Day Eight: Death to Adverbs
Today’s Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.
Thoughtful writers create meaning by choosing precise words to create vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. As you strive to create strong imagery, show your readers what’s going on; avoid telling them.
Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post. If you’d rather not write a new post, revisit and edit a previous one: excise your adverbs and replace them with strong, precise verbs.
Blue and crisp skies welcome birds, joined by arty contrails designed by airplanes crossing the city. Warmer, longer and sunnier days conquered the somber, grey and chilly opponent. It feels good. People leave their temporary cocoons and go out to explore the world again.
Flocks of visitors from all parts of the world arrive like a rainbow, displaying diverse life patterns at no longer emptier streets. Local residents intertwine with visitors in forced synchronicity, resembling migratory boards announcing the arrival of a new season.
The human tsunami starts at airports and train stations, and with equal force spreads its waves, occupying the city for good. Walking without bumping at each other requires looking at all directions, to avoid collisions with pedestrians, suitcases and bags, bikes, cars, motorbikes, trams, and the hop-on hop-off sightseeing red bus.
The train station mimics an observatory of human behavior. There are many stressed faces in the run to catch a train or metro not to be missed. Countless hands wave goodbye, while others caress loved ones, preceding warm embraces and passionate kisses, so deserved after a long waited encounter.
Lines of travelers look with anticipation in front of the arrivals and departures screens, while others stand still like statues, staring at smartphones, as if the buzz around them does not count, does not affect them.
Confused and seemingly lost in translation, some others attempt to buy tickets at automatic machines. Next, you see them marching in disarray to join long lines at ticket offices and information desks.
Many still have time to make a solo or group’s photo, with selfie sticks, sharing curtailed and unnatural smiles, lips tired of rehearsing for the same scene. Other crowds prefer to register inspiring performances of talented players, taken by surprise, when finding a piano at the station central hall. Anyone can perform in anonymity for crowds who remain silent and in awe.
Inside and outside the station, police officers circulate, wearing dark blue uniforms with unsubtle bright yellow stripes. One cannot miss them watching suspicious bystanders approaching tourists or giving information with courtesy.
Fizzy and fuzzy crowds flow in constant motion, in and out, fast and slow, always moving. Transient lives eager to drink the city’s life, from the source. Their stay may be brief or long, but they all share the longing and the imagination of the trip.
They carry not only suitcases but dreams and fantasies. They may still have an adventurous mind and open eyes to see beauty in sites that locals have taken for granted.
I spent a few hours busy with people-watching, inside and outside Amsterdam’s Central Station. I made also some photos, which are in the gallery below. Click to enlarge the photos.