Enjoying Archetypal Amsterdam During Your Vacation
Amsterdam was called a dream, an orgy of houses and water by Joris Karl Huysmans, who was a French writer in the 19th century. After a century, his statement holds true; in fact, the orgy has increased.
Amsterdam is home to a vast system of canals that go around the city. Man can use natural resources for his benefit – the canals of Amsterdam are sure to remind you of that. Since the 1600s, four hundred bridges of stone, sixty miles of canals and ninety islands have come to life. Grachtengordel is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites; in addition, from real estate point of view, it is a prime location. When the weather is pleasant, people rush to the cafès to enjoy the view of the canals and the waters. In warm weather, everyone gets active and the waterways are filled with boats being sailed by the locals, enjoying the weather and local delicacies. Because of their affordability, houseboats are becoming popular with the locals, as well as visitors who are interested in old-fashioned accommodation.
Derived from the word gezel, which means a friend, gezelligheid is a Dutch word which is very difficult to translate into English. It is considered to envelope the Dutch culture. If you concentrate on the speech of the locals and actually listen, you are bound to come across this cherished word, which resembles the sound of a throat-clearing. Although translated as cosy, the word covers all feelings of warmth which are felt from seeing loved ones after a long or spending time with them. After experiencing the Dutch culture, you will realize that ‘cosy’ is not enough of an explanation for this word. The feeling of warmth is soaked into its culture and environment; you will feel it in the spirit of the conversations people engage in, in the cookies that are served with your coffee, in the little lights that guide you in the night and in the meow that domestic cats make at night.
Live and let live!
The management in the Netherlands has always been more tolerable rather than dictatorial. The governance aims to live and let live. The whole nation leans more towards being liberal. The Dutch term gedogen is generally translated as toleration; however, it is not a complete definition of the word. Gedogen means not enforcing some specific laws. It can more properly be defined as turning a blind eye to something rather than tolerating. For example, the Dutch government does not press charges against offences such as possession of marijuana. Filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, was a notorious Amsterdammer who refused to ignore anything that was intolerable, such as organized religion. A Dutch fellow, helped by his terrorist group, murdered Van Gogh in 2003. This event brought a shift in the views of people about tolerance, or as they call it, gedogen.
Although the period of their vigour and strength has faded, prostitutes and cannabis are still available in abundance in Amsterdam. One, they are profession and two, most remarkably, they are permitted to engage in such business. However, there are certain protocols you must follow. First of all, use carefully; do not intoxicate yourself with more hash or marijuana than your body allows.
The legal prostitutes will probably insist that a condom be used; if for some reason, they do not, be sure to use it. Next, avoid taking any photos as that could literally kick you to the curb, and you obviously do not want that. The prostitutes are under the surveillance of their superiors so be careful. You are advised to update yourself with the latest laws before you go holidaying in Amsterdam.