Yesterday’s blog post was a touch maudlin , as I was feeling somewhat downbeat about the life choice I made two years ago, when I decided to move back to Ireland. (meanwhile a tiny violin dramatically plays its forlorn melody somewhere).
So much so, that as soon as I got home from work, I booked a long weekend in Amsterdam, at the end of September / start of October. For four nights only, I will be visiting my old haunts and seeing my old muckers. There’s nothing quite like spontaneously booking a flight to lift your spirits.
It will have been ten months since my last visit, and presumably my only visit of 2017. In the time since my last trip, I imagine that little will have changed – except that the children of my friends will have grown bigger, in that freakish way that children do.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city, steeped in history and culture, very little of which I shall explore. Oh, I will marvel at how little I noticed the splendid buildings and canals when I lived there, but I won’t have the time or the inclination to visit them. I have done so before. Instead I will go visit people – either in their homes, or in shady taverns of dodgy repute.
I will purse my lips disapprovingly, at the strong smell of burning herbs, emitting from certain dark speakeasies. I will marvel at the taste and texture of the local delicacy – the frikandel – while avoiding all thought of what Frankenstein like ingredients it is made from.
I will borrow a bicycle and feel completely safe, navigating the city, as I fly through red lights like a tuneless nightingale.
Internally, I will swear like a rabid sailor at the tourists and their ineptitude at simple navigational tasks, while refusing to admit that I am now one of their number.
Oh it will be marvellous.
I suppose I really ought to have booked the time off work before booking the flight.