Why do I love Amsterdam?
Maybe it's because the Dutch enjoy life the most and feel the least guilty about its pleasures. Unlike the Germans only a few hours away, who take the least pleasure in life yet feel the guiltiest about it. And unlike the awful French, who speak English and just won't, Amsterdammers all happily speak English. In fact most Dutch speak three or four languages, so no matter where you're from, you'll find someone you can talk to.
I'd been in Amsterdam for two months and had decided I'd never leave. I'd fallen in love with the delicious ganga, and the even rows of sharply dressed houses pressed up tightly against each other. I also loved the glittering canals and the cheery houseboats bobbing on the water at night, lit from within like fireflies in a jar. I'd fallen in love with a society that allowed for freedom of choice and welcomed everyone no matter their race or circumstance. I even loved the packs of seagulls screeching over the canals and playing tag on the sparkling water. I'd also fallen in love with the strange beauty of the Dutch people. Actually, I'd fallen in love with one Dutch in particular.
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