August 24, 2004
in Hamsterdam... I

8.22.04 In Amsterdam, near the #4 tram "Frederiksplein" stop

So, I'm here.

Outside by a big fountain. It's, like, 8 o'clock in the morning and I sort of have to wait an hour and a half before I wake up the alleged Italian girl who lives upstairs to get a key, and then some sleep. I've already seen the public urinals I've read about. They are, truly, urinals, and they are completely exposed, truly "public."
...this is not a "modest" city.

I am surrounded by pigeons. Obviously they've taken me for a mark, and expect to get something out of this transaction. They are plump and NOT cautious. one of them is doing a mating dance for me.

I think that there is a urinal directly across from me, but it looks so like a stone water fountain that I hesitate to expurgate into it.

(About half an hour later, I decide it must be a urinal. It is *now* anyway.)

_ and just like that, thanks to some unforseen (or heard) sign, the pigeons have left
...just like that:

And, I'm alone... sort of.

I'm accompanied by the noise of the fountain, the rumble and clack of the trams, a jet, early sunday traffic and a guy I must assume is poor or homeless. He was checking out all of the tiny trash bins around the circle. Also, he seemed very startled to see me.

After a sit for a while, he stands, shoulders his bag, adjusts his straps and he's off.

Right now, this is what I need and expect from travel to distant lands. This place is deserted. Exactly what I need to think and feel: I am in the middle of something, but apart from it.

And that fits me very well.

This trip, in a strange sort of way, represents an official renaissance and a sort of re-uptake of my "nostos". I am distantly related to this place, but that's not really it. This journey represents the beginning of retracing steps; some never taken, others ignored. I'm here to put up and NOT shut up. I'm here to think, and to be (and to think about being)

and again, I'm not alone.

So, what am I to do here? What am I thinking about?

...much more to come

Posted by mandra at 07:10 AM