Ellen came to visit last weekend (staying in my spare room -- which was pronounced fit for rental to an immigrant!), motivating lots of fun sort-of touristish activities like:
- going to look at all of the Rembrandt paintings in the Rijksmuseum (conveniently gathered in two rooms) as well as the other highlights of the collection (conveniently gathered in one wing while the rest of the museum is under renovation). Things learned: bringing flowers indoors was a new idea only a few hundred years ago, giant dollhouses are kind of creepy, little girls can be mascots for city militias.
- wandering through Europe's largest street market and eating healthful foods like stroopwaffles and fries.
- Walking through the red light district, getting freaked out by the prostitutes, people watching people visiting prostitutes, a beaten-up guy being led somewhere by a prostitutish-looking woman, the number of prostitutes who look like transsexuals.
- Visiting the future. Or at least Rotterdam, with its futuristic subway station, super awesome Rem Koolhaas art museum and OMA-designed park, the "beautiful bridge" in the shape of a swan, and the Art Rotterdam 2006 show at the Cruise Terminal.
- getting lost on a regular basis, consulting multiple maps, re-orienteering.
as well as other fun, not necessarily touristy things including:
- Discovering that the downstairs supermarket sells fake meat products.
- Watching one of the few English-lanugage movies that neither of us had seen. I think it's my fault that we say Prime instead of Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
- Share a table with a German woman at a vegetarian restaurant on a canal; eat lunch at a Rotterdam Turkish inspired place. Marvel at Dutch interpretation of foreign cuisines.
- Visiting the amazing HEMA store.
- Seeinf Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with lots of tall people.