Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-08-25

Stayed the night in Amsterdam

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 21:59:36 +1000 (EST)
Met Bruce and Michele (his girlfriend, also a chorister) for breakfast
at a pancake parlour. Huge and very yummy pancakes!

Saw a park full of lizards, all cast metal statues, and all different.
There were probably 50 of them wandering around the grass and the walls
of the tiny park. They looked quite real from a distance.

Next stop was a large open-air concert field, full of stages and
(unfortunately) a lot of mud due to the rains. The Dutch are good at
large scale water management, but are not so good at small scale! We got
bored after a bit and went to find the torture museum.

The torture museum was very dark, though it had Bach Sonata in C for
Flute playing in the foyer, rather different to the atmosphere inside.
There were examples of racks, torture chairs, stocks and various other
lovely devices - and each one had a small story detailing the ways in
which it used to be used (in 4 languages including English, though they
were in a different order on each one - a bit confusing at times,
especially since it was hard to read them in the dark!)

Had bagels for lunch, as well as 'Australian Icecream' - which has
nothing to do with Australia other than the brand name and a stylised
Aboriginal design. It's certainly not made in Australia or owned by
Australians. We were thinking of doing a river cruise, but didn't quite
make it in time.

Instead we went to a sex museum. It had a history of pornography through
the ages, starting from ancient sculptures (fertility symbols, etc)
through to modern video and photographs. One display had two giant penis
chairs where you could sit on the balls, or alternatively on the
ordainary chairs in between. What they didn't tell you was that the
middle chair was pressure sensitive, and as soon as you relaxed and
leant back, it would start vibrating quite strongly and loudly! The
display was pornographic videos of each decade - showing the different
styles - well, foreplay or lack of it really, that were popular. Once it
got to the sex part it tended to be the same (sometimes with more
clothes left on though!) We had a movie to get to, so we had to leave
without seeing everything - finished with a display of various fetishes,
as well as some photos of rather impressively over-endowed people (male
and female) - looked rather painful carrying all that around...

We saw 'Sum of All Fears' - subtitled in Dutch. It's a Tom Clancy film
about the fairly typical cold-war military situtation and a Neo-Nazi
manipulating both sides with a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, the bits
in Russian and other languages (there was even some Egyptian at one
point) were only subtitled in Dutch. Grr. Paul had already gone home at
that point (he was on call, so couldn't be unavailable for the length of
a movie), and we left Bruce and his workmates and went home too.

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