Even being mauled by a wild animal was…familiar.

Back in Western Europe, the Low Countries, my second home. It felt good to be back, a little bizarre, and bizarrely familiar. Dutch felt like a familiar game, more familiar to me than baseball now, with more players and matches everywhere.

(By the way, if anyone thinks of a good synonym for “familiar”, let me know.)

Amsterdam entertainment Amsterdam evening street 3 Amsterdam temperature

I was back in the land with the world’s best public transportation, stunning cultural density, and a dismal grasp of breakfast. My first morning I found a place with bagels, which were nearly unheard of over here a few years ago but are gaining traction quickly. I sat and watched the two-wheeled commuter traffic, feeling the flow of the universe.

Euro car 0 Commuter traffic in Amsterdam Euro car 1






After switching to the proper hotel I was considering the trek back across Amsterdam, but found a nice little cafe that served warm but delicious coffee, good brown bread, and K’s essential: fruit salad with yogurt and granola.

There was one other selling point. His name was Sam, he was always precocious, sometimes welcoming, and absolutely insane. K and I ended up coming back here every morning, and Sam was happy to see us…

Sam 1 Sam 2


Sam 3 Sam 5