Thursday, September 27, 2007

Aanrijding in Amsterdam

After a teary weary weather yesterday, today the sun shone – hallelujah! Looking at the bright blue skies, an indication of a dry beautiful day is in order. So I thought I will take advantage of this exceptional sunny occasion. Get out during lunch and take the tram to the city center. It’s been 18 days already since I bought the nice belt at Mexx in Schiphol Airport. I picked the wrong size - M, which was too big for me, thus I need to exchange it with the S size.

Mexx has a branch in Kalverstraat, the longest and busiest shopping street in Amsterdam Center. Returns and exchanges are valid only within 21 days after date of purchase. I therefore must act fast, and so I went.

It has been quite some time since I rode a tram. Amsterdam’s trams are nice and comfortable. They have a uniformed design and color: sleek, blue and white. They also yield distinct sounds when they stop, and when the doors open and close for passengers. It also speaks which is cool.

We passed through Museumplein where Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum are located and I remembered briefly my meeting with a headhunter in this area a year and a half ago in a café in PC Hooftstraat. Then there’s the lively Leidseplein, one of the busiest little squares in the city center.

The tram, now full, slowly lumbered forward in the narrow streets flanked by old crooked buildings now serving as shops, cafes, and food joints, and through the famous canals of Amsterdam – Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht... people got out and a new set of people piled in. I kind of miss this. My routine now is driving to work – traffic in the A2 – driving back home – traffic again in the A2.

Fotos of the collision. Look at the sticker on the vehicle that collided with the tram -- a naschool opvang? Means a creche or child care services. There are children inside!

Anyway, the tram stood still for a minute. I forgot which stop it was, but I think we were between Keizersgracht and Herengracht. We then heard an announcement in Dutch saying there is an aanrijding [collision] before us. We were told to get out and retrace our steps back to Leidseplein where we could take another tram to Central Station. The Dutch announcement was quickly followed by an English version.When I finally got out of the tram I was surprised to find out that it was actually our tram that was involved in the collision! Huh – why we never felt or heard anything?

I remembered that I have my camera with me (I thought of shooting pictures of the swans nearby my work, but never got to do it, ha-ha) and took some pictures.

There were also so many people on the streets. Most of them were tourists, local ones and international. I thought – These people are very lucky. They came right in time when the sun is up, lol. If only they knew Amsterdam is gloomy, rainy, and windy 80% all year round.

At any rate, have a look at the fotos above. The vehicle in question that collided with our tram was in fact a crèche bus service! *Horrified look* There were kids inside! Quite scary really... but the good thing is, it was only a slight collision otherwise the children would have been in dire danger.

I wonder though if the driver of the crèche (child care) bus service will get a warning from the company or from the police for irresponsible driving with children onboard. Yes or No?

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