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Taking things for granted

September 13, 2012

My second day in the Netherlands and on to familiar territory with Amsterdam.  I've been coming here for years on business both before and after IBM.  Its a familiar city, I know the tram system backwards and have my OV-chipkaart.  That is a truly wonderful card that works on all public transport throughout the Netherlands.  It's only downside is the Calvinist distrust of credit and foreigners.  The only way I can recharge it is with cash at a major station (and for unmanned ones that means coins!).  Credit cards are only accepted at Amsterdam Centraal and Schiphol etc. etc.  But that is part and parcel of getting to know a place.

Now today was a day of meetings, two of which I expected to be difficult but which worked out OK.   In one case I think we had taken a partner's client a little too much for granted.  But focused effort for some weeks and we are back on track.  It's like that, the familiar is too easily neglected the novel gains attention.   I was thinking that as I walked the streets of Amsterdam.  I had time between meetings, and it was sunny but not too hot.  I was not rushing so I started to look, to explore.  I found the flower market and saw black tulip bulbs for sale (anyone else remember that wonderful BBC series on the race to create a black tulip?).  I went up and down canals and only had the iPhone camera app (I user camera! and DMD as needed not the native app) to take pictures.   I resolved that on the next trip I am going to make a day or two free for simply messing about as a tourist.  Maybe this Autumn, and take in some of those museums.

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