June 21st-23rd – Amsterdam

July 9, 2007

I found the Amsterdam entries, which will be compiled here. However, It’s only a guess that my post titled, “Amsterdam 1”, is also relevant… Or maybe it was refering to Rotterdam? Anyway…

June 21st-23rd – Amsterdam
12:37am – June 21st:

This is probably the earliest bedtime yet. I’m in Amsterdam, technically with Calvin & Andrew. Logistically however, we’re lodging about 25 min. apart. I’m in a hostel beside VondelparK, & they’re in a hotel near the Redlight district.
I arrived at around 7pm, and due to hotel Rules about the # of guests per room, had to find a last minute hostel. We had an expensive & filling meal at a Brazillian place near my hostel afteR my first visit to smoke at a cafe. C & A were impressed with the quality of the cafe, differing, i guess, from their usual hangouts (by now, having arrived 3 days prior). I was impressed that I didn’t pass out.
In fact, I’m not tired it all. Whereas I might normally have been out still, Amsterdam seems a bit more sketchy than other places i’ve been. I’ll know better in the morning though…
Already, I can sense the differences that this portion of trip will take – that is, travelling with C vs. alone. Deciding, making plans, accomodating, etc… Even the meal tonight was larger, louder, pricier, and less organic (in the sense of, “non- dutch”) than I would have opted for on my own. Still, it was tasty, and I have been craving steak. Future meals & booking hostels for 2 ppl with differing comfort levels could prove less challenging than a test of patience.
Tmrw, I’ll Run before mtg the guys to do the van gogh museum & shop.
Today, during my last travel day solo & before leaving for “the Dam”, I Ran in Rotterdam, went to the museum & library, ate a gigantic chocolate meringue, met someone else trying out for one of Rotterdam’s apparently many schools (this time, flamenco – 4yr progam?), and decided again (hautily) against buying a europe guide book.

2am – June 22nd:

This week has been one of extremes for me – euro style. Within the last 7 days I have:

  • Travelled in 6 countries, 7 cities
  • Drank everyday
  • Ran 4 times, in 3 cities
  • Visited 3 museums, in 3 cities

Specific to Amsterdam (hopefully):

  • Smoked 4 joints
  • Saw the most Rain
  • Ate the most unnutritious food
  • Paid the most for touristy things

I’m excited to run & mail stuff home so I can SHOP!

9pm – June 22nd: about to smoke #5

I wouldn’t say that I dislike Amsterdam, I have however, had 1 night more than necessary. It’s Rained nearly non- stop. I’m soaked NOW. worse: showers are forecasted in the next few places we planNed to visit. I’m seriously considering figuring out where, on C’s list, it is warm & sunny, to rearrange the order completely. I think we’ll skip the day-long stopover in Hamburg.
That aside, I’m glad to have come here to Amster dam. The obvious was amusing; I’d compare it to vegas (though I’ve never been).
Euro- Vegas:
It was comical watching boys’/men’s giddy behaviours upon first stepping out of the train station.
It didn’t surprise me that the hotel wheRe C & A are staying turned me away b/c of occupancy laws, or that it was tiny, dark, musky hole (Euro hotels have their own system for which, anything below 4 stars is sub- standard).
The good quality & capitalizing characteR was expected & exacted from the 2nd StayOkay hostel in a row. But it was bigger than I would have guessed (since there aRe 3 in the Dam area!).
Navigating the city was harder than all the descriptions – typically: ”like a spider’s web” – had made it sound. It’s actually quite neat, though I don’t know if it’s absolutely efficient. Perhaps my confusion Had more to do with being: a) high & b) led around by the veterans (C&A).
I never knew Van Gogh was so greatly influenced by Japanese prints. Some of his “inspired ” pieces were, to put it mildly, visibly trying. I regret not purchasing a souvenir of the blue one though.
That there was no Starbucks did not surprise me, especially since Rotterdam also did not. But I did find it odd that a StaRbucks napkin from my purse stash was made in the Netherlands.
Less ppl here stare at me, but when I’m away from C & A, something odd happens… Guy after guy approaches and when I politely tell them I’m not interested or wave them away, they plead for me to take their phone numbers. plead!?!. Hmm. Is that what they think works here? I thought ”the district” would be enough…
Prices of virtually every thing are inflated here & it’s the most tourist-filled place i ‘ve been to yet.
The floating flower market neither floated noR sold flowers. It was stalls half in the water with bulbs for sale on the sidewalk.
The paper cones of fries & mayo are amazing. yes, I’ve got non-stop munchies and this place Knows exactly that; there are snacks galore every where!
On the way back to the hostel, after having eaten a full (oversized) dinner, of course I also ate a muffin and a thicK slice of nougat.
It’s not even the “morning-after” yet, and I already regret all that food. I’m also anxious about my lack of accomodation in Chicago.

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