Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 2: Amsterdam Anne Frank House, Van Goh

So when I finally got back to the Anne Frank house I saw the line was even longer now! It sucked but I got in line and toughed it out this time. It was interesting to see the actual house that Anne Frank went into hiding in. The Diary of Anne Frank is something I obviously read as a young child but I didn't remember much of it anymore. Still, the museum was very powerful, a powerful reminder of a racist past. No pictures were allowed inside so I can't show anything. I will say that the rooms were much bigger than I thought they would be, though they certainly were not big in general.

The museum was set up by Anne's father Otto Frank. After the war when he knew his daughters were dead Anne's diary was given to him. Otto said he had always known about the Diary but had promised his daughter he would not read it. He didn't, until after WW2 and he knew she was gone. He was surprised by what his a daughter had written, deeper thoughts than what he knew of Anne as a child. He said, as a parent you never really know your child. He complied a version of the diary to be published. It is now available in over 70 languages. People started visiting the house after the book's publication and eventually it became a museum. The rooms are empty though, Otto wanted them to stay empty so there's a model of what they looked like when Anne live there.

After the Anne Frank house I stopped by the Church right next to it.

Inside of the church.

Then I got some food from a little stand right outside the church. I got the haring again. Why? I don't know, I must be a masochist. This time I oped for the smoked herring. It wasn't as bad, in fact I ate about 75 percent of it. Then it starting tasting raw to me again and I just couldn't finish it. I tossed it again. I also for french fries with mayonnaise, that's how the Dutch like their fries. I said to the man working there “that's how the people here like it right?” He probably also saw the haring I had (I hadn't eaten it yet at this point) and said “you are one of us now”. The people around me chuckled and I walked off to eat. I must have missed the forks because the mayo is all over the fries. I got it all over my fingers and felt like a savage eating them. I saw later that people eat fries with little tiny forks. Oh well, next time.

Little stands right by the Anne Frank House and the Church next to it.
Hot dogs seem really popular in Amsterdam.

A flower shop... tulips were out of season.

You can get herring here.

French Fries here... get it with mayo like the Dutch.

Smoked Herring.... it was still disgusting.

They drench fries with mayo..... it wasn't that bad but I'll never want it on my own.

The weather in Holland sucks right now. Did I mention that? On again off again raining, freaking cold as hell, and then it starting haling! It hailed twice while I was there. Anyway, that was eating my food on a bench enjoying the clear blue skies and bam, hail. Damnit.

Some more random pictures:

Next it was on to the Vincent Van Gogh museum.

I got an audio tour thingy for 5 euros because I am not a fan of art so I'd have no idea what anything means. The audio tour could be a bit melodramatic at times. On one of Van Gogh's famous self portrait: First it said the man looked somber, then right afterwards it went on to say “You would say this is the face of death.” No I really wouldn't. I would say you are too melodramatic and emotional, just stick to somber.

Somber was good.

I pretty much have no appreciation of art because when I looked at some of these paintings I would think to myself: man some of these look like what a child would do with crayons: orchard in bloom, view of arles. I also remember thinking those people in the boat look like stick figures.

Ok so I know next to nothing about art which is probably why I lack true appreciation of these great works. While I lack real appreciation of art it seems part of the reason van gogh is considered great is because of how he used colors, specifically colors that naturally contrasted each other yet still creating amazing works where the contrast is not evident. Also stylistically he basically help found modern art. Really though I don't know much beyond that and I'm going to stop pretending to. I doubt I'll go to other art museums while in Europe. This pretty much did the trick for me. I'm so uncultured.

Some other pictures outside the van goh museum.

Finally I walked through Vondel Park. It was cold but lots of people were there exercising, riding bikes or jogging. I guess that's how the Dutch stay in good shape. It's not just women that were tights as pants in Holland. There were too many men wearing tights, I know it's cold but sweat pants work fine I think. I did see maybe two or three crazy people wearing shorts in the freezing cold, one of them was a girl, the others guys.


Anonymous said...

should keep you in art class longer

Anonymous said...

Love to read you blog all the time

Anonymous said...

Go to a decent restaurant and order a fish paella