Last weekend I was granted a few hours’ leave for some me-time. My first stop in town was for a much-needed hair appointment at McTavish. The new salon on Eerste Jan Steenstraat looks great and I’m loving the styling (place and hair!). After a nice chat and fab haircut with Kirsty, I was lured to the Albert Cuyp Markt (bisto kid-stylee) by the smell of gluhwein and waffles and the sight of these kinds of fabrics:
After having a word with myself (however much I fantasize about being a 50s housewife, I cannot be bothered to learn how to use the sodding sewing machine), I strolled down to Inkt & Olie on Ferdinandbolstraat and spent some time browsing through books and vintage-style postcards. They have a children’s book section with a little play area in the café and I’ve filed that golden nugget of info away in the Next Time I’m Out With Lola file. The one that pops up from somewhere in the back of my head whenever I go anywhere without her.
In the supermarket on the way home, I bumped into my imaginary friend Ryan and he invited me round his place so I could catch up with his wife and cute baby daughter.
In a busy place like Amsterdam, it’s not often that people have time for the giving and receiving of spontaneous house visits. Appointments are made and agendas are looked at, and occasionally referred to with a frown when you arrive slightly too late for your casual coffee-and-a-chat appointment.
Organized fun has become a way of life for me too since moving here, and more so since Lola joined us, as I imagine is the case for most working parents. Precious spare time is booked up in advance, but last-minute cancellations due to knackeredness are becoming more routine. Before I know it, weeks have gone by without so much as a “Hiya! Y’alriiiight?”
So it is these random encounters, on wintery afternoons, that remind me once again that this place is even smaller than it seems and filled with pretty cool people, when I make the time to stop and look out for them.
The three of us (actually 3.5 including the baby, Miss Kat) spent the remainder of the afternoon chatting over a beer (except Miss Kat, who was on the milk wagon) and listening to the radio and I left their apartment to get the metro back to the Zuidoost with slightly less hair on my head, overstuffed shopping bags and a spring in my step.