But how will we ever get to the bioscoop?

Over the last three weeks, Amsterdam has wooed me all over again. I thought the city had released its hold on me, but being here has sort of been like seeing an old beau long after you’ve parted ways—you don’t realize how strong your feelings still are until you’re face to face. Turns out, it wasn’t such a clean break-up after all.

I have to remember that I’m on holiday, that I moved away from this city for a reason and a one-month visit is pretty damn great (especially during summer and, oh yeah, the World Cup). I ought to be content with that. But that’s the trouble with good things; we never want them to end.

Yesterday I took Alex, the 4 ½-year-old of the family I lived with, to see Toy Story 3. We made a day of it and took the train to the theater. Doesn’t that sound quaint? It was really just because the theaters in the city center weren’t showing the movie in English at a time that worked for us, and it was actually the metro, not the train. But it was a bit of a journey because the metro station nearest our house was closed, so we had to take a bus to another station (two buses, actually, because I got off the first one too soon), then the metro. Alex loved it, as he doesn't have the opportunity to ride in a bus or train very often, and he kept saying, "But how will we ever get to the bioscoop? (bee - oh - scope)." He's got a flair for the dramatic.

And now for your viewing pleasure, a photographic chronicle of our journey:

After breakfast, dress up like a knight. Or in Dutch, a ridder.

Then, no longer in knight uniform, ride the bus. Make sure to repeatedly touch the hardened smear of old gum on the bar in front of you.

Take a ride on the metro. Ask Shannon at least 3 times at each stop why the train stopped.

Fake smile in a picture with Shannon, and get stared at by people who think she's an idiot for taking pictures on the metro. All together now, "You've got a friend in me, you've got a friend in me... " Anyone? No?

Obtain movie ticket, apple juice and special Toy Story bucket full of popcorn that you won't eat. Wait on the light-up steps to go into the theater.

3D glasses WHAAAT!?
Anyway, this is relevant because the movie really got me thinking about the idea of moving on. I won't say how, but it very poignantly deals with the inevitability of good things coming to an end (so poignantly, in fact, that I cried. Wept, if we're being honest).

This, of course, is something we must all deal with. Things that become a part of our past instead of our present but leave their mark on us nonetheless--a mark which, fade as it may, remains a part of our identity no matter what we move on to. The hardest thing, though, is often not the inevitable change, but the change we choose, the change we impose upon our own world and with it usher in a flood of self-doubt. 

And what, harder still, if we have to choose between one good thing and another? Which to give up? Which to put off until later knowing you may very well never come back to it? Which are you clinging to for the wrong reasons, and which will give your life new meaning and promise?

Reaching the answers to these kinds of questions can be a lifelong journey, so in true Alex fashion, I ask, "But how will we ever get there?"

Here's wishing all of you a clear choice, a positive change, and a happy ending.


  1. my favorite post yet.

  2. Love the photos...especially the 3D glasses! Such a cool kid!

  3. "The hardest thing, though, is often not the inevitable change, but the change we choose, the change we impose upon our own world and with it usher in a flood of self-doubt."

    I could not have said it better. Choosing change is a blessing and a curse of adulthood.

  4. Oh... and I love the fly down in the photo. Adds that 4.5 yo charm.