Amsterdam at Night

Amsterdam: Day Three, Part Two (A Drink at a Bar)


“Find a man who thinks your silence is beautiful.”

The old Dutchman at the bar said that to me. I wasn’t talking much and to be truthful it was because I could hardly understand what he was saying and to be more truthful it was because in general I just don’t talk much.

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about these last few days. Whenever I talk I have to clear my throat and start again because each sentence has come after a long period of silence. The Canadian, Paul, that I met at my hostel, kept saying today that I don’t say much. And it’s true. It’s hard to meet new people when you don’t know what to say. In real life there have always been people I either click with or don’t. If there is no instant connection I find it hard to try to create it.

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I want to be someone people want to know. I’m watching a girl at the hostel bar in a short dress dancing for the guys. It’s an easy way for attention but I just don’t want to be one of those girls. I suppose, you can say, I want someone to love me for my silence. Someone will.

I think sometimes that I am looking at this all wrong. Whether I meet anyone or not. Whether I see all the sites or not. Whether I smoke a joint or not. I will have learned something and grown and fallen in love with a city and done something I have never done before.

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Part of me wants to go home and part of me wants to never leave and part of me wants to pick up all my friends and move them here.

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He told me that my silence is beautiful. Why he said that I’m not so sure. Why I am taking to heart so much something a strange Dutchman said to me in a cafe is beyond me. And why this man who I could hardly understand could understand me so well is frightening. He gave me a postcard before I left. It has his picture on the back and a painting on the front. He is an artist who maybe I am supposed to know. He told me my silence is beautiful. He told me to find a man who thinks my silence is beautiful. He told me to find a man who loves me for my silence.

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Sid
    May 22, 2008at2:50 pm

    what’s all this (portions deleted) crap? boo censorship

  • val
    May 22, 2008at2:58 pm

    honestly, it wasn’t that interesting. mostly just me ranting about boy problems.

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