We had the whole day to kill because our flight leaves at 9pm with an 11 hour layover in Amsterdam. I guess we weren’t really paying attention to the whole am/pm thing when booking tickets. We had to check out and leave our bags in luggage starage at the hotel, but then headed out to a starbucks to start the day. It was just like our first day where we were on the internet at starbucks looking for stuff to do, except now we had energy. It’s nice how things come full circle. We didn’t have enough time for Stonehenge, which was a bummer, but we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is huge and ornate, and has one of the biggest domes I’ve ever seen, but it’s 15 lbs. to enter, so we saw what we could from the door and called it good. Walking around you see these red post boxes for the royal mail service. There’s two slots for mail that’s either “stamped” or “franked,” as in having either been stamped, or having received the services of a man named Frank.
There’s also a shoe place that measures your foot and makes awesome shoes that custom fit to your feet. We tracked it down and looked at it. It was shoes, and we left. We got gelato and chilled in Green Park on the grass. There’s a guy going around collecting payment of 1 pound an hour to use the lawn chairs, so screw that; grass is fine. We talked about how sports are a necessary part of civilization in that you need something to reach for, or at least something to distract us from wanting to kill each other. You need goals. Not everyone will have an impact of the world, and that’s a tough thought to deal with, so sports are a way to take our minds off life, and distress. That’s why people say “It’s just a game” when someone starts to take sports too seriously and gets really stressed out, because sports really don’t matter—the concept of sports matters—but the individual events themselves really don’t. We need sports and hobbies to give our minds time ti unwind, otherwise if all we did was work 24/7, we’d go crazy. Churchill always made time to play cards or relax at night to keep a sound mind; it was written into his schedule. The same thing applies to our civilization. We need sports so that we don’t go crazy as a whole. We need weekends, dinner and a movie, or any random activity that distracts us from work. Also, since we as people don’t want to be bored, and instead strive for perfection, we use sports as an avenue for discovery of the limits of the human body. We are running faster, swimming farther, jumping higher every year. We are breaking world records like it’s something that’s supposed to happen. We learn about how to eat right, exercise more efficiently, and put mind over matter. In sports anything is possible. A long jumper can jump 28 feet because he thinks he can jump 40. This applies to anything. We think we can live on Mars, so we put a man on the moon to test it out, and we gained so much progress as a civilization. So many modern things we use today are made because of competition and the desire to stretch the limits. A Nintendo 64 has enough brain power to run the Apollo 11 mission. Think about that… I’m getting a little side tracked, and this is turning into an editorial titled “Sports and Space,” and now my butt’s wet. I should’ve gotten a lawn chair.
Basically we lugged our luggage to the airport and got on a plane for a 45 minutes flight to Amsterdam, in the opposite direction of home. I just sat there for the whole flight because there wasn’t much time anyways. It was KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. When they switched back and forth from Dutch to English a few words sounded funny, and some phrasings/rules seemed a bit off. “Thank you for your corporation.” I forgot the others, but there was one rule in the safety video where if there is to be an evacuation you aren’t allowed to take any of your belongings with you… because of course amoungst all the chaos and frantic disorder, the flight attendants will stop what they’re doing and go out of their way to make sure you drop your bags. At the Amsterdam airport it was 11:00pm, and a ghost town. We thought we’d have no place to eat, so we thought about sleep. We’d heard there are “sleeping pods” so we looked for—oh, there they are. It was called “Yotel,” and they had little tiny rooms that resembled something you might find aboard the Star Trek Ship. The beds start upright, like a couch, and then slide out and flatten out. We’re in the Netherlands, so the beds are bigger, which is nice. The rooms had buttons on the side of the bed which would control the lights to different settings. If you pressed the sun it got light. If you pressed the computer it would get dim. If you pressed the book it gave you a reading light. If you pressed zzz it turned them all off. And if you pressed the heart a low fuchsia lighting would throb and sultry music would play. Well, that last part wasn’t true, but there was a soft trim of fuchsia lighting; however that doesn’t detract from it certainly being pictionary’s finest hour. Although there was some soft repetitive thumping from one room over. It’s one of those instances you’re not quite sure what you’re hearing, but you don’t know if anyone else hears it, so you don’t say anything, but then they’re hearing the same thing and don’t say anything because they don’t want to be the one that hears it first, and neither do you, so you both just ignore it even though you know perfectly what it is. They must have purchased the 4 hour stay option. Anyways, one of the walls was one giant mirror in order to make the 10×10 room seem bigger. I’ve seen this trick before, and it works every time; the only drawback with this one is that in front of the mirror wall is a large panel of glass, and between that is the sink, the toilet, and the shower; and there’s two of us. There haven’t been many awkward situation on this trip, just a few big ones, so let’s just skip through the night and get to tomorrow.