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Why did I go to Amsterdam in the middle of the winter? by Sherri Rosen

A week before Christmas I was invited by a friend in Amsterdam to come visit him. Just weeks before I had been looking for a warm climate
to go to, but nothing really hit me or excited me. Then, this email came in from my friend inviting me to Amsterdam. “In the middle of winter” I ask myself.
My thinking beforehand is with this horrible winter we’ve had in NYC, I was supposed to go to a warm climate. Not true. Sometimes I do things and
I am not sure why I do them, but I decided on the spur of the moment to go visit my friend. Both he and I were shocked that I decided to spontaneously
visit in the middle of winter.

I also want to share that this friend and I had never met. We became friends over the internet l0 years ago, so that was another reason that I surprised myself to go.
He also has been facing a great deal of health challenges with a kidney disease where he has to go to dialysis 3 times a week. Before I came he asked
if I wanted to accompany him to one of his appointments, because he had to make arrangements for the taxi that picks him up for his dialysis to make room for me.
Again, I surprised myself when I decided to accompany him to his appointment and this was my first day in Amsterdam.

Both my friend and I have been facing health challenges. Me with knees that aren’t so great and it’s hard for me to walk long periods of time, so here
out of all the cities I go to was a city with cobblestones and lots of stairs, and I mean lots of stairs. But I arranged everything to take care of myself
as best as I could also making sure the hotel I was staying in had an elevator, but didn’t know that there were 4 stairs to get up to the hotel. Oh well.
My friend also lives 3 flights up in his apartment building. I told him I would go up once to see what it was like and that was it and I did it.

The adventure continued when we were in the taxi going to his dialysis and the taxi driver stopped at a light and just when the light changed for her to go, a
bicyclist was in her lane (which is not a good thing) and boom accidentally knocked the bicyclist down. Slight delay, but the bicyclist was okay and the driver
had to take down all pertinent information for insurance purposes.

As it turned out my friend and I were very kind to one another and each other’s support system. He showing me all around Amsterdam. Traveling in the subway system and on the trolleys. Everything so clean and easy to manage. Very different from subway system in NYC. He was my support system in helping me walk and navigate on all of those cobblestone streets, keeping me out of harms way on the bicycle paths. And bicycles are the mode of travel in Amsterdam-rain, sleet or snow.

The weather in Amsterdam was better than in New York. We went to many different restaurants. Amsterdam is a very diverse city. Saw the flower district,
the red light district, and marijuana is easily accessible. They don’t make a big deal out of the red light district or marijuana and therefore it’s just part of life in Amsterdam.
Nothing is hidden. It’s right out there, which is something I respect. No hypocrisy.

I visited the Jewish Museum which is located in a very old synagogue and that was very touching to me. As I get older it has become more and more important to me
to understand the history of my people. I truly understand the reason why I appreciate diversity is because growing up i was the victim of anti-semitism and 6 million of my
people were killed by Hitler.

My visit to Amsterdam was actually 5 days and 2 days were for traveling. Being home after a week, I realized the trip was very healing for both my friend and myself.
Both of us dealing with challenges, but not allowing it to stop us from living. Knowing the trip would be challenging for me, but feeling if I don’t go now, when would I go.
I would deal with whatever challenge came my way and I did. It made me appreciate who I am, how kind I am, what a wonderful life I have and how grateful I am to be
alive. And my friend in Holland and myself will continue to have this lifelong friendship.
The author of this blog

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 9:57 am and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Why did I go to Amsterdam in the middle of the winter? by Sherri Rosen”

  1. Henk van den Berg Says:

    They were a fantastic few days. I was so happy to see you and be your company those few days.
    “May the paths you walk always be enlightened”
    The lord Ganesh helps us getting accross the hurdles in life. Also the cobblestones of Amsterdam.

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