Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Amsterdam is an interesting destination to meet people because it attracts people from all around the world who want to let loose and do pretty much nothing. Yesterday after I actually did have a busy day seeing the Van Gough Museum and the Anne Frank house, I came back to the hostel and accumulated a diverse group of new friends. What began with a game of pool with a cook from Argentina turned into a group of about 10 people wandering the red light to a little cafe, the Green House. I was with people from Bulgaria, Austria, England, Brazil, Argentina, and Switzerland. It was the first time being completely away from anyone from the US and noone from the country I am actually in. It was a good time, pretty mindless, but enjoyable. What is most interesting to me was how exposing my ''American'' attributes are. The stereotypes are true in many ways and I couldn't help for certain qualities to come out. I also found it humbling that we all met in English to speak, my only language, but only one of several that the others spoke. In the US it's just not a priority. This was the first real opportunity I had to spend an extended period of time speaking with people from many different cultures simaltaneously and I suspect it will certainly not be the last. Very interesting and quite the learning experience.