just returned from my third trip to amsterdam. parts of that city i really like, while others are very dirty, seedy, and full of drunken louts. the dutch people are a little too different for my tastes. a cold, detached kind of different. and the customer service there makes british customer service seem world class. yesterday, i sat at an outdoor cafe, which wasn’t even that busy, for about forty minutes without getting waited on. i got up and left, so who knows how long it would have taken. i didn’t care because i was just enjoying hanging out there and people watching, but it makes you wonder how they make money. once people do get waited on, they usually camp out there for hours, in the classic european style. and getting the waiters attention for the check is also a task. anyway….besides revisiting the van gogh museum, the rijksmuseum, and vondelpark, i made it for the first time to the anne frank house. amazing story, amazing little girl. actually walking though the house is sad and eerie. it’s hard to believe that eight people hid out in those small spaces for two whole years. it’s also heartbreaking to think of how close the war was to being over when they were discovered (all but father otto died within just a few months of their internment into concentration camps and days before the liberation). about anne’s story, john f kennedy(1961) said it well: “of the multitude who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of anne frank.”

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