early years mexico-amsterdam

Dear Eduardo
This is a nice surprise to find your first post to me. I just entered the blog because I want to show you a picture of something I just found in the supermarket when I was buying stuff for dinner. I’ll show you at the end of this post.
I smiled, reading you were walking the canals in Amsterdam ending up at the same houses you passed before during your walk, because something similar happened to me when I came to live here in 1983. I remember the first months when I had to go somewhere on my bicycle, I first went to the street I had to be in and then I started looking for the right number of the house. Only after months I learned that I often cycled very long routes this way, because the canals are circular indeed. It is much easier and faster(!) following the smaller streets in between the canals, like the the spokes in a wheel. So yes, very familiar to me in that period this city was very new to me as well.
I happen to have visited your city too, many years ago. It caught my attention to read that you also are living in a place where the people (re)claimed land from the water. Where ever you come: all over the world people seem to know that the Netherlands is for the large part a manmade country and we are living under sea level, on the bottom of what once used to sea. I did not know Mexico City is also built where water, a lake, used to be.
We all have a certain idea about a place before we go there for the first time. And the photo I attach to this post has to do with that in a way. A lot of it is based on what we learned by reading about the particular country, about what you learned at school. On what the travel magazines want to show us. Usually a very bright and ideal image of the country. Some of these prefab ideas may contribute to an even foggier grey when walking that particular area of the world or when leaving the beaten tracks.
It made me smile when I saw this in the supermarket. It immediately made me think of our contact here in the blog. What you see is a foil pack with three packets of cigarettes. Well, cigarettes made of chocolate, meant as a present for children. The fifth of December we celebrate the anniversary of Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas), the patron saint of children. These weeks children can leave their shoes in front of the fireplace and Sinterklaas puts sweets and small presents in them during the night.
We have been good boys by starting posting to one another, so lets continue and now smoke a cigarette together. Funny to find that package of “Mexico” and that of “Amsterdam” today, next to eachother. Do they really show us our countries?
Best wishes Eduardo,  hope to hear from you, Peterthis is us

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