Symphony of Snores and Windmills

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I uploaded a short video on one of the potential evils of staying at a hostel.  It consisted of the snores of one of the guys in my room.  Little did I know that later on in the night, all the guys got together in their sleeps and played a symphony for me.  At one point, all three were snoring, and due to their different breathing rates, all the torturous stars aligned for a brief moment.  This meant that there was a continuous tone of snores.  When one person stopped to take a breath, the other one picked up where the last one left off.  It was a dial tone of snores.  I couldn't help but to laugh a little, but it quickly turned to despair.  I did come somewhat prepared with earplugs and the noise of the fan drowned out the snores just enough that I was able to get some rest.  I think I will give Airbnb a try next time.  

One good thing about the hostel is that breakfast is included in the price.  The breakfast was pretty decent.  What I would always remember is not the decent quality of breakfast; instead, it was a young lady's dedication to eat the breakfast.  As I stood in line, there was a young lady in her early 20's with short purple hair.  She was ahead of me with her empty tray and eager to get the chewing started.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the unmistakable international symbol/movement of puking: dry heaving with the "o" mouth and a slightly expose tongue tip.  Sure enough, a white volcano erupted with putred lava, but she was a champion.  She easily contained the spill of molten stomach acid onto her empty tray.  She casually walked behind the food counter, where only employees could go.  She turned on the faucet and started cleaning her tray.  An employee walked over to see what the fuss was all about but quickly ducked away.  Purple hair girl finished cleaning her tray and got back in line.  She will always be a champion of breakfast in my heart.  

After breakfast, I took a quick stroll through Amsterdam Museum.  It was my 7th museum I believe.  I bought one of those 3 day pass that would give me access to transit as well as most of the local museums.  I basically OD'ed on going to museums.  I am okay with not seeing one for the next 10 years.  It reminded me of that time when I could eat all the fries I wanted at home.  Needless to say, I didn't eat fries for a while after that.  Only time could heal my wound.  Instead of checking out more museums, I thought I would clean my palate with something slightly different, windmills.  A quick train ride took me to an area with a few windmills just outside of the city.  I had to compete with bus loads of tourists, but it was still a neat experience to see one up close and personal.  I got to run around inside of a windmill for 4 Euros.  It was worth it even with the risk of being trampled by other tour groups.  

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Just a mannequin head with glasses in the window... No biggie

Just a mannequin head with glasses in the window... No biggie

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On the way back to the train station, I came across a bunch of kids swimming around and jumping off bridges.  A part of me was glad that these kids still have the opportunity to play as kids do back before the invasion of modern digital entertainment.  I didn't see a cellphone on them.  Good news, the new iPhone is water resistant.  I am sure kids will be surfing the internet while surfing the waves soon enough.  Until next time!  

Admiration of a Bicycle

On my latest outing, something caught my eye.  Something that was simply good old Canadian ingenuity!  It was a man who was in desperate need to relax.  A man who did not have a bed in the middle of Downtown Vancouver.  Instead of packing up his stuff and hanging his head in shame, he MacGyver the sh*t out of his environment.  He was rewarded with his own oasis amongst the concrete jungle.  I salute you, Canadian Joe.  Here is his handy work:

As I was admiring the work of art above, I was also drawn to the two ladies pictured below.  They appeared to be mesmerized by a bicycle.  The intensity in their admiration in this classic form of transportation was palpable.  They clearly understood that bicycle may not simply be a way to get around.  For some, bicycling is a lifestyle and a pursuit.  The curve of the drop handlebar; the shape of the head tube; the angle of the top tube; the way the bike hangs so effortlessly in mid-air.  All of the details culminated in what I would consider to be poetry on display.  I couldn't help but to think that these ladies may even be a part of a biker gang of the human power variety.  I nodded in agreement with their choice of admiration.  

My camera jumped back and forth a couple of times between the man who should have an masters engineering degree and the ladies of impeccable taste.  I noticed something slightly odd.  They were moving forward and backwards a lot.  Between juggling my light meter, shutter speed, composition, and manual focussing, I didn't think too much of their shuffling.  After all, the steel sculpture of a bike deserves admiration from all angles and distances.  

As I started to walk away from the man who had undoubtedly found his new home for the next little while, I observed something that was slightly different from what I had imagined.  Perhaps, some would consider this to be something a little darker and more sinister.  As I contemplated this new discovery, silence blanketed my world.  The only sound was the shattering of my bicycling heart.  

THEY WERE TAKING SELFIES!!!  The bike was nothing but a make-shift selfie-stick.  The bike was no longer a machine of speed.  It was relegated to propping the phone for an intense session of selfie.  If the peloton at the Tour de France hears about this while the race is underway, I can see them simultaneously fall off their carbon dream machines at once.  A small part of me wanted to run up and throw their phone into the bush while blowing a kiss to the poor bicycle, but another part of me thought maybe I wouldn't last very long in jail.  Maybe I am not so different from those ladies since we all like taking pictures.  However, we did end up with one main difference between the ladies and myself.  I have a phone and theirs is somewhere in those bushes!  Best regards from Vancouver City Jail.  The end.

I didn't do it.  I would get fired.  I need money to buy film.  Life is full of tough choices.  

Hope you enjoy the pictures!  Until next time!