I knew I would be fine travelling alone; it was my first time doing so, I’m allowed to be nervous. One thing I did not account for was eating alone. I was okay at lunch, sitting in cafes and reading, keeping myself to myself. But it was dinner I found difficult. It is more of a social occasion, full of chatter and wine in my experiences of dining with a second human being. It’s also slightly embarrassing when you decide to eat soft tacos with fatty stringy cheesy pork. It was amazing and messy, too much filling, not enough tacos.
I am sleeping with one other gentleman which wasn’t so bad. He kept himself to himself as I did. I though it must have been difficult for him as I went/tried to sleep around 8pm last night. I was so tired, the stress of my cancelled train, rushing through the airport and walking around this amazing city all day in awe with my head in the air wondering what on earth the hooks are for. (It must just be one of those things as even the more modern looking builds had them.)
Went off topic there. Anyway, I find myself back in Bagesl and Beans. I was hoping for a seat by the window over looking the Keizersgracht. Look at me, speaking like a local. But, alas, all the seats were taken so I went to the back. One black coffee later and I’ve planned the rest of my trip. I was going to wing it but I didn’t want to miss anything. I had to prioritise and ask myself: what can I do here that I can’t do anywhere else?
• Red Light District (what does it say about me that I put that first? It’s research!)
• Ride bikes around the canals
• See real Picasso and Van Gogh paintings
• Learn about Amsterdam
Then there are things I want to do:
• Science Museum
I found a good mix of all of the above and planned my remaining three days, with writing sessions as well. I was quite proud of myself.
Before I left, I’d hand written a monologue I’d submitted and got feedback on. It didn’t look like much on a computer screen but hand writing it turned it into ten pages. I’d also hand written the email too. So armed with a strawberry smoothie, I attempted to turn my ‘lecture with potential’ into an emotional roller coaster.