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  • Goodbye stroopwafels. Goodbye feral green parakeets. Goodbye fetid canals and the bridge archways they reflect. Goodbye long, dune-riddled coast. Goodbye Den Heuvel. Goodbye near-sighted sheep and cows nodding out like satisfied junkies in moated pastures. Goodbye Val. Goodbye Scott. Goodbye neck gables, bell gables, step gables. Goodbye bicycle traffic jams. Goodbye tourists dawdling through Central Station at six o'clock every Friday evening, only to cross into the city itself, and head directly to the first coffee shop their noses find. Goodbye endless weeks of clouds and rain. Goodbye generous rainbows, double or otherwise. Goodbye Todd. Goodbye Loek. Goodbye big boned Dutch girls with loads of eyeliner and layers of tight H&M clothing. Goodbye curt (sometimes downright bitchy) Dutch women who unknowingly teach over-polite Canadian ladies to toughen the f*ck up. Goodbye insane (no really) Spotted Bird Bulgarian. Goodbye Westerkerk bellsongs. Goodbye Turkse pizza. Goodbye cheap but decent white wines from Burgundy. Goodbye haring.

    Goodbye to no fewer than five iterations of one guttural sound. Goodbye pouty-mouthed vowels. Goodbye spring patchwork flower fields. Goodbye Sando. (Goodbye Lubna). Goodbye David, Bunyod, Laurent and all the potential house mates who were passed up for a rooftop terrace. Goodbye half-employment. Goodbye crumbling media bureaucracies. Goodbye Marten, Kim, Sarah and Lilian. Goodbye folks ringing the bar at the Barderij, singing Geef Mij Maar Amsterdam and de Amsterdamse Grachten. Goodbye redlight district swans. Goodbye to silly Americans in Amsterdam cafes who assume that any woman living in the 'Dam is a "lady of the night" and who refer to sex workers as "ladies of the night".

    Goodbye erection adjusting, window shopping johns. Goodbye pissoirs. Goodbye to-each-neighbourhood-a-street-market. Goodbye Michelle. Goodbye Michiel. Goodbye intercities, sneltreinen, stoptreinen and sprinters. Goodbye cranky tram conductors and the never-appearing night bus. Goodbye too many museums. Goodbye tall Dutch men - some greasy haired and cologne-soaked, some lanky and chinless, some bearded and true of heart for three long years. Goodbye sweet evenings in Oude Wetering and the love of a family there. Goodbye regimented gardens. Goodbye spotless-at-all-times living rooms, visible from the curb. Goodbye oude amsterdam and jonge jenever. Goodbye jokes about the Belgians (who else spends so much time thinking about the Belgians?). Goodbye to a city that holds myriad manifestations of filth, water and light.
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