07 May 2010

Friday Flicks: off the beaten path in Amsterdam

Our tour guide in Amsterdam said that if we rented bikes and followed the Amstel River out of town for just a mile or so, we'd find ourselves in Ye Olde Holland, with cows and tulips and windmills and clog-wearing farmers inviting us into their ramshackle canal-side cottages to sample their Gouda ... Okay, slight exaggeration. But we really were promised cows and pastoral countryside.

Instead, no matter how far we pedaled, we found nothing but suburban wasteland:

I should take my photos from this excursion and photos from the New Jersey Turnpike and make them into a guessing game: "Jersey or Holland?" Like this one below. Which is it, Jersey (or suburban area in the USA) or Holland?

Yeah: Holland. No cows here, at least not in forms larger than a quarter-pound (with cheese). It was pretty dreary: malls and fast food and industrial parks and even self-storage. Self-storage!

Also the world's most depressing car wash. Excuse me, make that Car Wash Center 2000. With incongruous Statue of Liberty figurine (dressed in some kind of American flag toga thing) on the roof:

Lesson: just because it's off the beaten path doesn't mean it's charming. As I said at the end of the video, it's definitely a part of Amsterdam that most tourists don't see. And for good reason.

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