Posted by: Corri van de Stege | August 28, 2007

Rotterdam – again

Flying visit to Rotterdam, Bank Holiday weekend, but not

holidaying, oh no!  Hard work this was, helping son move into

a new flat, first time proud owner (well, mortgage owner I should say)

 three flights up the stairs

and no lift, legs aching, shopping, my credit card doing overtime, after all why are parents

asked to come and help?

No time for blogging, thinking or reading or writing.

Rotterdam – great town to spend some time and

after a long hard day to sit at one of the harbour

restaurants have a glass of wine and enjoy good food,

especially the fish, or simply dive into one of the very

many small local restaurants, Italian, Greek, etc.

The Dutch noisy and friendly, but Rotterdam is also a very cosmopolitan

town, so many different ethnic groups, so many different

languages all around, people switching from one to another, with

the native Rotterdammers in their heavy vernacular, friendly and

open, always expecting that you will not mind having a little chat when

they think you are one of them  – I am not, my Dutch stems from quite a

different part of The Netherlands, but I welcome the chats.

During the flight and train journeys and a bit of time snatched here and there

I managed to read Sarah Waters ‘The Night Watch’, but did not enjoy it as much

as her other two, Affinity and Fingersmith.  Was I too tired, not in the mood?  I

simply got a bit bored with it, too much detail on relationships, the story just

did not grab me at all….  Oh well, I’m not going to spend too much time considering it

either, will get back into my armchair traveller list I think.

Back to work now!

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Responses

  1. I agree Rotterdam has a developing air of intrigue and cosmopolitan uplift which Amsterdam ceased a long time ago. Try Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Water’s first novel. Lots of descriptive style and the excellent handling of relationships may be more palatable if you liked Affinity.

  2. Yes, Rotterdam is great. Will try Tipping the Velvet some time – am on to John le Carre at the moment: quite a different author!

  3. I remember Rotterdam’s port above all because that’s where my travels to Holland took me in my shipping career. Amsterdam was a different thing because I went over there to visit from Rotterdam.

    Ports cannot be likened to inland towns. There is diversity of influences arriving at ports in the form of seamen, passengers, etc, which make the port towns different to the rest of a country.

  4. Jose – yes, absolutely, that’s why Rotterdam has got such a wonderful cosmopolitan feel. In addition of course, large parts of the town were newly built after the war and therefore it has quite a mixture of old and new buildings, giving it a modern feel that’s often lacking in old (and seedy?) ports…


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