Arriving in Amsterdam

Your character moves into a new apartment. On the surface, the place seemed ideal, but his/her first night there, your character discovers a terrible problem with the place that he/she didn’t take into account…

Cornelius Pepperdyne stepped off the end of the jetway into the bright, stale airport air of Schiphol International Airport (code AMS), Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His dutch friend Pieter, whom he’d met online was meeting him at baggage claim and escorting him into the city. Pieter gave him a big hug smelling a bit of tobacco smoke and perhaps a touch of weed. He tugged on Corn’s longish goatee and said, “You’re going to need to cut that. It’s good to meet you in person!”

“Off to a grand cafe,” Pieter said.

“Sounds good,” said Corn, tiredness starting to seep in, his nerves jangled from the transatlantic flight that bounced from Louisville, to JFK to AMS. “I could use a coffee.”

From his guidebooks and online research, Corn knew that Grand Cafes where modern, high-ceilinged spaces where you could sit and while away a few hours reading a paper and sipping coffee. If you stayed long enough and were motivated, you could switch to beer, or even sit on an outdoor patio, if you were lucky enough to be in Amsterdam during those few months when it was pleasant to do so.


The sun streamed into the windows of Pieter’s compact car and Corn forgot he had his sunglasses in the front pocket of his travel bag which he’d left in the trunk. Squinting, Corn took in the ridiculous variety of locomotion in this beautiful old city. There was a sidewalk full of pedestrians, a reddish paved fietspad, or bike path, full of crusty, old-looking dutch city bikes, the top tubes swooping from crank to handlebars gracefully.

A few minutes later, they were enjoying strong black dutch coffee, not quite as thick and strong as an italian espresso, but delicious to Corn’s midwestern taste buds. A few minutes later, they’d ordered a beer, Pieter explaining “Each bar or cafe has a standard beer, usually Heineken or Amstel. So, for the most part, when ordering you’ll just ask for “een bier, alsjeblieft.”

I didn’t quite get Corn to his apartment yet, perhaps there will be more to come. -Craig


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