It was my first afternoon in Amsterdam and I was sheltering from the rain in a really cute little cafe (no, not a coffeeshop*;) near my hotel (the brilliant College Hotel) when I spied this girl having an espresso with her boyfriend. As she got up to leave I asked if I could take her photograph. Unfortunately it had started to rain more heavily so in order to keep her dry (nothing worse than asking a person you have just met to stand in the rain so you can take their photograph), I kind of accidentally stood in the dedicated bike lane (well, one leg was in it anyway!). Now, if any of you have been to Amsterdam you will know this is a very, very, VERY bad idea. Almost everyone in Amsterdam rides a bike, and they ride pretty fast (I know, cos I tried to catch up with a few girls on bikes to take their photograph and failed miserably). And those bike lanes, I came to realise, aren't just for your treadly: they are for scooters, mopeds and I even saw a little motorised "car" puttering along one! So after getting yelled at by an irate woman on a scooter (quite rightly- I did a bad), I took this photo. It is a bit blurry but that was a combo of the rain, my shock at realising I was in the middle of peak-hour biking traffic, and that I had nearly ended up squished on my first afternoon in Amsterdam!
*if you are looking for places to go for fab espresso in Amsterdam, best to google espresso rather than coffee shops otherwise you will end up with a list of places to go for something rather a touch stronger than the coffee bean :) I can recommend Stumptown Coffee Roasters who are from the US but have a super cool pop-up cafe on Albert Cuypstrat, home of the oldest street market in Amsterdam. Apparently a deal was struck with the owners of the space (a creative agency) whereby the Stumptown crew would make coffee for them, in return for use of the space for 3 months. Brilliant!