paintedposies » creating, growing, planning, living and capturing a well-crafted life

wandering eye wednesday: week forty-seven/2

Amsterdam Sunset Canal Cruise 2

The weeks are going faster ’round here, which seems impossible, but there you have it.  I’ve contracted The Crud that’s been going around, so yesterday I came home from work and went straight to bed, and so, that explains a Wednesday post happening a day late. I am excited to share the final Amsterdam post with you very, very soon (I swear it’s going to happen!) and I feel like I’m on the other side of bedboundandsnotty, so you should see it soon.

For this picture, I adjusted the exposure and that’s about it.  It may or may not have been taken with an iPhone, but I can’t remember at this point.  I want to say it was taken with the telephoto lens on my Canon, though.  Very informative, I know! I’ll try to get my act together, but I hope you enjoy this shot anyway. Until next time, my lovelies!

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  • Dylan

    I think you made the right choice going to Amsterdam over Paris. Paris is absolutely gorgeous. It’s probably one of the most beautiful cities in all the world. I think that if you speak French well enough, you’ll have a fantastic time there. But if you don’t speak a lick of French, like me, beware. It was the late 90’s when I was there long before Google Translate. I think the French are a bit mystified how English became the global business language. Many French believe their language is the most beautiful sounding and I agree. Along with an ancient rivalry with England, the French seemed the last of the European countries to adopt English as a second language that most of the populace could speak. And while many French could speak English for business purposes at the time it didn’t mean they wanted to hear it in their off time: in cafes, restaurants, or night clubs for instance. Americans were on a post Cold War high and our economy was booming. There were tons of American tourists in Europe. Many were very obnoxious, loud, and had come to expect that Europeans could communicate in English. I think the French feared, and perhaps still do, that their highly sophisticated society was being diluted by Americanization. I observed a more sophisticated society than the one we have in America for sure. I was lucky enough to be in Paris with Parisian skydivers. Had it not been for them, I wouldn’t have enjoyed France at all. Those times when I was alone, I couldn’t do anything nor was I able to ask anybody for help. I had to eat at McDonald’s. The French word for the internet is ‘internet’ yet I walked into a library to use Le Internet and the librarian said she couldn’t understand me. Nor could I understand her so I left. I’d have to wait until I got to Amsterdam to use an internet cafe. Like I said I was there skydiving. One night after skydiving at a drop zone in Lapalisse, France, a bunch of skydivers went out to a restaurant for dinner. There were American, German, Swiss, French, Israeli, and Japanese skydivers at the table. Yet every single person at the table spoke some level of English, so by necessity, we were speaking English. We were a large group and skydivers can be boisterous as you know. There was what appeared to be a French family eating in the restaurant. What appeared to be the father screamed at us. Speak French! he said in English. He literally screamed it. The entire restaurant became dead silent. You could hear a pin drop. The French skydivers spoke to the man in French. I don’t know what they said but I bet they said that we were from around the globe and that English was the common language, so English was what we were going to continue to speak. Every single patron in the restaurant was pretty quiet after this man’s outburst. I didn’t experience this in Amsterdam or any of the other European countries I visited. I was in Finland, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, with layovers in Norway, Sweden, and Estonia. All the other countries were very welcoming and didn’t seem to mind communicating with me in English. My family is of German decent so I know a bit of German. The German’s seemed quite amused that I tried to speak German, and would always respond in English. Nevertheless my effort was met with kindness and conversation in English. I think that Amsterdam is at a cross roads in Europe. They speak Dutch, but their neighbors in Belgium speak Flemish, the Swiss and Germans speak German, and of course the French speak French. I think the Dutch are quite comfortable switching between languages and most of the Dutch I encountered seemed fluent in about 5 languages including English. Not only is Amsterdam the Vegas of Europe but it’s a country that one can easily navigate in English. So Amsterdam was way more fun with way less stress for me. Again, things may have changed in France over the years, or if you happen to be fluent in French (including proper pronunciation) you’ll enjoy yourself. If you’re not fluent in French I suggest not traveling there by yourself.ReplyCancel

    • azamyw

      What a great story, Dylan! Thank you for sharing it 🙂 I so appreciate your comments. Amsterdam is gorgeous and the people are friendly and kind. I’m so glad I made the choice over Paris. Hopefully, I’ll get back to Europe soon, it’s such a fantastic place. Such great culture, architecture, food and of course, it’s beautiful! Paris is still on the list, but I’ll definitely bring a guide who knows the language-thanks for the tip!ReplyCancel