Here I am in Amsterdam again after twenty years. It is as if I left the city only yesterday. Houses, bridges, canals and smooth greenery seen from the plane…The taxi driver asks me where I am going and records the address on the digital screen in front of him. The road he will follow is now marked on the screen map with thick red lines. I smile and suddenly remember the years that have passed by.

We speedily proceed on the wide asphalt road and enter city roads covered with parquet stones. The tramways have a separate road; however, the taxis have the right to use these ways as well, thus, and we could pass without being caught in the traffic. I live the pleasure of being there on a sunny day. Ships slowly pass along the canals. People on bicycles are going beside us easily as if no cars are around.

We reach home. It is a typical Amsterdam house, with three floors including the roof. We climb the steep stairs grumbling. Soon after I settle in, I throw myself out. There is nothing to eat at home. I buy some fresh bread, some cheese, tomato and fruits and return home. Our house is on Keizers Gracht; I drink tea and try to get rid of my fatigue looking at the ducks swimming on the canal and the boats passing. Latest lights of the sun creep inside through the glass of the ceiling, the sky is reddish and the cotton clouds in clusters appear. The sun sinks with beautiful colours, saying that the weather will nice following day.

We decide to eat out tonight; we have a reservation at 'Supper Club'.

We  had an unusual dinner that night in Amsterdam. We rang the bell and before the door opened, we were gazed at from the eyehole. A baldheaded, strangely dressed man with earrings opened the door. He confirmed our reservation. An elegantly dressed man (!) who accepted himself as a woman showed our seats. In this restaurant there is no table ordering. High sofas surround the sides of the walls. They are covered with snow-white fabric.

There are plenty of big pillows on top. When we sit down cross-legged, we realize that we will eat our dinner on wide copper trays. (Ottoman type) A server dressed in sari hands over the menus. The music playing is marvelous. The waiters and servers dance in various dresses. With their chef starting to dance first, almost all of them danced and served the first course of the meal to everyone at the same time. There are three or four tables scattered at the center of the hall, a bar in front of a wall from one end to another and a giant screen covering the entire wall.

The images on the screen change with the music playing. The dancing waiters and servers made us forget the food, and then the waiters in assorted dresses served the second course of the meal to everybody again at the same time. While we drank wine, watched around and ate the delicious food, the man, who met us at the entrance and whose name we learned was Sunny, began his show. Pillows were thrown to one of the tables at the centre and Sunny, dressed and acting as Snow White, laid down there to be wakened by someone who would kiss him. Meanwhile, the second course of the meal ended.

Some people stood up and kissed Sunny. As part of his role, Sunny awakening in a flirtatious manner, ran out of the hall and came back dressed as Marilyn Monroe and sang the famous ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. Presidenté”… He was a perfect musical artist. Everybody watched him with great admiration. While we had our dessert, he took his place on the scene again singing a new song in a different dress. It was a delightful evening. Excellent fusion food, music, crazy atmosphere, customers, tips; everything was just like a fragment of a film and we were the understudies there.

I prepared an art-based program for myself the following day and went to Van Gough Museum early in the morning. Standing in front of each his painting, I almost observed the painter’s life story. Due to shortage of money, this artist was not able to find a model and could only picture his boots. I wonder if he could see through the clouds now his pictures being exhibited in between glass walls, which he had to draw on both sides of the canvasses once due to lack of money. I admire once again the courage of this Artist who was able to use the colours so freely.              

After the museum, I went to a café and while eating my sandwich, I took the road map to direct me to Rijksmuseum for the next step. I love Amsterdam as I can wonder around the whole city walking. I will not be able to describe this museum with words; therefore, I suggest that you see it digitally at the address of , where you can visually visit an area of more than 150 rooms…. However, I can tell you that I got stunned in front of Rembrandt’s Drawing called ‘The Night Watch’. Colour, light, design it is as if everything is still there… He created the drawing in 1642. It is very impressive with its dimensions of nearly 4 x 5 meters. When I left the museum, it was dark and chilly outside and my poor tired feet reminded me that it was time to go home’…     

‘It is so nice to be awakened with the sun’. When I first heard this in the country located towards the north, I could not comprehend what they were saying…It is very difficult to live in a place where it rains everyday. The gray sky and the streetlights getting on early… My neighbour says:  “You have brought the sun from Turkey with you.” It is incredible but the weather condition is going so well.


I walked along the canals, sat at a cafe with its chairs taken outside and enjoyed the pleasure of the day. This is a boutique city with art galleries; small boutiques; antique shops; houses with curtains and decorated windows.   

Today, I have taken hold of my son’s bicycle. I will go to the park on bicycle. The weather is sunny and mild. (In this city, it is difficult to pronounce the word “warm”) I got out of the house early to go to Vondelpark. This is a huge park in the centre of the city, with lots of trees, beautiful cycling and walking paths.

There are small lakes and ducks; swans and various birds are the most important inhabitants of this heaven like place. I go to a small café and drink tea. Skating people; red-cheeked babies in their prams; young mothers and children enjoy the beautiful day. I get out of the park and wonder along Prinsen Gracht, Keizers Gracht, Heren Gracht and Singel Gracht. (gracht = canal)

There are window shop girls in this city. Amsterdam Red Light District . These kinds of streets are quiet during the day. In one of the few open houses, a well-kept and good-looking woman attracted my attention; she was dressed in sexy underwear and was sitting on a high stool behind the glass. I found myself staring at her in wonder. She was sitting and reading the book in her hand as if she did not see the people looking at her. I saw another beautiful young woman sitting and knitting behind another glass.

She wore a purple satin bikini with high-heeled sexy shoes, lilac colour shawl with ostrich quills wrapped around her neck. Just at that moment a sailor knocked on her glass and the young woman looked at him, opened the door and the man entered, they closed the curtains and the scene was over. I go along the streets of the city on my bicycle. I feel as if I had been in and out of a film fragment.

Sex is practiced here on the streets, with girls exhibiting themselves behind the glass windows of the houses lined up along the canals. There are show houses, theatres and of course, shops selling objects on this subject. Naturally, men constitute the greater part of the crowd. Tourists are taken to these places in canal boats during evening hours and in this way Amsterdam’s worldwide Redlight District are showed to all visitors.  

Anyhow, nightlife is transparent in this city and to close the curtains of the houses is almost a shame. 

It is getting dark and I prepare to go back. I buy a big bouquet of tulips. Amsterdam is one those rare cities where one can find fresh tulips at all seasons. I fill the bright yellow tulip buds with unopened leaves into the vase and they brighten up the room. 

Lights are being turned on inside the windows and the city is getting ready for a new evening.

Tülin Erkaya (





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