IT IS meant to be a kind of improvised Dutch music and dance.
As it is, I have a limited understanding of international music. On top of it, half an hour before the show, there are just nine people at Bimhuis, the riverfront concert hall.
It looks like my first evening in Amsterdam may be a flop. I head to the bar for a beer. By the time I finish the second pint, a sizeable crowd has gathered. I grab another pint of Grolsch blond and sit.
The backdrop is a glass wall, through which the Eastern Dockland lights pour in, creating a magical effect. Two women take the stage. No microphone, no accompanying music. Monica Akihary starts playing with her voice and a young woman breaks into a slow dance. Then, two new artists emerge for a dance on drum beats.
Fifteen minutes into the show, I find I have forgotten to take a sip.
Two lessons learnt: never underestimate the power of music, and that of a Dutch beer!
THE OVERFLOWING PLATTER
Amsterdam offers a lot of choices - except shopping - to its guests in the evening. In one of the most densely populated cities of Europe, almost all shops pull down their shutters by sunset.
But the city doesn't sleep early. At 9 pm, with temperatures falling rapidly, I enter Rijsel: a French-Flemish restaurant in a quiet neighbourhood by the Amstel river.
The place is as lively as a good Roman Trattoria. All customers, except the two of us, are locals. Th