I love fog. It makes everything seem mysterious and spooky, or at least I make up a story in my mind that turns Amsterdam at 10am into a spooky, secretive type of world. Hey, when it's -1°C (30°F) and I'm trying to psych myself into leaving my house and getting on my bike, the one thing that works for me is making up stories.
This previous weekend was a really nice combination of running around and having fun but having enough time to relax with friends. On Saturday I went to my final Italian lesson in the early afternoon, met up with a fellow expat blogger around mid-day, and went out dancing at Occii at night. I must sound like a broken record here, but a Saturday night at Occii is another example of why I love Amsterdam so much. As soon as the music started playing, people started dancing - no one stood around being too cool or too disinterested (ahem, New Yorkers, I'm looking at you). It was really cold that night as well, but by the time I left I barely noticed the temperature and enthusiastically rode my bike through the park without holding on to the handlebars. All the other people that were out were in a similar state as me (as in, we had all probably had more than a couple drinks), and it seemed like none of us could feel the cold. Even the group of French tourists that had managed to fall all over each other and their bikes in the cycle lane on Sarphatistraat were having a good time, and didn't mind that I laughed at them as I tried to make my way through.
On Sunday night I said goodbye to a good friend - one of the first girls I met when I moved to Amsterdam, someone that I definitely got used to having around. I try not to be too sad about friends leaving (especially since I've been the friend that leaves so many times), but when they leave to go to Australia, it's always a bit harder. I mean, Australia isn't a place I can just hop over to for the weekend. Still, if there's one thing I've learned from moving around from place to place, it's that the goodbyes are never final.
There's only five days now before my trip, but in my mind, I'm already pretty much on holiday now. I got together with my travel companions (the people who I'll be driving with) recently so that we could all get to know each other a little better (a good idea, considering we committed to spending 2 days in a car together!). Not only do we get along, I already feel like the three of them are old friends. We're leaving at noon on Sunday, and I can't wait.
It's about 12.30 on Tuesday afternoon, and from my office windows Amsterdam looks like a scene from a fairy tale. The old houses with their triangle roofs, the naked tree branches, the absolute white sky, and the thick fog that is still hanging in the air. Absolutely beautiful. I just wish the canals would freeze...