When we moved to our apartment in Amsterdam three years ago, a building was coming up right in front. Rather it seemed like a building. It fact, it was an entire complex of buildings on a manmade island complete with a small harbour for boats. It feels quite surreal to now be actually visiting these buildings. Housed in one of them, is a restaurant that we like to visit. It offers a nice selection of bagels and spectacular views of the river IJ. If you are lucky, you might even catch a cruise ship going past the restaurant’s windows.
It has been raining in Amsterdam pretty much every day for the past 10 days. I recently found out (thanks to local iPhone applications that alert you about rain in the vicinity) that the Dutch word for precipitation – Neerslag – is very close to the Dutch word for dejected – Neerslachtig. And this pretty much sums up the attitude here towards the present weather conditions. It’s not all doom and gloom though. The clouds put up quite a show before and after rain. Many hours have been spent staring at them in silent contemplation.
It seems to me that if you live by a street just off Leidesplein, putting stickers on the door of your parking asking people not to park, is the easiest way to get someone to park in front of it.
The reviews of Spirited Away had mentioned something about it being about a bathhouse for sprits. The material sounded intriguing enough to make me watch it. I was mesmerised by both the film’s content and its presentation. A few weeks ago I watched another Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises, to the same effect. It roughly chronicles the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed planes used by Japan in World War II. Japan’s role in World War II remains a delicate subject. Can you separate a man’s achievements during a war from what they were put to use for?
p.s. The movie kept reminding me of this music video by Japanese rock band Spitz. Not sure if it’s related to the movie in any way other than its aeronautical inventor theme.
p.p.s. I am going to exempt these post scriptums from my self imposed 100 word limit. The risk, given my otherwise verbose style, is that I’ll end up writing entire blog entries as post scriptums.