Wednesday, 29 October 2008

nylon wire

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.

buiten oranjestraat

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.

brouwersgracht trafic 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.

nieuwe zijdskolk; yellow bike rental

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.

bijenkorf rooftop view

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.

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.


Juf Jo said...

Once more we've very nearly bumped into each other today.
The nylon story is freaky, sew the doctors!
Mind you, it proves that doctors dont need all those years in school, just some good tweezers!

Vincent said...

Lordy lord, that's unreal. Still no pain? That would be fantastic if that pain stays away now. That must have been a yucky experience.

Nicole said...

I can't even begin to tell you how shocked and upset I am at the nylon in your foot story. You poor thing! I'd take that wire to the doctor responsible and poke it in his eye! What utter stupidity which probably caused you all this pain for so long.

Beautiful photos of the walk. You were close to the Binnen Oranjestraat, where my friend Sean has a small eatery called "Small World". He's from Melbourne and they make great sandwiches and all sorts of good food. In the warmer months you can sit outside. Good coffee too and fresh juices.

Amy W said...

Yeesh! I'm horrified my the wire still in your foot! Kees, Heal thy self! As for the jacket you've been looking at: if you can manage to take a photo of yourself in it, as a working, professional Stylist, I could give you my opinion!

Renate said...

Langestraat... Cafe Husse... Mokum Folk... Herman Erbé... pub's long gone, so are the piano and the loo on the wall near Korstjespoortsteg.

Korstjespoortsteeg in the late 70's and early 80's: squatters on the left, Hans in a small apartment on the right. Whatever happened to the squatters, Hans lost his apartment to fire when a fridge stopped working and the smoke bombs it was to keep cool, simply ignited. Hans had a couple of smoked books left afterwards, and I got my first household insurance. Just in case.

I never lived in the area, but for at least a decade it was my 'extended living room'.

Time to revisit.

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