May 19, 2002:
I have listened so much of Amsterdam.
When I told people that I would live for 3 months in The
Netherlands, some of them said that I would go crazy.
It was funny and I thought that it couldn’t be so different of
other places in the world.
I did not believe this until this weekend, when I discovered
a city that is different from all the other ones: the famous and controversial Amsterdam.
Why is it unique? Read this article and you‘ll have a light idea of the reason.
To truly understand it, just being there.
first thing: it is a pretty city.
Each place you look at, you see a beautiful building:
the typical Dutch ones with many windows and different colors; and
the big and historical buildings, with medieval design.
The oldest buildings
are dated from XVIII century.
Knowing Amsterdam, it is possible to imagine how the Middle Age
life was. Beyond
the building, the city is plenty of canals that are more than 100!
Actually, there’s a competition between Amsterdam and Venice.
Both want to be the most beautiful location.
these three days I've been walking on the streets and admiring
the architecture and colors of the city. By the way, the buildings have a
very interesting curiosity. All of them are
a little bent towards the front part and have a kind of a hook on the top.
The explanation is that, as they are very narrow, the hooks are used (until today) to
move the furniture.
Another thing that called my
attention was the amount of artists in the streets.
They are live statues, musicians, actors and even lyric singers.
the city architecture and beauty,
Amsterdam is plenty of museums.
Among the most famous there are Rijksmuseum, the National Museum,
the House of Rembrandt and the Museum of Vincent Van Gogh.
The Rijksmuseum exibits
antiques and paintings of famous Dutch artists, even the Rembrandt’s
famous picture ‘The Nightwatch”, and the self-portrait of Van Gogh.
House of Anne Frank is a special and emotive place.
Covering the parts and the narrow stairs, it is possible to know the feelings and the
places where the young girl lived hidden for about two years.
It is possible to know the history of the family and her diary.
In the old room where Anne was hidden, there can be seen her photo
collection of movie stars, which she used to decorate the walls.
In one of the saddest section the visitor knows the destination of
each family member.
They had gone to different concentration camps.
Finally, the expressive letters of Otto Frank, Anne’s father and
only survivor, wrote for relatives about his hope to meet Anne Frank again.
The girl died of illness one month before the Jews freedom.
The museum also shows videos with the quotations from people who
had known Anne and also from Otto Frank.
Contrasting with all this historical and artistic atmosphere of Amsterdam,
there is the liberal air of the city.
who do not know, in The Netherlands the use of light drugs, the euthanasia and the
marriage between homosexuals are legal.
The city is plenty of coffee shops, the bars where marijuana is
sold. But the Dutch are
not the main consumers and
they complain of their fame of marijuana users.
About 10% of population smokes marijuana.
The main consumers are foreigners that visit or live in the city.
Besides the hemp smell
in the streets, the Red Light Zone is
another attraction that
exists only in Amsterdam.
It is a prostitution quarter that became a tourist point.
As everything in the city is allowed, the zone is plenty of
sex-shops, that don’t care about showing their products on the windows.
In the buildings, each window has a woman inviting men to come in.
But it’s not men that frequent this place; also families are
curious to know this famous zone.
A curiosity is the sex museum (I haven’t been there)
and the sculptures on the streets.
The kind of thing that you can only see in Amsterdam.
The Dutch are very independent people who believe in freedom.
Even if they don’t agree, they respect the others' way of being.
In the disco where I went on Sunday, you could see homosexual
couples, and that wasn't a place for gays.
The people don’t look or whisper as in Brazil.
incredible how we lose
a little of the sense about what’s wrong and right. Even in magazines
boards and souvenirs shopping there are unusual postcards. This
is Amsterdam, a unique city, with strong contrasts that can let you really
That’s why it is so special and fantastic.
It’s worth to know Amsterdam and its way of life in spite of the
Translated by Traduzca