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goobster  ·  200 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trip Report: Amsterdam

Ahhh... The Netherlands... Holland... Amsterdam... Schiphol Airport...

Such good memories. Such nice people.

When I lived in Budapest, it was often cheaper to schedule a stopover in Amsterdam and buy electronics at the airport, than it was to get electronics in Budapest. I still have the MiniDisc player I bought there...

I was also at Schiphol on 9/11. Rode the train to the airport, from my friend's house, and was overwhelmed with the love and gentle empathy the Dutch gave me. Hugs. Tears. Vows of solidarity with America.

Airplanes were only allowed to return to their home base, and if you didn't live there, you couldn't get on the plane. I saw a middle eastern man with a family of 7 people gathered around him, all looking to him for authority/guidance. They were trapped. They had flown British Airways from their home in the middle east to Amsterdam, but their plane was going to England; not the middle east. So they were trapped. I have never seen a man more lost and hopeless, as his family looked to him, and he had no answers. Just fear.

The Dutch, and Amsterdam specifically, are welcoming and warm to all foreigners. But when you just want to go home, and you can't, any place can be a prison, no matter how nice.