What do you do when it's midnite in The Big Hashtag—Amsterdam—and you have jet lag and a hankering for quesadillas? A shot of espresso puts me straight-up-awake here in the land of semi-free love and mucho canals. I'm hot on the trail of a killer and will not stop until I locate the girl with the hashtag tattoo.
I know Vincent spent time here in the Big Hashtag and I need to talk to people who knew him, people who are descendants of those who knew him. Coming in from the airport I tried to engage my cab driver, Ali, but he is from Turkey and has only been here 28 years. When I asked him about van Gogh (attention Grammar Police: the Dutch do not capitalize the v on van Gogh) Ali simply looked in the mirror at my cowboy hat and smiled. I took his meaning to be, "When the caliphate is reestablished it will be my pleasure to take off your head and that Godless hat with it." Still, I tipped him generously and wished him a good life.
"Does the road go uphill all the way? Yes, to the very end. Will the journey take the whole long day? From morn till night, my friend."
—van Gogh's favorite stanzas of poetry, according to Ali