After hearing JC’s story about his trip to Taiwan that never happened in the 80’s, it’s unbelievable I’m the fruit of his loins. Since I know you’re asking “what happened with JC”, let’s just say he had a 7:45am flight and didn’t get back from drinking the previous night until 7:15am. He jammed his suitcase full of clothes, had my mom take him to the airport, and then couldn’t go on the flight because he didn’t have his Visa with him. I on the other hand was completely packed the night before and arrived a few hours before my flight.
My round trip air fare to fly from Philly to Amsterdam and then Vienna back to Philly was around $900 which I thought was reasonable. I had connecting flights in Toronto which if I could do again I would have chose direct and paid more. When I got to the airport I drank a few beers and awaited my ~9 hour journey (2 hour layover in Toronto). I chatted it up with some electrician from North Dakota and a soccer ref who does whatever league is right below the MLS. The flight to Amsterdam was relatively empty and I tried to watch We Are Your Friends and a movie with Jonah Hill and James Franco, both of which I stopped 25 minutes through. I left Philly at 5pm and arrived in Amsterdam around 10am the next day.
When I first arrived to Amsterdam I immediately made a mistake. My hotel was right by the Centraal Station which I did on purpose. However I must have been overwhelmed with excitement and decided to take a cab instead which cost 55 Euro instead of 5. Oops. When I get to my hotel they said I reserved a handicapped room which was news to me. It was a regular room except the shower was open with a seat. You’ll notice this from the picture and when I showered I would get water all over the room which I couldn’t figure out if it was appropriate. Europe.
With no agenda whatsoever, I set out of my hotel and figured I would walk around for a while to get my bearings. My first impression was, “holy shit, there are a lot of bikes.” It was also incredibly windy. I hit the main stretch of roads which were filled with stores for shopping. As I wrote in this previous post, as I walked around I just looked different. Anyone from the area would immediately spot me as a tourist. I noticed the streets were filled with the aroma for weed and every other store was a head shop.
After a bit of discovery of the city I decided to look up in Trip Advisor what were the key places to visit. I ended up touring the Rjikmuseum at the end of the day in a beautiful area that houses Amsterdam’s museums. After that I was curious to experience the world renowned Red Light District. I will share that it is certainly a sight to see. European sex slaves stand in their bra and panties behind glass doors. They tap on the glass as you pass by hoping to take your 50 euro for 15 minutes, so I read. I was completely sober at the time and couldn’t bring myself to open my immune system to an STD so I did not partake the first night.
Waking up the next day I got breakfast at my hotel for $25 euro. I was feeling a little more settled than the first day where I could only describe myself as a puppy being on his own for the first time in a foreign land. My first destination was the Anne Frank museum which I figured I had to do. I waited in line for about 30 minutes and toured the house where Anne hid. I ended up buying the diary afterwards and am reading it now and find it to be more boring than exciting. After that I headed to the Van Gogh Museum and did the Heineken Experience. I finished the touristy attractions and decided to let loose a bit in Amsterdam.
I went to a local store and bought 2 spacecakes that were titled Amnesia and some type of Kush. I ate one and didn’t feel anything happening so I ate a second. I wandered around a little bit and then had to take a shit so I went back to my hotel room. I dropped a deuce and started reading up on what Spacecakes actually were. The description of the effects had me a bit concerned because it said they last for 5 hours and stay with you for 12. Also they don’t kick in for an hour or two which had me nervous for what to expect. This video details the feeling.
I should note that I thoroughly enjoyed the nighttime run through Voldepark. I didn’t see a lot of runners in Amsterdam and didn’t expect the physical activity that we have in the States. Much to my surprise there were countless “fit” groups in the park. Once I got done the run I decided to set out in the city a final time. Once again I flirted with the idea of banging a whore and didn’t do it. I had 8 more days in Europe and the feeling of wondering what I could catch from a hooker who has banged hundreds of other guys was not worth the 28 seconds of pleasure.
I didn’t touch on the coffee shops in Amsterdam which are located all over and frequently crowded. Being by myself I wasn’t going to enter a coffee shop with dozens of people, sit down at a table, and smoke a j to myself. Being foreign was hard enough and being high and foreign I didn’t see as enjoyable. Perhaps this is short sighted but I would have felt much more comfortable if I was there with a friend who would make the scene easier to take. Being alone was my biggest issue with traveling to a European city because 1) I didn’t feel like I fit in 2) Sitting at a bar drinking by yourself wasn’t exactly what I considered fun. This city would have been 10x better with company.
I retreated to my hotel room to realize that the maid had somehow took my tooth brush and contact case. I swear there is no other explanation. This was a bigger problem than initially appeared because I had an early flight the next day and no place to buy these essentials. I ended up filling a drinking glass with contact solution which I would do throughout the entire trip. Europe!