Friday, 14 October 2022
Today the actual conference begins. I had an early breakfast at the hotel and walked to the venue, The Rode Hoed. It was a refurbished old church which is now a conference center.
It was a full day of talks and engagements from morning till evening. There were various topics being discussed in break-out rooms.
My colleagues and I divided the sessions amongst us and we attended separate discussions to maximise our coverage.
During lunch, the organisers served a vegetarian buffet and it was quite tasty.
At the end of the day, I went to a nearby cafe to get sometime to myself while reading work emails. The thing about travelling for work is that your real work is piling up if not managed in a timely manner.
Later in the evening, I decided to try out the local McDonalds which is located behind the hotel. Whenever I travel, I try to make it a point to see the different menus of common fast foods such as McDonalds and KFC. It’s quite interesting to see the special items in different countries.
Saturday, 15 October 2022
Since I had the weekend in Amsterdam, I planned to visit a few places to maximise my time here. After breakfast, I walked to Nieuwemarkt for sightseeing. I guess the place would have been much more livelier during summer or spring. As I arrived, it was relatively early and a few shops just started opening their stalls.
I walked around Nieuwemarkt and then took the train back to Amsterdam Central. At Amsterdam Central, I went to Tours & Tickets to buy a sightseeing tour for tomorrow (Sunday).
There were a number of interesting tours but given the time I had, I decided to go with the Windmills and Countryside halfday tour on Sunday.
From Amsterdam Central, I walked to InntelHotels where my colleagues have planned for a meeting with Pablo Aguera from Fairwork Project. We met him yesterday at the conference but didn’t get enough time to chat properly. All my colleagues were there at the meeting as they wanted to understand what Fairwork does.
After the meeting, I taught my colleagues how to use the tram and off they went to their respective destinations.
As for myself, I decided to visit the Rijksmuseum. With more than 8000 objects on display, it is the biggest and most famous museum in Amsterdam. The major attractions are mostly in the form of paintings by Dutch masters that depict the era they live in.
Given the scale of the museum, I was surprised there was no mentioning of Dutch Melaka at all. Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) was featured quite a lot, but nothing on Melaka. It is quite intriguing. Later I did some reading and realised from the view of the Dutch (in 16th Century), Melaka was rather unimportant. They took Melaka to oust the Portuguese (their biggest rival at the time) from the region. The Dutch’s priority has always been Indonesia.
I did a quick tour of the other parts of the museum before heading to the cafeteria for lunch.
The cafeteria is located at the corner of the museum, above the gift shop. It has a nice view of the rest of the museum.
The museum was not too far from Vondelpark and so I decided to have a visit. There were a lot of bicycles in the park too. The weather was nice and it was perfect to enjoy the cool weather.
Walked from the park to nearby neighbourhood and passed by a few beautiful canals. The views were just amazing.
I headed back to the hotel to get some rest before going out for dinner a bit later.
Later in the evening, I was feeling like having a kebab, so I did some quick googling. I found there is a highly recommended restaurant nearby called Sefa in the Jordaan area. The food was good, and the walk to the neighbourhood was pleasant too.