Posts Tagged ‘Amsterdam’

Capture

23 July 2017

Hong Kong

Hong Kong and Kowloon Skyline

Well that was money worth spending.

By the time most of you get this, we will be in the air, winging our way home…. Hopefully. Sunday morning, we had a note stuffed under our door which advised us of the potential scale 8 tropical cyclone passing right over us.  By breakfast time, the local government had issued a warning and posted that the cyclone was indeed hitting level 8. It advised that all shops would be closed (V is most upset) and that all public transport would be shut down (that is how we would get to the shopping so V was now distraught!).  A whole day in our room or get soaked wandering the streets like some homeless person looking for Housing Corp housing (oh, that’s another story).

So it gave us time to reflect on the last 5 weeks.  Hong Kong is a tale of two areas and some more.  There are Dings and Dangs, Wings and Wangs  and of course Pings and Pongs everywhere.  Anyone with a name with more than 4 letters is foreign …we almost pass as locals if it wasn’t for our civilised non-Mao Tse Tung look alike hair doo’s and our odd shaped eyes. This is both a vibrant modern city and a dirty, smelly and backward facing one too.  I’m just not into millions of hobbits with almond eyes in my personal space.  The woman and girls have no sense of respect and are only interested in holding up everyone as they worship the mobile phone like some deity. At dinner last night we watched three early 20’s woman eat their dinner with 1 hand and phone in the other so they could take photos of each mouthful they and the other two took.  Knives should be deleted as necessary items of cutlery as forks will lift the food to your mouth and you either stuff everything into your mouth or you nibble like some rat to get it into your stomach.  We were astonished at the supercar per population ratio. McLarens, Lambos and Ferraris everywhere. But the transport system is to die for.  They tunnel and bridge everything that can’t be driven easily….brilliant.

The Dutch and their fucking bicycles!  How they ride them as stoned as most seem to be is a skill to be harnessed but they are a danger to everyone else.  Trained by the Japanese, these Kamikaze pilots ensure they have your undivided attention as their attention span has been artificially mellowed. Walking home from the Red Light district one evening, a tram stopped beside us and as the doors opened, a fug of dope smoke fell out and crop dusted our fellow pedestrians in a 15 metre radius.  Those on the train be they smokers or not were just sitting there with a silly smirk on their faces….probably thinking of snacks.  We loved Amsterdam and everything was a pleasant surprise, even the cannabis Trumpets/Cornetto’s in the ice cream freezer in the various shops.

France is fantastic, even those that live in Paris were lovely and tolerant folk.  A bit dirty but nothing that a little Cif (French Jif) and a waterblaster couldn’t fix.  If only Britain could purge themselves of some of the twats that call themselves British, it too would be a paradise.  Those reliant on handouts (including government supplied cars) need a reality shot as they (mostly) are a blot on the landscape.  The Eastern Europeans scare the bejesus out of me.  They look like fattened Russian spies and they wear too much cologne and gold jewellry to be trusted.

We have loved our time, loved all those that have helped us and interacted with us especially our new emergency taxi driver Simon.

See you soon….we hope

V (Ping) and Me (Pong)

 

 

Capture

19 July 2017

AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam

Doing the miles this week.

It all started on Sunday when we had to vacate our gite in Southern France to return to England for a night so that we could repack and head to Amsterdam the next day.  This mammoth trip involved 12 hours on the road using rental car, taxis (2), trains (2) and the underground in Paris.  Like some military exercise, we knew how many minutes we had between rides and thus the pace was picked up when necessary and with much gesticulating, the 5 of us agreed long enough on which direction was probably the best to head to catch our next mode of transport.  We made it though.

The next day involved a simple drive to the London City airport on the banks of the Thames.  Due to traffic snarl-ups, we ended up driving on and off a car ferry that went from one side to the other and almost at the airport.  By this time we just wanted a sit down but and hour later, we were able to check our voluminous bags and head upstairs for the usual immigration and security regimes. It appears the Brits are more than a little gun shy currently, both V and I had our bags emptied, items of clothing removed and rescanned and rescanned. I had to remove my belt and shoes and place them in to a plastic bin held by a bombing suspect family member.  As I did, he moved the bin and a shoe fell out.  So I picked it up and as I went to hurl it in he moved it again.  Luckily my shooting was better than his catching. He then looked up at me (he was also vertically challenged from the weight of his bomber jacket I suspect) and asked if I was alright.  I acted all grown up and told him it was but wanted to tell him that he would never make my football team as goalie or did he need a hand to hold the tray? Allah my arse.

Amsterdam also gave us a wait at both ends.  The KLM ground staff need to take a clog up their arses. Over an hour to check in and over an hour to produce our bags at the other end.  This meant our taxi driver had to wait around also but he charged us so he was at least placated.  Even tying a tie for him for his next job didn’t seem to help.

V and I are about museum’d out after today.  We hit the Rijksmuseum at 9.30, the Heineken museum and tasting at 12, the market at about 2, the diamond museum 3,30 then the Van Gogh museum at 4.30.  Probably a record but we are so smart and so enlightened as a result of it.  Very much enjoyed learning about Vermeer (Girl with the Pearl Earring etc) and Rembrandt. Seeing these paintings that are so old and famous sent shivers down my spine.  Just about got the hang of avoiding being collected by cyclists and scooter pilots.  Not only do the trams that run up the middle of the road have the right of way, if you stray on to the clearly demarcated bike lanes, you will be lined up and bowled by these two wheeled projectiles….and they ride on the wrong side of the road so come at you when you are right-left-righting when you should be left-right-lefting!

There is the smell of dope everywhere and dope products for sale next to the souvenir t-shirts and clogs in the numerous shops including some in a museumwinkel we went into today,  Pot flavoured chupa chups for god’s sake.

Going to see how to make clogs today.  With the management structure at work skewed towards those that chew tulips, I feel it will be a good career move to learn such skills or at least purchase some.  Take care,

V and Me (Hans)