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The Streets of Amsterdam

August 21st, 2014

 

This is supposed to be a blog for Dental Tribune. Well, I’ve never really known the definition of blog, and I was given the OK to write about whatever I want.

But if you want a taste of dental….While crossing the busy Damrak street, a car driver greeted me in Hebrew (I live in Israel, buy the way. Please don’t stop reading…). Now THAT’S a surprise….When you think about it, the fact that it was perhaps the only dentist in Holland I know who is Israeli makes the coincidence even greater.

This is Summer. School vacations have started. Busy. And Amsterdam is one of those cities that is ALWAYS packed with tourists, at least in the central areas. Add to that the excitement of the World Cup, and you have noise, vibration, atmosphere. (I watched the semi-final is a pub, surrounded by young Dutch – half of whom were female. I recorded the last 2 minutes of the penalty shoot-out. My iPhone almost imploded).

But what’s special about this city is that when you take just a few steps away from the main street, you are confronted with….well, let me take you by the hand and walk you through the streets  of’ Amsterdam….

I started along Nes, which is said to be the oldest street in Amsterdam. (I lived on Nes for a few weeks, back in the late 60s. I had started my sales trips: Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland was my initial territory, and I did co-travelling – sometimes a week with each salesperson! I was 6 weeks in that Nes apartment, belonging to friends of mine I had met through my tennis club in London. But that’s another story).

Nes is parallel with Damrak; it runs into the famous Dam Square. And yet the silence is wonderful.

Every corner is a potential for a cup of coffee – This incredible chandelier, which I presume kids bump into all the time, is in the reception area of the Hotel V, a cute boutique hotel the glass entrance of which welcomes you with ‘From Amsterdam with Love’. At the back, a canal of course. And this is a busy day….

These first 2 images show buildings from the University of Amsterdam. Notice NOT so many bikes parked here…..school is out! And as you can see, they’re having fun…

Keep glancing up when you walk Amsterdam streets (and down, to avoid falling in). Rarely are two buildings the same, and often are they independent structures of beauty, The 2nd and 3rd  images above are actually on Damrak. The neighbouring white house must have something VERY interesting to cause the brown one to lean over like that.

Just ‘down the road’ is the very popular flower market. One side of the street are the coffee places, restaurants, souvenir shops and, as you see ‘cheese boutiques’. Facing them, backed onto the canal, are the flowers stalls. They show everything – with the exception of …cut flowers. Very few of those. This is for people with gardens, roofs, terraces and window boxes. (Just in case you’re having trouble deciphering the images, the 2 on the right are mini-cactuses..(or should that be ‘cacta’?)

And bulbs….every colour, every size, every shape – loose and in boxes and bags. If you want it, they have it.

And when you DON’T want it, when you want your peace and quiet, just turn left at the next little corner. Silence awaits….

Smile – Promote Your Dentist

Stephen

 

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Dentistry and Art

August 21st, 2014

 

Still travelling – still selling (American Eagle Instruments – and very successfully) – still thankful that I have a job and a life which I can really say I enjoy. Seems there’re not enough who feel that – or get the chance to say it.

This trip actually started on June 10, when I attended the 1-day conference of the Israeli dental hygienists. The location was Airport City, thankfully only minutes from Ben Gurion Airport, as I had a flight out in the evening. It was a ‘big day out’ for the hygienists. 550 attended. And of course, during the breaks, they piled out to have refreshments…

Notes:

  • The lady in the foreground in the first photo, in turquoise, is Adele Shevach from Hadassah in Jerusalem. She’s one of Israel most prominent personalities in the DH world.
  • It so happens that you can just see, in white, one of Israel’s approx 1,000 Moslem hygienists, from among the large Israeli Arab population.
  • Poor guy in the 3rd photo. Normally, as was also the case here, coffee etc. is served from big containers and sachets. His job was to keep the more sophisticated and trendy hygienist happy with his capos, espressos and macchiatos…
  • And the 4th photo shows the importance Colgate places on such meetings. They had 10 ladies ‘manning’ the stand.

I am writing this from Prague, attending the Open House of Dentamed, the Czech Republic’s leading dental dealer

which has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the World. Despite the tourists – and there are many – the place always offers so much to see and do. And it is so photogenic…

For example – I am here with my wife Aviva, one of our 2 daughters, Shira, and her 21-month baby girl, Maya. We have taken an apartment, only 200 meters from the famous Astronomical clock (made in 1410!!). In fact, we are located in the Old Jewish quarter, and this is the view from our bedroom window, the famous Old Jewish Cemetery…

Yesterday, in the 37C heat, we saw many of the most famous sights, including the Old Town Square, the incredible Charles bridge, and beyond and above it, the castle, which comprises many important buildings, including the incredible St. Vitus Cathedral….

But for us, being art lovers, the big surprise for us all was a still-unsung exhibition of Alphonse Mucha. Most of us know him from images/posters like this..

But, unless you study the subject, there is so much more to learn, in this case, about Mucha. I was not aware of his ‘Slav Epic’ series, 20 monumental paintings, executed over a period of 20 years, which he was commissioned tp paint by the city of Prague, back in the early 20th Century. Here they were, at one of the main galleries. almost as an ‘aside’. Little publicity, few visitors, and a stunning experience. (A city like Paris, New York or London would be making millions out of this) –

(I left Shira, Maya and the museum ‘guard’ in the photo, to give you an idea of the size of these things) – and I have included a couple of ‘close-ups’ or ‘details, showing the intensity of this fantastic experience.

The dental world is wonderful – as long as you remember to mix it with all the other pleasures of life…

Smile – Promote your dentist.

 

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