For people in Amsterdam, they have seemingly turned their back on the assumed necessity that a modern society must also be fast-paced.
Houses are like gingerbread homes. The overwhelming majority of people appear healthy and subscribe to a unique, picturesque winter image. Scarves, wool coats, boots, and that "only-in-the-Netherlands" froline face dominates the scene. They ride their bicycles from one gingerbread home to another. The city has aged beautifully, with huge cathedrals and castles along the lines of a modern Madison Square Garden.
I feel under dressed at all times with my Nike sneakers, discount jeans, and Aerpostale sweater.
Everyone rides bikes. Bycycling, something most societies consider something to be left for children and professionals, are ridden hear by everyone. Bikers get their own lane in the all brick and cobblestone roads. Cars are basically smaller, sometimes to extreme portions, and will literally roll up and have small parking spaces on the sidewalks.
It is understood that bikers basically stop for no one. The bike ride we took today was reminiscent of our rides through Yangshuo. It was fast-paced and by far the best way to get around. Some bikes were specially designed to hold groceries and the like, while tricycles could sometimes be seen with a father pulling his wife and daughter along in the backseat.
The city has a lot more going for it than the typically discussed "Red Light District." Next up, Germany.