what amsterdam means to me, part 2…
Posted in amsterdam, personal November 9th, 2008 by piablog

When I walk along the streets of my new hometown, I walk with my great grandmother, holding her grandson’s hand, half a century ago.

Going into Amsterdam together was a true delight for both of them – a very special date. It was usually around Christmas time when they would come in on the train from Leiderdorp. My great grandmother, who I called Nanny Bijkerk, would take her grandson to see the Christmas windows at the bijenkorf department store in dam square. Nanny Bijkerk would treat her grandson to lunch in the store restaurant which back then, was an extravagance. Then she would take him to Tuschinski’s to see a film. After the film they would stop at an olieballen stall and indulge in a sugary treat before heading back to Centraal Station and catching the train home.

When I walk along the streets of my new hometown, I walk with my Nanny Bijkerk. I look in the bijenkorf windows and see her reflection. I walk past Tuschinski’s and see her hand in hand with her grandson, walking up the staircase. I indulge in an afternoon treat of olieballen and feel her presence. I look down at my empty hand and see a boy look up at me, wide-eyed and happy. The boy looks just like me.

(to read part one, please click here.)

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  1. kosenrufu mama says


    November 9th, 2008 | #

  2. Laura says

    I was in Amsterdam last month; I walked in the antique shops street you describe, but missed the address you share with us. I’ll make sure I look for that place in December, when I go back to Amsterdam.

    November 9th, 2008 | #

  3. nadia says

    pia tha is lovely, what a beautiful vision that must be..

    November 10th, 2008 | #

  4. Courtney says

    This is lovely and so incredibly sweet.

    November 10th, 2008 | #

  5. a-m says

    Just beautiful. She would love that you are thinking of her and her precious days in this world…. and that she lives on… in you. A-M xx

    November 10th, 2008 | #

  6. aran says

    that is a beautiful memory and a beautiful way to love a city. i am feeling rather nostalgic as well… i miss my “amama” (nanny)

    November 10th, 2008 | #

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