2. Driver's licenses are a big thing here. An advisory says one of the things you should check to see if a cab driver is legit is his license displayed in a prominent part of the cab. Last night, after a one-of-a-kind dinner at a fancy theater-restaurant that had a virtual vaudeville show of acrobats, contortionists, jugglers and singers entertaining us in between courses (got pictures of the spectacular gymnasts!), we boarded our bus and it began moving while some others were still outside. This excitable Singaporean lady began yelling, "Stop, stop! You can't leave the others!" The driver bellowed back, "I can't stop!" That agitated the woman even more. Turned out the driver only needed to park at a safer corner. After everyone had boarded, he faced the woman and, in deliciously accented English, growled: "Let me be the driver here. I've got my license!"
3. I miss hot meals. Our hosts are feeding us well, but the choices are usually cold cuts, sandwiches and cold salads. A Malaysian journalist I met is practically starving, refusing to eat anything that he thinks isn't halal (prepared properly the Muslim way). He says he has Nissin's Ramen in his hotel room. Why didn't I think of that?
4. Our hotel is very near a street junction with a sign pointing to Utrecht. Jose Ma. Sison lives there. It'd be a blast to meet him, but I've no time nor the proper introductions to go there. Let me say this though: He must be living quite comfortably to go by how Amsterdam generally looks. It's a scenic, clearly prosperous city. Mr. Sison has chosen well for his place of exile. So on the one hand we have leftist firebrands sojourning in Europe, and on the other we have rebel soldiers hatching coup plots in five-star hotel suites. We're a poor country overflowing with bon vivants.
5. The Fall/Winter look is glamorous, and it's fun wearing scarves, bonnets and jackets. But it's also a tedious thing. I itch all over from the cold (our tropical body lotion seems no match against the icy winds here) and by the end of the day I'd like nothing better than to be out of my three layers of clothing and thermal underwear.
6. I've not seen a tulip. Or a windmill. Or anyone wearing clogs.
7. Goodlooking guys are everywhere! Aw-right, I can live here.