Rain, Anne Frank, and old wood


Although somewhat in need of sleep after our very short flight from NYC (only about 6 hours, we had a hell of a tailwind and at one point were close to breaking the speed of sound), and despite the rain, Josh and I went exploring a bit in Amsterdam this morning. Because this is Josh’s first time in Amsterdam (my 20th or so), he naturally wanted to do some of the main touristy things. We started at the oldest building in Amsterdam, the Oude Kirk, that happened to be very close to our hotel. Then Josh wanted to go to one of the must-see sights for any Jew visiting Amsterdam, and honestly, I hadn’t been to the Anne Frank House since my first visit in 1989, so I figured why not. A lot has actually changed since then, they have expanded the museum with a swanky new building right next door to the house, and there were a number of things about the living quarters themselves that I had quite forgotten, such as them never letting light in, and feeling quite claustrophobic. Add to that all the documents and testimonies, and the whole experience was quite moving all over again. After that, we wandered over to the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam, that sits on a beautiful mediaeval courtyard, and had a strange little chat with two women minding the church there. First she spoke to me in French, then English, then seemed surprised that I was American, and stared at me for several long, unblinking minutes after informing her that despite not being a Christian, I was indeed interested in seeing her church.