Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I am such a romantic. As we flew over the Netherlands this morning, I thought about how amazing Europe is. I was proud of the open spaces laws that are in place in order to maintain cities and not make Europe Suburb Land, like the US. I got off the train and smiled as I saw Amsterdam with it's old buildings and cobblestone streets. It made me happy that one place in the world could maintain it's rich history and heritage, while progressing and changing socially. I pictured myself strolling the streets with a book in one hand every night after a day of classes. Ah, but soon after walking around for about 37 seconds, I got a whiff of the smell. The Netherlands is the only country in the world to legalize drugs. The "coffee shops" litter the streets, where you can go up to the counter and ask for a drug menu, and they'll give it to and some paper to roll up your drugs. Everyone here is relaxed and I'll give you one guess why. Then the pretty old buildings... they are pretty from the outside, but we soon learned to not look in the windows because there are sex shops, prostitute lounges, tattoo parlors, and bars EVERYWHERE. Harsh reality ruined my romantic dream.... but hey, while we're here we might as well enjoy it!