June 11, 2003
A night out in Amsterdam

I had a very pleasant evening yesterday.

Amsterdam is a very nice city to walk through, on the whole. Green, plenty of pretty canals and bridges, nice little bars. There are very few cars on the roads, (to a Londoner's eyes,) so it's very quiet.

Deceptively so - there are plenty of bikes and trams, too quiet to hear, but more than ready to run you the fuck over if you don't watch where you are going. And looking where you are going isn't all that easy, either - there are lots of pretty girls in Amsterdam. I wonder if all those fine bottoms have something to do with the fact that everyone seems to ride bikes everywhere...

One niggle though - Amsterdam seems to have too many people in the digging-up-roads-and-pavements department, and not enough in the putting-the-roads-and-pavements-back department.

Anyway, I had an excellent steak at El Rancho just off Leidseplein. They do know how to cook a steak - wipe its arse, and show it a candle, as Steve would say. A good vet could have had it on its feet again. (Where is that line from?) In most places in the UK, 'medium' means cook it 'till you run out of gas, and 'well done' means cook it 'till the North Sea runs out of gas.

I then went to the Jazz Cafe Alto. The Hein van der Gaag Trio were playing, and they were very good indeed.

A bunch of loud-mouthed Americans came in for a while, which took the shine off, but they didn't stay long. (Don't take this as an anti-American rant - there were plenty of other Americans there. It was just this one group which irritated the living shit out of me. As for my attitude to Americans, well, I agree with Mil Millington's view of Americans. I could have written that. If I could write.)

Tonight, Bourbon Street.

Posted to On the road by Simon Brunning at June 11, 2003 12:33 PM
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