the last day

It was eerily quiet on my morning bike commute to work this morning. The only things moving on the streets were garbage trucks and street cleaners. I guess they were getting ready for the extra load of trash coming after tonight’s fireworks festivities. In the Netherlands 31 December is THE night for fireworks and man do they let it off!

But back to the morning….. The only other people I saw were early morning shopkeepers getting ready to open. The kaasboer (literally “cheese farmer” but means a cheese shop/seller) at the Ten Katenmart was already open and ready for business. Also the fruit and veg stall was open. Grocery stores were open. Bakeries were already full of fresh bread. But not another creature was stirring….. except….

Johannes van Dam. (English translation) Lately when I bike to work I’ve seen him sitting in the front windowed section at Café Luxembourg around 8:00, having his breakfast I presume. This morning he looked especially ruffled and unkempt. I hope he is well and will continue writing for a long time. I’ll have to pick up his latest Amsterdam restaurant review book. Maybe Mom and I will meet him in September when we sit in the same spot in the morning. Maybe he’ll sign the book for me. (Photo by Stuck in Customs)

Tonight we are staying home to watch the fireworks from our roof terrace. We have a view over the entire city, west looking east. Of course after the first 5 minutes the sky is simply a red haze that you can’t see through, but for 5 minutes anyway the view is amazing and fireworks from all over the city can be seen. This year I’ll try to film the event. Even though the best view is obscured pretty quickly, the display continues for at least 45 minutes! It amazes me how much money people will spend on fireworks, and how big and powerful the available fireworks are. Every year people are injured and killed. This year there were crack downs on who can sell what, and how much you can buy. But still it’s a thriving business and a big event.

We’ll be eating our oliebollen at midnight and drinking whiskey. What will you be doing?

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