light. (like every one does these days) and overheard a mum say to her teenage boy; " That is a swingersplace, isn't that crazy?' The boy shrugged and I crossed the corner. A guy looked at me and said "Love the smile". Yes Amsterdam. You still bring a smile to face.
by Meir Shalev. For a time Meir Shalev was my favorite writer. Beautiful weird, almost fairytale like, family stories. I read most of his books and every time his stories sucked me in, his characters felt like close friends and the weird family characteristics seemed perfectly normal to me. This book took me a little longer, I did not believe some of the rather strange family habits, but at the same time I loves how Shalev describes everything very vividly: the smell of citrus, the love of his 'Apoepa' for his 'Amoema', the angry righteous vegetarian vegetable growing mother.
A lovely holiday book, a dreamy, strange story. To read while you're in Italy and are surrounded by olive trees. IM not by the way, in Italy, im in Amsterdam, and about to go to work. Have a lovely day. X