April 1, 2011
I arrived in Amsterdam courtesy of an 82-year-old lead-footed ex-sailor who’d forgotten his glasses in Belgium. He had me watch for signs (and bumpers) as he floored it north, cursing every Dutch and German driver with maniacal cackling that erupted into chest-heaving spasms I feared would take us both out. The grand finale was when my new friend maneuvered us onto the tracks of an oncoming train - facing our deaths for the hundredth time that day the old sailor swung our little ship over the median just in time, laughing in shock and narrowly missing a flock of cyclists.
As you might imagine I was trembling as I tumbled out of the car to meet Joris (pronounced “gorgeous”), who I’d met through a friend I’d met via the internet who he’d met through a friend through Burning Man… I can’t remember the details, but we’d never met before. And yet Joris invited me to stay in his houseboat for a few days. After a quick tour and instructions on how to operate the gas fireplace he handed me the keys to his palace and went to stay with a friend so that I could enjoy solitude.
People. People are so incredibly kind, so generous, so thoughtful, so freaking funny, if a little unhinged.
Naturally I spent three days in ecstasy. But that's another story for another day. Enjoy the Oscars! Or whatever you're doing this evening. :D
Thank you, Joris. Thank you, dear sailor. Thank you, Amsterdam.