Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Well hello there,

Here are some of the photos, but I have to apologise for them, for the first time I have taken a group of photos that I find universally flat. No lift or life. Hmmm. I am not sure why. I am not sure if it is the lower northern sun, or if I was feeling happier than it looked, so my internal image of how the photos would look do not match up with the actual images, or if it is just the greyness you get as you get further North. Possibly a bit of all of that, also I had very little time, so I spent most of the time peering around rather than waving the camera around.

Here they are, and I am sorry they're not better.

The main drag away from the central train station was insanely busy on my first day, and I swear every other person had a big cone of these fries. These were my lunch. Mayo seems to be the standard with fries there. I have to confess, I have had better fries, but they were pretty good. I had hot sauce as well.

If you look carefully at this doorway, that's plain old cash coming out of that horn of plenty. No messing around with corn and squashes...pass the coin please.

Canals everywhere, they are lovely and more peaceful. They create some space in the city as well.

Bikes and lanes and coffee shops. That sums up a lot of the life there.

The houses all looked strangely wonky. Some lean here, others there, never quite straightened up. A few too many I guess. It is Amsterdam.

I just loved this, it also displays how amazingly good EVERYONE's English is, from older people on the trains right down to the kids. Astonishing. I have to go back and see what they do in the schools. Spain should send a delegation.

Houseboats. You can just imagine how I feel about that as a lifestyle option. *sigh*

This finally. If you cannot read it clearly, this is toilet seat cleaner. Get yourself a little TP, put it underneath, it sprays on some disinfectant, wipe away, and your all set. I am still not quite sure what I think of this. I do have to say that I had the sh*t shelf they have in the toilets. They bowl is designed so that after you have a dump it is sitting there, high and dry ready for inspection. A little too much information thankyouverymuch.

Spanish toilets are dark and narrow, once the paper goes in, you pretty much cannot tell if anything happened at all. It doesn't smell as much either.

I think I should put another photo after this so I don't end on the smell sentence. Or not.


Beth said...

The pictures are great - and I'm laughing at you ending "the show" with the toilet seat cleaner one and the "smell sentence."

Anonymous said...

I personally LOVE the opportunity to disinfect my own toilet seat at will - and am trying to introduce that standard into one of the main restaurant chains of the world - AND - I am also working on convincing my hubbie about the charms of the houseboat lifestyle in Paris ;-) so far not much progress - but in some areas I can be patient but very very persistent.......
and speaking of toilets -generally do not like many aspects of french public toilets - but the FLUSH is AWESOME - like massive niagara falls but faster so that everything is just completely carried away - in contrast to UK toilets where I have sometimes been wondering how so much water can be swirling around with so little effect....
love ya! Me

elPadawan said...

not sure I want a picture of the toilet bowl after a dump, *thankyouverymuch* :D.

hulagirlatheart said...

The houseboat idea seems very appealing. The toilets...not so much.

Lynda said...

Lovely photos - I am still smarting from not being able to use my camera in Germany... sort of lost the will to observe when I wasn't looking for photo ops.

Sounds like you had a ball.. lucky girl!

Boo and Trev said...

I love Amsterdam! Was the Rijksmuseum fully open?
Funnily enough someone on the radio was talking about those loos and he said that they were very fashionable in Germany as they liked to see the state of their health by the condition of their stool! I think the guy even went onto say that they were sanctioned by the Nazis - all that Aryan health stuff. Sounds like an urban myth to me

Helen said...

The attitude to bowel function is very different in different countries. I read a fascinating book about how eg some nationalities like to inspect the results to see if they are healthy, other nations love having enemas(!), some get treated for high blood pressure others for low blood pressure, things that would land you in hospital in some countries are disregarded in others. Wierd really

oreneta said...

Beth, Glad you got a laugh!

Hey you, what is it with British toilets anyway...watery and ineffective. I will stop there. I'm going to have to come and visit and flush your Frenchy toilet! How is life in Pariiii, treating you?

elPadawan, definately WAY too much information, I'm with you.

Hula, I INTEND to live on a houseboat some day, somewhere in Europe. Let's see if I pull it off.

Lynda, you sound kind of lost right now, you doing OK?

Boo and Trev, from my memory, the German loos were the same, and I too was told it had something to do with checking out your state of health, though I never heard any aryan nazi connection myself.

Helen, it is weird honestly, I am finding it here as well, things people get worked up about, and what they don't. Then you go to the States where the pharmacutical industries market directly to the consumer, and the average American is SO up to date on medications and what they are for. It is w.e.i.r.d.

Theresa said...

Lucky you, I just love Amsterdam. That's the first time I've seen a toilet seat cleaner like that in Holland and I've been to quite a few Dutch toilets. Some are self-cleaning, some have the paper seat covers, and others have nothing at all, so I guess it depends. Being of Dutch stock, I can assure you the Dutch don't have any fixation with their bowl functions.

Anonymous said...

what i love the most is how all of your relatives are just right in there with the toilet stuff!
you are welcome to flush my french toilet - although it is in such a small closet (can't really deign to call it a room) you may have to stand outside the door to flush ;-)

dawn said...

That is a cool photo of the houses. I like the house boats too, but I am not sure I would like living on one. Interesting how toilets are different in different places.

Michele said...

Amsterdam is my mother's home town and we'll be there next spring! I can't wait.

I have to tell you, though. When I mentioned how good their English was,(how do they teach you in school?) my Dutch cousins claimed it's all the English language television.

Must do some good, I suppose. Though I was a little disturbed when I realized that the A-Team and The Dukes of Hazzard County were two of the top shows.