Saturday, July 18, 2015


Just before Eid I did what I always do every year -- go on vacation. Since Eid is one of the busiest travel periods I always leave a few days before to save money on airfare (and we're talking hundreds of dollars).

When Qatar Airways announced they were starting flights to Amsterdam I was thrilled as I'd always wanted to go there. I decided to wander around the Low Countries for a while so the first stop was a few days in Amsterdam. Beautiful city, very busy but it was always easy to wander around canals away from the crowds and enjoy small local pubs or restaurants. At least I think they were local, it was hard to tell since everyone spoke English, and many workers in shops and restaurants were from English-speaking Countries like the US or Australia. I met some friends of my mother's who live in the area and they told me in the Netherlands it is mandatory to take English in school.

As it is high season I skipped a lot of the tourist stuff due to the crowds (the lineups for Anne Frank House had to have been at least 200m long, it was crazy!) but I did get up early to beat the crowds to the Rijkmuseum to see the Rembrandts and Vermeers. Amazing stuff, and since they were sharing galleries with contemporaries you could really see the difference in quality. Vermeer's portraits really have life to them, whereas other artists painting pale-skinned ladies make them look sickly.

Well, it's hard to post from my phone so I'll post some pictures once I return.

Eid Mubarak everyone.

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