Last person on the train

The last of 2011's sunshine outside the plane window

I made a grand entrance to New Years Eve in Amsterdam. After a shaky day of excitement and espresso, my credit card didn’t work for the bus or train. A Dutch couple helped me purchase a ticket and said they were taking the same train leaving in 5 minutes. But first, they wanted to purchase some French fries.

I’m thinking “I can’t see the train. Five minutes is not enough time for a snack.”

Wearing heels I carried my suitcase up a giant flight of stairs in time to see the train start beeping and flashing ready to depart. It was still 20m away, the doors were closing, the next train didn’t come for 30 minutes, it was a 1.5 hour trip and it was already 5.5 hours until midnight.

Holding their fries, the Dutch couple stood in the train trying to keep the door open. I contemplated putting my suitcase down and rolling it but there just wasn’t time. Awkwardly hobbling across the platform as the get-the-hell-out-of-the-doorway sound alarmed, I lunged into the train.

The train conductor came out to see what was going on as I struggled with my balance. Then hesitating at an awkwardly placed step, I fell flat over on my hands and knees with scrapes and bruises to prove it.

When I left the train station Chella warned “Amsterdam will be like a warzone tonight” and I told her Vancouver would be the same. Was I ever wrong. Thank you prudent society for outlawing fireworks. In Amsterdam they are going off in the middle of the streets every 30 seconds and the city feels like it’s under siege.  Passing the assisted-suicide bill must have been a breeze, they have got legislation supporting children with explosives. It’s the afternoon of January 1st and fireworks are still going off in broad daylight, this city is addicted.

Dodging through the streets we went to a party at Koen’s place for all the exchange students that came for the Amsterdam reunion. We remembered some stories while gearing up to forget others later that evening.

The rest of the night was a blast and we will leave it at that. Sorry Mom, no spoiler.


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