My first Monday without work in some time started with some ominous grey clouds and spats of rain. We wandered down to the baker and got half of a fresh, sliced loaf of bread for 0.95€ and enjoyed it with some cheese and meat while we planned out our day. Sonja needed to meet up with her her Oma. We found her as she disembarked from the Tram. Some pleasantries were exchanged, and we headed off in search of coffee. The warm rain didn't seem to slow Amsterdam down at all, and we found a cafe where we had the Dutch traditional coffee with a little cookie. I wasn't able to participate in the conversation very much, although they were very patient in explaining what they were talking about when they say the confused look on my face.
I spent a good deal of time checking out the decore of the place. Mirrors were on most walls, trying to maximize the little space. Cloth is hung at the door to allow the fresh air of the open door to not be polluted with a draft bothering the closest partons. It seems that most restrooms have a single knob on the sink, and it is always produces a luke warm water.
Ingrid and I went off on a little walk to leave Sonja and her Oma alone, and as we walked about Ingrid filled me in on all sorts of little details about Amsterdam. A Gaeper is a ceramic man with his tongue out, which designated the pharmacies in the streets. Everyone rides a bike in Amsterdam as they are very convienient, and because of the chain guard every single bike has, even gentlemen in suits and ladies in dresses or skirts are able to ride about without mangling their clothes. Walking back to the cafe we stumbled upon a ladybug built into the stonework, which is a symbol against senseless violence. I learned more in that little hour, than most tours can ever do justice in significantly more time.
When the shadows started to get long, we said our good-byes to Oma and finished up some errands to produce a nice tasty dinner. We needed our strength for our late night adventures. As I walked about for the last couple of days, I was taking inventory of what I would like to see and photograph once the sun had set.