“Tossing cookies” into a Dutch Canal

One of Leiden’s many canals.
© Stephanie Glaser

“Overgeven.” It’s a Dutch verb that translates as: “to vomit, barf, spew, puke.” It covers pretty much every way to expel your insides. And, really, it is one of the most effective verbs in any language, because when pronounced properly with a “guttural g,” the word sounds like what it is.  A global onomonopia. The result, indeed, sounds like heaving or at least clearing a stubborn popcorn kernel out of one’s throat.

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The Friday Travel Ahhh…

© Stephanie Glaser

As anyone who travels knows, there are missteps, mishaps and misadventures, but then there are those perfect moments when we say: “yeah, this is why I travel.” I’m choosing Fridays to be the Travel Ahh… day

I love this photo because this Dutch man is so in the moment. I ran over to take his picture when I saw him dancing on a wall in Amsterdam on Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day. The Netherlands celebrates this holiday every April and it is not about having tea and crumpets while Queen Beatrix waves from a balcony. It’s a day when the normally somewhat reserved Dutch really revel. The day has a huge sense of community — everyone is accepted as Dutch on Koninginnedag. To me, this photo captured exactly the feeling of the day.

A Rotterdam hotel: “We only charge by the hour.” – “Oh.” Awkward.

Rotterdam — Amsterdam’s grittier cousin.
© Stephanie Glaser

Visiting the Red Light District in Amsterdam is like going to an amusement park: lots of twinkly lights, displays and crazy characters in abundance. Additionally, a Dutch friend once told me that you’ll find a bigger police presence there than in the rest of the city. Consequently, it’s surealistically safe. Indeed, Amsterdam is well-known for the Red Light District and the more tolerant attitude toward drugs and “sin.”

Rotterdam’s vices, on the other hand, are a little less Vegas. It has always seemed a bit more gritty to me. For example, I actually experienced my first sighting of someone smoking crack in a phone booth – in broad daylight on a quiet city street. Of course, Rotterdam is one of the largest port cities in the world – so there’s bound to be a seedy element somewhere in the city.

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