We got a rare (for this time of the year in Amsterdam) spell of warm weather last week. The days almost felt like the Second Coming of Summer. Only the mornings have tended to follow the expected pattern of the seasons. The air around sunrise would be nippy and fog quite common. But then the sun would burn through the fog within a few minutes and a warm day would begin. It would all culminate in a calm, golden sunset. It’s been like living two seasons in a day.
The early morning fog still persists but the days now are beginning to get cold and rainy. Sunsets are no longer golden but rather a continuum of increasingly darker greys that segue into black. Winter is no longer knocking at the door, it’s threatening to knock the door down.
You can easily mistake Kalvertoren for a run of the mill glass-concrete shopping mall. But its stately redbrick facade on the Singel canal looks more like a state-protected heritage building and less like a mall. Despite having walked passed it several times I never quite connected the facade with the mall. I realised that the facade and the mall are the same only recently, while attending a meeting on the top floor of a building opposite it.
p.s. This little photoblog within the main blog has reached 50 posts! It has taken me way longer to get to this milestone than what I had in mind when I started doing this in February last year, but now that we are here, you might as well browse all posts.
Compared to India, where cars, buses, bikers, autorikshaws and stray cows jostle for the same limited space, the traffic in central Amsterdam doesn’t feel chaotic. While riding a cab last week, my perspective shifted a little. The cars share the same road with trams. The cyclists and the pedestrians occasionally spill over into the same shared space from their designated lanes. So the traffic here is chaotic too but a harmonious kind of chaotic. That said, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most densely populated cities, but it’s population density is still a third of Delhi. Plus, respect for traffic rules and others’ personal space keeps traffic flowing smoothly.
p.s. I am quite enjoying playing with Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app. Considering how shaky the cab was and how hard it is to hold a phone-camera steady for six minutes at a stretch, I am quite impressed that it pulled out a somewhat usable footage out of the ride. While by default it speeds up the video 6x, it also allows you to save a 1x version which sounds like a great way to get image-stabalised version straight from your phone’s camera.
p.p.s. Here is another, much shorter segment from the same ride:
p.p.p.s. Found myself relating a little to Apple’s misunderstood TV spot – at least one of the persons sharing the ride thought I was taking selifes.
If you look closely at the ship in the background, you’ll realise that there are a lot of people standing on the top deck. I think the minute size of their silhouettes does a good job of conveying a sense of scale, which was a little hard to discern from the last picture.