Ok, the first bit is actual French because I'm spending Christmas in Paris. The second part is super bad fake Dutch because 1) I don't know real Dutch 2) I couldn't figure out how to put an umlaut over anything for a more realistic fake Dutch, and 3) I don't really know what would make something seem like fake Dutch.
I'm going to Paris for 5 days over Christmas and on to Amsterdam for 5 days over new years. And NO I'm not going to be smoking pot. Do people not have any other impression or information about Amsterdam? Anything about it being a major port since god was a boy? The amazing canal system? The Christmas traditions made quasi-famous by David Sedaris? ANYTHING? NO? Just the pot and the whores?
Both, by the way, getting less popular.
Amsterdam also has things like museums full of famous Dutch paintings (Rembrandt, Vermeer, whatnot), some viking history stuff, some canals...all over the place. It has been a port since god was a boy and of course the Dutch colonized Indonesia and much of that history is apparent in the local culture (e.g. lots of good Indonesian restaurants).
The downside for me is that the local food is dairy based. I'm sure I can muddle through!
In Paris my lovely Aunt Chris and Unca Pat are hosting me at the Le Meridien Montparnasse. The hotel is at the Gare Montparnasse (train station) for easy access and behind the hotel is the Montparnasse Cemetary. This may not sound uber cool to many of you, but it is to me. Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, Jean Seberg, and many other super cool dead people are there. AND most graves seem to have a large chunk of art stuck on them. I'm sure there will be many photos upon my return.
This trip has been possible for a while, but the stupid jury duty was in the way. 2 weeks ago I got cleared of duty and am thusly going to gay Paris and (given the proximity to scandinavia I'm assuming) repressed Amsterdam.
In Amsterdam, Chris and Pat will be staying at the very posh Hotel Pulitzer and I will be renting a tiny tiny attic studio apartment called "Marnix Studio" about a 10 or 15 minute walk from their hotel. You can see a bit of the studio here:
I think the hotel and the apartment will be quite a switch from my usual crap trailer on the rez. And it will all be about 1 month from spending time in the cabin in Montana where we pooped in a hole in the ground (a very nice cement lined hole with a seat and lid and a little hut over it, but the basic technology is still crapping in a hole in the ground)
Then again...toilet technology in Europe is all over the map. Some very swanky and high tech, and some are squat type holes in the ground. So we'll see.
At any rate, it will be an awesome trip.