30 October 2006

Rotterdam quick hits

  1. Sat on the runway at LHR for an hour before we took off for my 40 minute flight to AMS. Not that sweet. I always laugh at the frenetic attempt by the stewardesses to manage to serve everyone a cocktail and then clean up between taking off and landing on those flights. Then again, on American carriers they charge you five bucks for a bud lite on a transcontinental flight.

  2. I still get nervous about travelling alone to countries that don't speak English. The Amsterdam airport actually had all the signage in English, but not Dutch, in case you're wondering what fraction of the people here speak English. A woman on the train to Rotterdam said something to me and I said I didn't speak Dutch. She switched into fluent English and I subsequently discovered she's a housekeeper for infirm elderly people. Everybody speaks English. It's a little more daunting in Rotterdam where the signs and such are in Dutch, but still, I forget how lucky I am to natively speak the lingua franca of the 21st century.

  3. The train schedule from AMS is on this huge twenty foot by five foot board packed with 12 point type. Evidently Europeans are expected to be able to rapidly digest a massive timetable.

  4. It's funny to walk down the street at night and see a dude walking toward me smoking a cig, and then to catch a whiff of the smoke and realise it's a huge spliff.

  5. The Dutch have the highest average height in the world, and it's not by a small margin, either. I feel like a freakin dwarf in this country.

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