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Monday, December 12, 2005

Go in Amsterdam in Somewhat More Detail

Last Saturday night, I arrived in Amsterdam from Switzerland (where I had no time to play baduk, which was a pity) at 20:30. Unfortunately, my dented, scratched, bent, taped-up, and glued together external frame backpack failed to make it. Apparently, the Swiss forgot to load it onto the plane. I was given a rather vague promise that it would be sent to Johannesburg some time this week. I hope it does come, it is partly filled with some hard-to-get-especially-in-South-Africa books on anarchism and political philosophy.

As my flight home only left on the following day, I had some time to kill. Instead of partaking in the finer points of Schipol Airport, I decided to head into town and do what anyone my age would do with hours on hand, I played go. With an address for a club, I stumbled through the dark, asking directions from blondes on bicycles.

I arrived at Cafe 2 Klaveren at about 22:00 or so. The Amsterdam Go Club used to be the largest in Europe, the place to tesuji; those glory days are gone. There was about eight to ten players who weren't, in the beginning, all that friendly. I asked one guy to play. He agreed but with no great enthusiasmm (he could have been tired, I guess). He said he was 3-dan, and suggested that we play scratch. Fine as a blonde on a bicycle by me.

I won. By some margin.

Players began to get more friendly.

Then, four games against a 4-dan. Lost the first on two-stones. Moved to three stones, and got hammered. Keeping with three, I won the next and dropped the last. He gave me some good pointers. The cafe kicked us out about half past two, upon which we shook hands. He disappeared down some path along a ordinary-looking canal, and, after a late-night kebab, I trekked back to the train station. Rationally enough, I was able to catch a train back to the airport, where a plane was waiting for me.

Go in foreign climes, it is like eating out.



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