There’s a place in Amsterdam where you’re encouraged to drink as much as you can in thirty minutes, at 11 Am on a Sunday.
But that’s not the story.
The story is why I never made it there.
Years ago, I was in Amsterdam, staying at a hostel that was an old monastery converted into dorms and common bathrooms.
I met a few girls when I checked in, totally misunderstood their warning about roaches under the beds, but followed their directions to a place where I could get something to eat. How tough could it be to find a coffeehouse?
So, yeah. I’m sitting there just minding my own business reading the menu- a story in itself- when the door jangles open.
Now, my mother says I have a way about me that attracts odd people, no matter where I go. Author John Berendt calls it his “weirdo magnet.” I prefer to think of it as an open-armed welcoming to INTERESTING.
And that’s how I’d describe the Parisian button factory owners and their friend from Vanuatu.
We ended up hanging out together for three days, eating pizza, strolling the canals, sitting out the rain in galleries and telling stories, watching a yellow boat shaped like a shoe float by every day at noon, dancing in discos, shopping for scarves and sweets then buying tickets to the Heineken Experience, but never making it there, because the train to Munich was leaving.