Travels without Dad: Amsterdam, Part II

March 24, 1991

Finally managed to make it to the Van Gogh Museum, which was wonderful, despite the long line to get in. It was strange to see paintings by others hung together with the Van Goghs. The Van Goghs were stunning – I was so glad I went.

I was quite proud that I managed to find my way back to A’s house by myself, and without looking at the map even once!

At about 6:30, A suggested we check the arrivals and departures at the airport to see if my flight was on time. It was; I wasn’t. I was convinced for some reason that my flight was at 8:45, but it was at 7:45. Panic!

We went to Central Station and caught the 6:55 train for Schiphol. [The airport is actually below sea level, and A told me that the name comes from the fact that the airport is located approximately where a ship’s hold – Schiphol – would have been.] Thank God for Dutch efficiency – imagine being in that situation in Italy!

I did make my plane. I went through the Nothing to Declare at Gatwick and was stopped. This guy looked through everything. He looked inside each bloom of my plastic light-up tulips, shredded a tampon, peered inside my box of face powder, noticed that my coat lining had been opened and re-sewn (by Margaret, mending a tear before I left), asked where I stayed, how I met A, and examined my ticket.

It was a really embarrassing experience. I actually felt guilty. Dad & Margaret think it was because I was coming alone from the drug capital of Europe after just a weekend with only one bag, but I began to take it personally. The guy was so rude! At the end, he didn’t even apologize -just walked off and left me to put the mess back in my bag.