21 July 2008

Open Library, Open Book, Open Windows

The Amsterdam Central Open Baar Bibliotek is a triumph.

Located a few blocks from Amsterdam Central Station, it is either very thoughtfully located, or very fortutously placed.

It is my guess that it is not an accident. The Dutch are excellent city planners, and they do love their books.

If you ride or boat through the city at night you will see in the windows of the houses along the grachts and canals, almost always a living room with a large book case.

In fact, it seems very standard in a Dutch living room that there is a large 'eet tafel' (dining table), a book case, and some kind of amazing clock, and maybe one very nicely framed painting.

Typical Dutch houses have the curtains drawn open even at night time.

Apparently it is a Dutch tradition, that offers standard
social proof that the family has 'nothing to hide'.

The love affair with books can't just be for show, I don't
know, maybe...

The Dutch are among the most educated populations on the planet but even they have mind wiping Television.

We have no television in our house though, which means I
at least have to go to the pub to see Oranje loose to the
Russians in the football Eurocup. My friend Dishwasher Pete has given me a new team to look after though. I am supposed to be doing some homework on becoming a 'Tim' which is the nickname given to the fans of the Scotish Premiere football league champions, Celtic.

Anyway, It has been really good not to have television again, although
now we just sit in a long line at our 'eet tafel' plinking away
on our laptops (my Dell did happen to die yesterday though).
Addison is about to get his first laptop, when he gets to 100 stars. It will be running Linux 'naturlik'. Please email if you have any extra laptops lying around. :-)

Anyway...without the television we have been doing more learning of De Nederlands met de Rosetta Stone language software. Useful that.

We have also had more time, particularly Addison and I, to get completely lost in the role playing video game FATE.

We have read the first few Harry Potter books and a History of Quidditch. Basically right now it is all about magic and adventure.

Addison's bed time stories now are always about a tribe of little tiny Indians that were once part of the greater Choctaw tribe.

After being badly beaten in a battle with Viking settlers the Indians were shrank with a spell from their famous shamen SosiPosi in order to escape with their lives.

They have stayed tiny ever since. It takes a crew of 14 Little
Indians to fish one salmon from the river.

Anyway, the library has thousands of Dutch kid books, which are
another good way for Malia and I to try and figure out the
language. Here are a few more pictures of the amazing library and another Australian garage rock anthem

Oh, and why not, here's a Hawkwind jam too.

1 comment:

Gayle Grace said...

I must be part Dutch, I love open windows day or night! And books... especially the HP series. Check out JKRowlings website at www.JKRowling.com