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|From: "Bron Gondwana" <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 22:01:38 +1000 (EST)
Went to look at 'Anne Frank House' - but the queue looked too big, and the price too much. Kate went off to send some packages to Australia (wedding gift for Karl and Louisa) and Austria (a toy koala and some very well travelled postcards!). Hopefully they didn't muddle the two countries! Meanwhile, I climbed the tower of the church nearby. Heard the carillon play in the tower - they have an instrument with 50 bells attached to a keyboard. The instruments are all made in Amsterdam and shipped to other parts of the world - there are only about 70 people who know how to play them! The view was very cool, though we were only allowed to the 6th floor of 10. Went to the Rijksmuseum after lunch, and saw lots of cool history and paintings. I saw the first European artifact in Australia - a plate that was nailed to a tree in Western Australia by a passing dutch ship, well before Cook first sailed along the east coast. The dutch didn't find water or supplies, so they gave the place up as a desert and went back to the east-indies instead. Saw pictures by Van Gogh and Rembrandt ('Night Watch' is huge! - and it's been cut down from the original as well), but then it was 4:45, and the guards refused us entry to the doll-house that Kate really wanted to see. We pointed out that the brochure said they closed at 5, but they kept blocking us until it was 5. We tried to complain, but the head guard said that only security was left in the building, and no they couldn't refund our tickets or let us in. They said 'write a letter' - as if that will help when we're out of the country. They also said that they have to clean the place at 5 to 5 - basically closing time means when they want to go home, not the time that you can see things until. We weren't too impressed with their attitude. Met up with other computer people from the newsgroups for dinner and drinks at a pub - the food was good, and the conversation was great - lots of very cool people there - never mind that none of them are actually locals! It appears that Dutch IT infrastructure is run by imported people... We kept chatting until nearly 10pm, when Bruce dragged us off to see a free comedy show. There are a bunch of people who decided to set up a comedy act in English, and do 3 paid shows a week and one free 'teaser' in which they test out new ideas. It was fantastic, very clever acting and script writing.
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