Wednesday, 10 December 2008

the blood bank

When I got up this morning I had a bit of a cold, so I sat in the comfy chair snivelling away with a cup of coffee and reading a book.

In the afternoon my cold had subsided; my right foot was feeling a lot better after getting used to the gel inserts in the shoe and the sun was shining. Time to go for a walk!

I started off towards Oosterpark where at the entrance I saw a bike painted in venomous colours. After looking it up on wikipedia later in the day the colours turn out to be those of a non-venomous snake that uses it to make the universe believe it is venomous. The same principle probably applies to the bike.

snake bite bike

I cut through the park and came out on the other side where I walked past the Ornanje-Nassau barracks on Sarphatiestraat. The barracks are now converted to up-market yuppie apartments, but the government's bling is still prominently displayed on the building.

govern mental bling

I took a left onto the Entrepotdok where you can only afford to live when you have no business ethics. Nice looking neighbourhood, though.


The old steam wharf and ship yard "Kromhout" is here. This is one of the few ship yards left in Amsterdam that works in a traditional way. There's a museum here with old ship's diesel and steam engines. Unfortunately they're only open on Tuesday afternoons.

steam ship yard "kromhout"

They didn't mind me walking around on the yard and making photos. Very kind of them. I tried some close-ups of engines, but the little camera is hard to control in macro mode. I'll have to come back with the SLR.

cobwebbed chain

Walking further on Hoogte Kadijk I saw a row of houses which had been boarded up. They will be renovated in the near future. To make them look 'lived in' and make them nicer to look at a few photographers have been commissioned to make photos of 'living room' situations. These have been printed and mounted over the windows so it looks as if you're looking into the houses. At night they're lit up which makes them even more realistic.

a window on hoogte kadijk

I continued on Hoogte Kadijk . . .

tussen kadijken / hoogte kadijk

. . . and past the Rapenburgerschutsluis. From here I walked to Valkenburgerstraat where the Sanquin Blood Bank has a presence. I am a blood donor but hadn't been called in since April this year. Normally you get called up about 5 times per year. Last night I had called Sanquin and asked them why I had no call-up. They couldn't tell me why, but I read in their magazine they've been having problems with their new computer system. The advice was to drop into the donation centre and see if they knew more there. Well, I was in the neighbourhood so I walked in.

The lady in the office was puzzled as well and couldn't find a reason why I had not been called up. As she couldn't find a reason for me not to give blood she processed me right through the medical en half an hour later vampires were sucking me dry I was plugged in and donating my blood.

If you, dear reader, are not yet a blood donor I would like to ask you to make haste and get thee to a donation centre and register as a donor. Blood banks are dependend on people like you and me who give blood to help others. It'll cost you nothing but a little bit of time and a pint of blood every few months. Here's a list of donation agencies around the world. Do it, they need you!


After a restoring cup of cocoa and a 'gevulde koek' in the donation centre (see, there are benefits!) I walked towards the Zoo. I saw this piece of street art around the corner of the zoo's entrance.


I walked through the Zoo to the Sarphatistraat, where in the offices of the 'Stadgenoot' building society I spied these eyes. There were two racks full of them. When I took the photo a lady who walked out of the office remarked that there were people all day making photos of the installation. OK, so this wasn't a scoop, but then so are most photos I make.

here's looking at you!

I made my way home. By this time I began to start feeling my right foot again, but not as bad as before. The gel inserts do help. To celebrate I put a Salmon and Olive Pizza in the oven for dinner.


Anonymous said...

I like your reason to celebrate!

Gerrit said...

Hi Kees,

The entrepotdok is partially social housing, see

The fate of the houses on the Hoogtekadijk is unsure, they were social housing but might be turned into housing for people without business ethics (by people without business ethics). People who lived there were told that they had to leave, just before christmas a few years ago. Will need to do some googling to come up with the full story.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kees, since I have hielspoor as well since a few weeks could you tell me where in Amsterdam (or Watergraafsmeer even?) I could get the gel inserts you're referring to?


Anonymous said...

Never mind :-) just found it on your blog: Vos Medical supply shop in Oosterparkstraat.
Must pay them a visit soon.

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