So here I am in Amsterdam, completely jetlagged. I’m spending two days in The Netherlands before flying to Strasburg and driving to my final destination in France. The recommendation I had from those experienced in this particular trip was to catch what sleep I could on the plane over, and then NOT SLEEP as soon as I could get into my hotel room. I’ll go to sleep tonight and then I’ll be more or less on the correct time zone.
So a coworker and I, fresh off the plane, wandered Amsterdam today. Friday was apparently the Queen’s birthday, the proper celebration whereof requires massive amounts of beer. The remainder of the weekend was then dedicated to the pursuit of cleaning up all the mess inspired by the beer. So we wended our way past canals full of boats down picturesque cobblestone streets, gazing at all the interesting shops that were closed because it was 9 am on a Sunday morning. A cold rain is falling — a rain for which I and my wardrobe came completely unprepared.
We pondered going to one of the big museums, but a line of umbrellas stretching around the block, very much like the line of Nannies in Mary Poppins, combined with cold blowing drizzle and extreme jetlag, dissuaded us.
Of course, everything’s going to heck in Boston without me. Without my calming presence, the water lines go all kerfluey and break and the entire city of Boston and environs is under a boil water order (yes, that does include my family). My eldest son has contracted a truly nasty cough, which apparently kept him and everyone else us last night, running hot showers (with untreated water…) and applying Vicks. I’d feel more sympathetic, but even with the disruption in sleep they’ve gotten far more than I have. Then again, I figure I have to stay up another 3 hours or so… they’re just starting their day.
It is an odd feeling, to have woken in the morning on continent. To have played frisbee on the town square and eaten a snack at your own table, and in the space of the same waking day — the same change of clothes — to be so very far away in a land where everyone rides bikes and canals are more common than left turn lights in Boston.
I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to keep updated. Sadly, although my meetings will be happening far from their usual locales, it may have less of the local flavor than you might wish. That’s a short way of saying that on Wednesday, we’re going bowling.
But my room has a lovely view of a canal, with house boats and ducks. From where I sit, you can see a turgid, modern windmill on the horizon. The wind whips past my window, but it’s warm in here and I feel infinitely better after a post-flight shower. Tomorrow, we meet with our colleagues here, and then fly that hour South to begin the serious rounds of meetings. And I have slides to Powerpoint before I sleep.