My park is Vondelpark, a magnificent oasi in the heart of Amsterdam that makes me think that this city is the best of the World every time there’s a ray of sun.
My first apartment here, kindly offered by the company as part of the relocation package, was in a street leading to the park entrance, so I started falling in love with it… and since then, I choose my dwellings based on how far from the park they were.
Birds (including parrots!), old contorted trees, colorful flowers, little lakes and… people!
The human biodiversity that flood the park is as important as the nature in there.
A population doing all sorts of activities, enjoying the famous Dutch tolerance: sporting, BBQing, playing music, smoking joints, reading, practicing kung-fu, walking the family or the dog…
A full lap in Vondelpark main path is 3.3km.
I started jogging there in the beautiful spring of 2006, 1 lap, then 2, and increasing.
The first time I went for 3 laps, I had to stop in the bushes as I was feeling really really sick, sorry my Vondelpark!
With time things went better, I joined a group of expat runners and I got to run more more and more laps, till my proud personal record on 6th of April 2007: 8 consecutive laps 26.4Km!
By the end I knew by heart every hole, every bump and every step of the park.
Or at least I thought so, because actually I just discovered that there’s a sculpture of Pablo Picasso in Vondelpark!
I saw it a million times and I think is terrible.
Surely the park knows me more than I know him.
He saw me at day and at night, +30 or -10 degrees, doing an healthy run or cycling home drunk, alone or with friends, reading a book or having a BBQ.
Sometimes dancing Salsa, sometimes barefoot.
Once watching a fire dance show at night.
But there was something I never ever did in Vondelpark, even if it’s completely legal: public sex!!
Subject for post #5: I will never do it again