Sunday night I looked at a scab on the instep of my left foot. It had been there for years, on the spot where a surgeon had inserted a screw when I broke my ankle. The spot had been giving me bother for years, too. Now I could feel something hard in the scab. I tried to peel off the scab, but it wouldn't budge. So, I got the old tweezers out and grabbed the hard bit and pulled. And pulled and pulled… Out came two centimeters of nylon wire —a bit like a fishing line— with a knot at one end. It was a temporary suture that the surgeon had overlooked to take out in 1997.
In the last six months five doctors have looked at the foot, the ankle and the spot. They all told me I had to learn to live with the pain. Strangely enough, since I've pulled out the wire I've had no pain there anymore.
Last Saturday I had taken some photos of my father's old neighbourhood. He told me on Sunday he wanted me to take a photo of the house he was born in, Houtmankade 35. So I got the #3 tram to the end of the line and walked the 100 meters to the house.
Since I was in the area again I walked around some more and made photos of Dad's old 'hood. On Zoutkeetsgracht I saw a really nice old motor yacht.
I zig-zagged over the western isles, arriving at last at the Buiten Oranjestraat which leads to Brouwersgracht. This is part of the Jordaan area and I hadn't been here in years.
I walked along Brouwersgracht towards the city centre.
Past all the canals such as Herengracht.
Between Herengracht and Singel was a tour-boat traffic jam.
I turned right onto Langestraat and left into Korstjespoortsteeg. I never knew there was a mini red-light area there (sorry, no photos; I didn't want my head kicked in).
I crossed the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and walked to the Nieuwezijds Kolk. Some of you might have noticed I've been taking photos of yellow bicycles lately (it started as a joke, don't ask). This is the mothership of yellow bikes; tourists rent them here and use them to
commit suicide in traffic discover the city.
I paid another visit to C&A, looking at jackets. I'm not good at shopping. I've tried the same jacket now on three different occasions and I still don't know if I want it. I need expert fashion advice.
I left C&A and crossed the Damrak to the Bijenkorf. Their jackets looked the same as the C&A ones, only five times more expensive. I gave up on the jackets and went to the rooftop restaurant where I had a very tasty tuna salad sandwich. The view from the terrace was great.
I made my way out of the Bijenkorf onto the Dam. The fair was gone and once more the
City Hall Palace was in good view.
I walked through Damstraat, past the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
At the end, where Damstraat is not Damstraat but Oude Hoogstraat, I made a detour around the Zuiderkerk.
I made my way to Waterlooplein, past the Hortus and into the zoo, Artis. The pelicans were sitting close to the fence. I walked around Artis and then sat down for a while opposite the vulture's cage. My right foot had begun to hurt a bit from all the walking. The left foot, now sans nylon wire, was still in fine order!
I left Artis through the Aquarium exit and walked home through Oosterpark. The autumn colours were beautiful.
I paid a quick visit to AH to get my favourite Mozarella salad. When I uploaded the GPS-geotagging data to the computer, it told me I had walked just under 13 km.