Friday, May 22, 2015

Amsterdam, Tourism Strikes Back

Yesterday was the first day of the workshop on executive-legislative relatoins and foreign/defense policy.  I didn't see much of the town besides the walk to and from the Free University of Amsterdam.  Today, we only had a half day of paper presentations and discussion.  I got much good feedback, and it will be really helpful to have had this experience at the start of the project.

But I did get a chance to walk to the Rijksmuseum and then walk around, so I have some tourist observations:
Yes, I am a selfie fool.
  • I had only seen selfie sticks from time to time. ... until today.  Heaps of people outside the museum had them.  And it made me wonder--why bother?  I understand that one might want to extend and get a good selfie if one is alone or with people you want in the picture.  But if you are going to tourist destinations, why not just ask another tourist to take the pic.  It will almost certainly better.  So, perhaps selfie stick proliferation is really a sign of increased alienation.  And, yes, I am saying that as someone who takes selfies.  In my travels the past few years, I have asked strangers and been glad to help other strangers when a picture has been desired.  it really is not that hard.  I guess if one is going into the wilderness then a selfie stick might make sense.
  • I was amused to see much of the art in the Hall of Honor at the museum depict kids getting into trouble, adults drinking and such.  In other words, party pics!
  • I enjoyed the reference to twitter in the description of a painting from 1650ish
  • I realized that a heap of the paintings involved naval warfare, reminding me that the Dutch used to be quite the naval power. 
  • I then stumbled into a street market near the art museum.  My restraint was pretty remarkable

No comments: