Riding my bike to work today I was thinking about how early in the morning is by far my favorite time of the day in Amsterdam. By the way, I am by no means a morning person; in fact, I’ve been told on numerous occasions that in the morning I resemble a 200-year-old creaking medusa awaking from a decade long hibernation. I’m the type of person that presses snooze a
minimum of five times each morning and will not respond to any form of communication until I have had at least 30 minutes to feel sorry for myself for having to rise at whatever ungodly hour it is. On days that I have to get up earlier than my boyfriend I catch myself staring at him all snuggled up in bed, cozying up on my pillow sound asleep and having to repress the urge to smother him right then and there.
But, the thing is, early in the morning is the time where you are most able to appreciate the beauty of the city. There are no loud, obnoxious tourists standing in the middle bike path snapping pictures of everything in sight wondering where that strange bell sound is coming from until they turn their tourist heads and notice an army of bikers heading toward them at warp speed and finally decide to clumsily stumble out-of-the-way just in the nick of time, the prostitutes have closed their windows and are sound
asleep until nightfall and there are no drunk pre-teens making a ruckus the way only fellow teeny boppers know how.
Amsterdam is at peace. There really is nothing like watching the sun rise between the buildings on a canal and the smell of fresh croissants baking in the tiny cafes. Early in the morning is the only time where I feel like I actually see the city.
This morning, as I was reflecting on the allure of the quiet city streets, out of nowhere a tram comes speeding around the corner heading right toward me. My life flashed before my eyes. Moments before what would have been a potentially painful and rather messy death, I slammed on my faulty breaks, swerved out-of-the-way and skidded to a stop about 4 inches from fatality. My heart was pounding so fast and I was so disoriented I actually had to look down to make sure I still had all my limbs. The tram driver gave me the finger, the passengers looked at me with disdain and some trash men started whistling.
I love Amsterdam.