“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.
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.
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.