Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 21, 2012

Some good advice in Amsterdam

We couldn’t quite believe what were seeing when we spotted this sign in the centre of Amsterdam.


Yes, it means “Don’t piss in the wind”……excellent advice.

It stands above what used to be a prison.

Here it is again, in case you missed it the first time.



It is time for me to go back to Italy and Jim to return to Brisbane. We loved Amsterdam. The people are very good looking, friendly and extremely helpful. I will return!

There will be more on Amsterdam later on. In the meantime take a look at Richard Tulloch’s blog, for an insider’s view of Amsterdam, and other great stuff. Click here to go to Richard Tulloch’s Life on the road.


  1. Wow, these are great shots! =)

  2. Hilarious Debra. But sage advice all the same! Sounds like you’ll miss the Dutch sense of humour amongst other things. Jx

    • We found everybody to be open and friendly, a bit like Australians.

  3. Your photos, as ever, are marvellous. Thinking of Amsterdam next year – any advice on where to stay? Really looking forward to our trip to Bagni di Lucca in a few week’s time. Pauline A

    • We stayed at an apartment belonging to a friend, so I am afraid I can offer no advice, except just go. It’s great!

    • Hi..Amsterdam is pretty small so anywhere within the canal belt is handy for walking. The neighborhood of The Jordaan, in my opinion, is the prettiest. We always stay in De Pijp, just outside the main canal belt, but withing easy walking distance. The Museum District is good, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are noisy, and the Old Centre is probably best avoided.

      • We loved Amsterdam and went to the places you suggested. We stayed at the end of Vondel Park and walked through this beautiful place a couple of times. The old centre was crowded, but it was interesting. There will be more posts on Amsterdam over the next few weeks.

      • Hi Debra, I am glad you loved Amsterdam; it is one of my favorite cities! I was trying to reply to pauline6941 as to where to stay as we spent lots of time researching that before our stay there. Am looking forward to your upcoming posts. (I have to go find that arch next time I am there!)
        Like you blog a lot!

      • Amsterdam was a complete surprise. I didn’t really know what to expect, but we loved it. Thank you for your kind comments.

  4. Now that’s funny! The location?

    • It is near the museum quarter, near the centre.

  5. If I can read the sign properly and my Latin is not too rusty, it says “Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum” which translates as “The wise man does not urinate in the wind”, meaning only idiots do so….. In any case, I age that it is most interesting and unusual.

    • It is excellent advice, and quite unexpected.

  6. I am still trying to work out the irony of that sign, above a prison.. what a fantastic message.. and very male!! c

    • I’m not sure how it works either, but it is a good conversation piece.

  7. Thanks for spotting the sign, for enjoying Amsterdam, and for plugging my blog! Blogerius sapiens semper pingbackus appreciat.

    • What a marvellous scholar you are Richard, you know Latin so well.

  8. I’m so happy you explored Amsterdam! We felt one week was not enough. Like you, we found the people friendly and helpful, the coffee, the food (especially the cheeses) delicious and the canals beautiful, especially at night. The other places were just as interesting – Vollendam, Alkmaar, Haarlem and so forth. Of course, you must return!

    • A week is definitely not enough for Amsterdam. I would love to go back and see more.

  9. Ooh I was just in Amsterdam today! What a beautiful city! 😀 Looking forward to seeing your post 🙂

    • Amsterdam is a great city. There will be more posts on it in the next few weeks

  10. What a strange sign. What do you make of it? At any rate, have a safe trip back to Italy. I look forward to checking out Richard’s blog.

    • I have no idea what to make of the sign, or why it is there, but I thought it was interesting. I’m sure you will like Richard’s blog. He writes very well and has a wonderful sense of humor.

  11. Too funny! Safe travels and happy furniture shopping!

    • Thank you. I am looking forward to furnishing the house.

  12. Maybe just maybe any thing goes when it’s written in Latin. Safe journey back to Italy.

  13. I can’t believe I missed seeing that! Awesome find 🙂

  14. Maybe it means turn around and go with the flow. It is similar to the (reputedly) Chinese proverb, “He who pisses into the wind gets wet knees”

  15. LOL!

  16. Intense!

    • I love that it is there for all the world to see.

  17. Isn’t it ‘pee in the wind’ mean be brave and take your chances? That’s what how I interpret it all along. I say ‘piss in the wind’. But, I also believe that every sayings and motto have its contradicting negative side.
    You really have a good eye to some of the interesting details to places you go to, Debra.

    • Only the brave would piss into the wind.

  18. Reblogged this on Such Is Life and commented:
    I was told about this monument in Amsterdam this morning and right enough there it is… Homo Sapiens Non Urinat In Ventum…”Don’t Piss Into the Wind!” Wise words indeed.

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