Rando-List II – The Return of Rando

It’s that time again!  No, I’m not talking about the desperate post-holiday race towards spring that we call January and February. I’m talking about RANDO-BLOG!  Now that the holidays are over, I have a few things rattling around the noggin that need to be set free before I finish my Munich series.

Things may slow down a bit in Amsterdam during the feestdagen, but the unremitting insanity of daily life in Amsterdam is not one of those things.  You all know how this works, so lets get started:

1.  On Christmas Eve, the wife and I decided to take a night time canal cruise to check out the sites and lights of Amsterdam during the Holidays.  This is what we returned home to:

Rando 1

Apparently, while we were out, a nice little wind storm picked up and blew over the Rembrandtplein Christmas tree, taking a few of it’s neighbors with it.  Here’s a quick “before” shot to refresh your memory:

photo 2-1

Such a shame; and on Christmas Eve no less.  Oh well, I’m sure those city employees didn’t want to be at home with their families anyway…

2.  I stepped outside my apartment yesterday morning and I saw a gentleman coming down the street wearing one of those big Russian fur hats.  You know the one:

It was JUST like this one, maybe slightly smaller...

It was JUST like this one… maybe slightly smaller.

Anyway, as this finely hatted gentleman got closer, something seemed amiss and I thought to myself, ” No…  It couldn’t be!  No.  Nooooo way!!!  Oh dear lord… He’s not wearing a hat!  That is his hair!  THAT IS HIS HAIR!!!!”  True story.  Same color as the pic above too!  I was in too much shock to snap a pic, but believe me when I say that it was amazing.

3.  Things are small in Europe.  I know that’s common knowledge, but every once in a while it gets shoved in your face.  I found this on the sidewalk one evening as I stepped out to dinner.

If you just give it a glance, it looks like I squished the picture.  Nope. Didn't.

Looks kinda squished, doesn’t it?

4.  Our local AKO magazine and book shop started the year off with a bang.  December 31: Open for business.  January 1: Closed FOREVER!  I can’t say I went there very often.  I got some envelopes there once.  Sign of the times, man.  Sign of the times.

Rando 4

NEWS FLASH!!! Another bookstore went out of business. Details at “no-one-seems-to-care” o’clock.

5.  Mail can take forever to get to the Netherlands from the US.  It’s not unusual for a package to take 2 or 3 weeks to make the big trip across the ocean.  Today, I learned that there are exceptions to this rule.  The wife and I got a wonderful Happy New Year card from one of our friends in the States.  Two interesting things here:

  1. It was postmarked on Dec 28, so it got here, with normal postage mind you, in 6 days.
  2. It was completely open when it got here.  No, not the “those bastards tampered with my mail” kind of open, but the “I think they forgot to seal this one” type of open.  I inspected the sticky part of the envelope, and it didn’t look like it had ever been licked or stuck.  I took a pic, so you tell me.
Rando 5

Why yes, I did just post a photo of a blank envelope.

Anyway, I’m now convinced that this piece of mail made it securely across the ocean from the US to Amsterdam in 6 days while being completely open.  SUPER MAIL!!!

Well, that’ll do it.  Always save the best for last, eh?  I really went out with a bang there, didn’t I?  Oh well, they can’t all be winners.   To make up for it, I offer, for your enjoyment, a video of a drunk guy singing Seal’s Grammy Award winning 1995 hit “Kiss from a Rose” to a cat.  You’re welcome.

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