Monday, March 25, 2013

The Return of the Sun:

Spring has officially returned to Amsterdam, and I'm happy that's almost true. The date of spring has come, yet the weather is still lacking in its warmth. I have April 20th as the ideal spring warmness date, for this city, so I'll be anticipating the weeks ahead with glee. I'll be traveling to Mechelen, Belgium, not this but the next weekend, so hopefully the springtime blossoms and buds will be a bit more developed, down south. I have only been to Belgium a few times, while passing through, while another time I overnighted in Brussels, but only for a weekend. I can't wait to practice my Flemish.

Coming to learn the inner-workings and intricacies of this tiny continent is endless and exhausting, but also really fun. I've been listening to many podcasts on European history–all ages–since December or so, and one of them I'm even listening to again, even though I listened to all 30 one-hour-each lectures not even... two years ago. What can I say, I'm truly a lover of non-fiction subjects; mostly those that revolve or invoke in some way, anthropology or the arts.

Life is a swirl of the studio, my house, and the city. And more recently there was a very large tin-can involved, that shot me all the way from Amsterdam to Chicago, in the sky. Yes, my trusted-and-true oft' baby-blue-colored and beloved airline transported me to Illinois, to the third largest metropolis in the United States of America. It was another whirl-wind week that found me pronouncing around the Gold Coast–and all its splendor–while occasionally strutting down to the Loop, and the area just above the river, Streeterville.

Happy am I to be back in my city, though. America is fast, and loud, and friendly. Only after realizing how much the economy really is a service economy–at least in that city–did it become, yet again, clear to me that everything is so fast in America because time really is proportional to money. Chicago did seem, however, very livable and loving. Helpful and interesting people, with OK weather (a bit of snow), and lots of architectural history. Lots of it. And luckily the Gold Coast was full of it, too. There were many turn-of-the-(last)-century homes that had been restored with pride, and had accent night lighting in ways that almost no, if few, Dutch homes could ever conceive of. These homes were not hard to miss. Which reminded me of my home...

Amsterdam becomes more known to me, now that I've lived here for some time. I can map the major streets and landmarks, and I even know most of their names; the Dutch language is now my language, and that has freed-up the city and made it accessible in such small yet not-minor ways that I could have never anticipated; and neighborhoods are no-longer distant ideas of a utopia somewhere near the West Village, in New York–neighborhoods are all around me in this city, and I know where they are, and to which to go and for what. Thus, my Dutch language skills are really important to me. I hold them near my heart.

Every day I feel more at home in this city. Which still amazes me. But also excites me. And the best part is, it can only get better.