Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Amsterdam Random Thoughts, Day 1

I am in Amsterdam because of a conference tomorrow and the next day on executive-legislative dynamics in foreign and defense policy.  This is one of the first real efforts in the Steve-Dave-Phil project on legislatures and militaries.  I am going to spend next week mostly in The Hague trying to do research for the Dutch case.  At this conference, I am presenting a study of the Canadian case--mostly to get our ideas on paper and to get Phil and I arguing.  It has worked spectacularly thus far.

Anyhow, this is the first time I have been to Amsterdam since I was a college student long ago.  What has changed?  Or at least, what have I noticed that I don't remember from the last time?  A key difference between then and now is that it rained every single day way back when (my month long Eurail Pass journey was soaked except a few days in Italy and the last couple of days in Belgium).
  • I don't remember the primary threat to life and limb being bikes.  Yes, the Danes have heaps of bikes, too, but the Dutch combine bikes with own general relaxed observation of things like rules and laws.  So, only 47% of my near collisions today were due to my lack of attentiveness.
  • The most common restaurant seemed to be Argentinean.  Besides Starbucks, of course.
  • I took the boat tour of the canals, something I never did back when I was trying to live on $25 a day (including hotel).  It was kind of worth it, kind of not.  I saw stuff that I would not otherwise see, but not super special.
  • I don't remember bunnies at the museum last time:

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