My 12 hour layover in Amsterdam also included a trip to the much less introspective Rijksmuesum (which sounds a little too close to a Reich’s Museum, and makes one wonder which Reich that would be). Even though 90% of the enormous museum was closed for renovations (which they don’t tell you until after you pay), what they still had open was massively impressive.
Among the awesomeness was Rembrandt’s “The Loving Couple” more commonly known as “The Jewish Bride”, the painting you see behind me (now class, notice her hand accepting his touch on her Jewish boobie”), a long standing favorite piece of mine from that era.
Other interesting aspects of my trip included sitting next to a nice man from Afghanistan on the plane to Amsterdam, a proposal to bear the children of a man from Tunisia who owns a fruit stand and talking to a young man from Switzerland on the second leg of the journey. He told me how it is still taboo in Switzerland for him to even mention that he is Jewish, and I realized how fully American my Jewish experience really has been.
This, of course, was after having to be at the gate D3 two hours before the KLM flight to Tel Aviv departed. Why so early? I’m glad you asked. Because for Tel Aviv flights only, not for any flights to Kabul or Tehran, each passenger goes through a second wave of EL AL-style security, on top of the security everyone in the airport already went through. Because it’s an understood fact in the world that Jews are a target. And this is from the Dutch, where the Hague is, as if the message was “if you want to blow up Jews, that’s your own business, but don’t do it on one of our planes”.
In any case, after way too many hours of travel time, and a dozen more stories, I finally crawled into my own bed in Jerusalem at 4am, thinking what an amazing thing that was to have; a little space in the land of Israel that I could come home to.