Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Amsterdam: The Flood

By our third day we'd had enough of the cakes. The ones Frenemy and D had bought the day before sat on the kitchen table, untouched and stale. We still hadn't visited any museums or sex shops, the other two reasons for visiting Amsterdam. We decided to remedy that on our last full day.

We headed to the Rijksmuseum plaza. The line to get into the museum snaked around the building so we went to the Van Gogh museum. Why do the British pronounce the name as Van Goff? A bit like leftenant (lieutenant), I suppose. Anyway, we wandered through, viewing some of Van Gogh's lesser known works. I had visited this museum before so could actually hold a semi-intelligent conversation about the paintings. Frenemy and D headed for the shop. Afterwards, we bought some souvenirs for our families in the kiosks on the plaza.

Then we went to the Ann Frank Museum. This is quite a moving experience that grows in intensity as you progress through the house. Frenemy seemed suitably moved, then headed for the shop where she bought some heavy books. After this, A, B, C, and I wanted to go back to the house to get changed to go out for the evening. Frenemy and D wanted to stay out and start drinking then. We decided to split into two groups. Frenemy shoved her bag of heavy books into my hand and asked me to take them back to the house. There was a lot of unspoken, but undeniable, tension at that point. But A, B, C, and I decided not to allow ourselves to get too bothered.

Back at the house A and I changed, while B showered. C was down in the kitchen. Suddenly, the heavens opened up and rain beat down. I was doing the finishing touches on my makeup when I heard screams from the floor above. I raced up the stairs to find water gushing down from the skylight. I ran down to the kitchen and opened up the cupboards to grab every receptacle I could find. Then I raced back up the stairs. By this time the water had made its way to our floor. I ran back down to the kitchen to grab more pots and pans. By then it was pouring from the light fixture in the sitting room. I switched all the lights off. Then I heard shouts from below. The kitchen was now flooded. C was standing in six inches of water, swabbing the floor with a mop she'd found somewhere. This couldn't have taken more than five minutes.

We laughed in that hysterical way you do when there's a catastrophe and nothing you can do about it. We decided to call Frenemy and tell her all her designer clothes were ruined. We also needed the number for Mr. Not Gay Sweater. Frenemy didn't believe there had been a flood. We assured her that, yes indeed, there had been.

We didn't know then that Frenemy and D had had a rather busy afternoon themselves. After stopping at a pub for a drink, they decided to visit a sex shop. Frenemy proceeded to buy herself a remote-controlled vibrator (I guess so her husband could watch the football and please her at the same time). Anyway, after much haggling, she took her purchase outside and opened it to see if it worked. It didn't. She made D take it back to the shop to get her money back. The shopkeeper didn't want to give the money back. I guess he thought it had been USED. D had to get assertive, which is unusual for D.

Where they ate, I don't know. Back at the house, we all changed again and headed out to an Argentinian steak house for a late meal. Mr. Not Gay Sweater said he'd come the next day to view the damage. Somehow Frenemy and D found us. They stopped at our table, Frenemy ordered a bottle of wine, then they decided to go back to the house before the wine arrived, leaving us with an unwelcome bottle of wine. Steam was coming out of C's ears by this point. A wasn't too pleased either.

After our meal we decided to find some nightlife in Amsterdam. There was a bar near the house that we'd passed several times. It seemed quite lively so we stopped in. It was lively all right. A man wearing an obvious toupe was singing some of the corniest songs ever written. When the first notes for the theme from "The Love Boat" sounded, the women in the bar swooned. Now about these women: they looked like retired hookers, with fake boobs, hair, tans, and lips. All the other men in the bar looked like the singer. When they started looking our way, C and I decided to leave.

In the kitchen we lit up a joint and set the world to rights. I don't know where Frenemy and D were, perhaps asleep upstairs. That night C and I formed a bond that lasts to this day. We promised each other we'd go back to Amsterdam again. We haven't yet, but there's still time. A and B finally returned from the Love Boat Bar. They'd tired of getting chatted up by the men in toupes. It was our last night, and the four of us drank cups of tea and laughed about our afternoon.

Tomorrow: Going Home


Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

You know, out of all the trips I've made to Amsterdam, I never visited these museums, apart from the sex one!

Flowerpot said...

never a dull moment! I've never been to Amsterdam - starting to think maybe I should..

laurie said...

how does frenemy have such control over people? she made you carry her books, she made D return her vibrator....

i can picture her so well. and i do NOT like her.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

VI: Some of the most famous paintings in the world are in the Rijksmuseum. You should go.

flowerpot: Amsterdam is actually a lovely city, apart from the sex and drugs, which are there if you want them.

laurie: good question, and one I've asked myself many a time. She can be a hell of a lot of fun, or she can be hell. She does have a soft side -- somewhere. I think my next post might reveal more.

Anonymous said...

Bad news about the flood but sounds like you had a good laff over it. I hear they have sex shops on every corner? It'd be hard not go pop in I shouldn't wonder. A group of girlfriends got together and bought me a huge vibrator once - a present on my first hen party. Can't remember what happened to it though.

Crystal xx

-Ann said...

I just caught up on this series. It's very enjoyable. I sort of envy your group of friends - all my friends are scattered around the world. (Although I don't think I could manage a frenemy.)

Queeny said...

I'm living vicariously through your experiences. Can't wait to read the rest.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

CJ: I think I used to have one too (from first hubby) but probably threw it away along with everything else that reminded me of him.

-ann: I have friends all over too, but this group is fairly constant. I'm closest to A and C, and, yes, frenemy needs managing.

Queeny: The rest is coming.