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Monday, October 8, 2012

Amsterdam: The airport

I spent a fantastic weekend in Amsterdam. Amsterdam…the city where I spent seven years, where I worked, had an apartment, and made lovely friends. Despite the fact that it was my decision to leave the city, as I felt that I was going to have some other adventures in other cities and countries, I always go back there with pleasure. I know Amsterdam. I know where to eat, where to go, where to shop. But one thing I didn’t know about. The changes they made at the airport. Honestly, if only I knew I would go there at least four hours in advance of my boarding time. When I arrived at the airport to depart back to the UK, I did have something resembling hangover. I had a reunion of my classmates of my master degree I did eleven years ago. We were a lovely group, no more than twenty of us and we all became friends. Interestingly, we also stayed in touch with each other through all these years and thus, decided to meet again, in the city where we studied. And of course, we drunk, and we drunk quite a lot. We hired a boat trip around the canals and while the tickets were quite expensive, there was unlimited amount of wine…until we came on board, and drunk it all. I didn’t drink that much, but I am not used anymore to late nights and to more than three glasses of wine in one single go, and so, the next morning when I had to take my plane back home, I did feel the consequences. But, oh my god, the airport. They have all kinds of shops, a sushi bar, a noodle bar, some other bars, a smoking room, a meditation centre, showers (!!!) and, and here comes the most interesting part, express SPA CENTRES! And so, after a nice Japanese breakfast and some shopping, I decided to give it a try. I had a slight headache and I never find time for this kind of things back home. The only thing I do find time to do is a ten minute eyebrow wax in the nearest salon. And a hairdresser, for which I need to start organising something like a month in advance, as they usually do my hair for sometimes four hours and serve wine. So, if I do go there, I need a day off. But why not to treat myself to something even nicer when I had half an hour to spare? I approached one of the two spa centres (yes, they have two in just one departure terminal!) and looked at the list of treatments and prices. It wasn’t cheap but they had good stuff: total unwind for the plane, a facial, a detox treatment, a foot massage, a back and neck massage, etc, etc. After a small deliberation I decided to try a back and neck massage. I still had a headache and this treatment was more likely to help me to get rid of it. And wow, it was good. It was so good that when my original fifteen minutes expired I asked for fifteen minutes more. You see, I forgot that the boarding time started and that I was due on the plane. The reality struck me when they called my name. “Last call for E N…” That was me, with the plane to Manchester almost ready to depart without me. So, I quickly paid for the massage and run towards my gate, which thankfully was only a minute away. So, I got on the plane, which took off immediately and thus, avoided all the usual queuing and waiting, and my headache was totally gone. Viva the airport in Amsterdam! Yes, I know, I should write something more cultural about my weekend..but the thing is, it was pure fun!