Europe: Day 1 – Getting to Amserdam and settling in

Canal at night

Sitting in the airport, CNN was wallpapered with video of lear-jets trying to snag Michael Jackson. It was eerily reminiscent of OJ and I was sickened by the nonsense. Good riddance America, I thought.

Having ’round the clock coverage on this topic on a major news outlet was simply embarrassing.

I sat next to a nurse stationed in Kuwait on the plane. He was an agreeable sort, with a mischievous grin. When no one sat in between us, he smiled and asked if I wanted the spare headphones left on the seat. “You wanna flip for em?” He said. “Naw, you take them.” I replied.

He went on to talk about how all his get ruined from the dust over there. He went on about how nice it was to be with his fiance during his RnR. How he’d have to go right back into work without any time to recuperate. How his superior would just say, “If you didn’t take a break, you wouldn’t feel jetlag.”

All this with that sly smile that longs for camaraderie. Some common ground and conversation.

I slept little if at all, as did he. We talked about everything but war and Michael Jackson.

Arriving in Amsterdam I found myself peeing on one of those flies in a urinal in no time. Unbeknown-st that the Marmot was following me around, waiting for me to spot him. Waiting for Brian to arrive, Mr. Pratt and I pondered getting him some tulips or balloons to welcome him, to no avail.

Once the group was collected and we got ourselves checked into the Golden Bear hotel (not too shabby I must say), it was off to do errands and eat and relax. Amsterdam was already a very different place than the city I held in my memory from a quick trip in 1994. It was nice.

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