It has been a week since Count and I have returned back to Sydney from our glorious four weeks overseas trip. Sigh.
Although I was looking forward to meticulously going over the thousands of photos that we took to select from which photos I should sketch and / or paint to share them with you; I have caught an annoying and exhausting coughing fit since Paris.
Which worsened in the coldness of Copenhagen.
Then worsened in the wintry wind in Reykjavik.
Then maintained its disgusting, interrupting coughs through Amsterdam and still remains with me as the one of the most prominent souvenir from my trip.
For that reason I have been fairly quietly resting to regain my energy hence lack of art. Which is poo.
This slight road block has made me change my initial plan to start the blog entry about the holiday from the beginning to the end of the trip but to start from Amsterdam.
Simply because I had some relaxing time to sketch when I was over there and because Amsterdam was a bit different from any other city for me.
Amsterdam was bright, fun, surprisingly sunny, relaxing, happy, sweet and sad for me.
As Count and I were heading to Europe in spring, Amsterdam was initially selected as the city to visit because of Keukenhof that bursts into colour in spring with millions of flowers.
Our stay in Amsterdam extended as my beloved sister now resides there.
Before the trip, I looked forward to Amsterdam to experience a yet another new city to visit for me and to see my sister in her new home.
However a day before Count and I were to fly out to Amsterdam from Reykjavik my stomach dropped and I felt quite uneasy (That wasn’t from the fact that we ate preserved lamb’s testicle and brain that day for lunch).
Until then Amsterdam was a marker for me to know how far I have to wait to see my sister. With the date looming meant I am to see her but without no further date to look forward to seeing her after that. In a weird way I wanted to keep that date so I can always safely say that I will be seeing my sister in “a couple of months”.
As life goes the way it does, next day came around regardless of how I felt and we hopped on the flight to Amsterdam where we waited for our bags…for a long time. So much so that I started to sketch the baggage waiting area :
Oh the benefit of carrying a sketch book everywhere!
Amsterdam did not disappoint me. Not only from the millions of tulip petals; Dutch bursts with colours.
Their openness with average passerby smoking weed without much thought, their tightness with their payment method, the slouching terraces by the canals and sweet enticing smell of waffles.
They all sound very stereotypical and perhaps I didn’t even scratch the surface of what Amsterdam is. But to be able to relax and enjoy a stroopwaffel or two, a rare sleep in and chatting along with my sister were some of my favourite holiday memories.
The end of Count and my stay in Amsterdam brought me to one of the lowest point in my holiday. Each hour of transport that shorten my trip home made me realise how far away my sister really is.
Not knowing when I will see her doesn’t shorten this undeniable physical gap even in a figurative way.
This sadness and uncertainty that momentarily engulfed me on the way to the Schiphol Airport now reminds me of the note that my dad wrote to me when I left home for Sydney :
To overcome this sadness will build my character and make me grow more as a person.
With these words to comfort me and seeing how happy she is in her new city I am grateful for all the opportunities she will have by living in Amsterdam and for modern technology that makes life easier to keep in touch with someone special on the other side of the world.
Cheers to letting go,