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Memory: Off to Amsterdam!
Date:
Fall of 2004
Location:
City and Locale:
Amsterdam Netherlands
Memory Category:
EuroTrip 2004
Memory of:
TheMemoryCrawler
ACTIONS
EuroTrip
2004

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Off to Amsterdam.... :-D

2004-10-06 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

When I woke up.... it was pure hell. I drank wayyyy too much whisky and beer with my Korean friends. I woke up late, I had a train to catch and I couldn't eat (a very bad sign). I know what happens when I cant down food.

Sluggishly I rotated from lying down in the bed and trying to get all my shit together. I ate about two pieces of cereal. Gladly I didn't have a huge headache. When I was getting my stuff ready though, I had that typical watering of the mouth sensation. Ut oh! :-D But I did my deed in a garbage bag, but it was just water. It pisses me off because the body didn't get rid of any alcohol in my stomach. And as soon as I was done, I was feeling great!

I hurried to get my stuff ready, for my train left in about 30 minutes and I had a long tube ride to get there. Well as you suspected I missed my train by about a minute on my watch. And come to find out my watch was ahead of the train stations clock so I missed my train by 4 minutes. Immediately I told Bart in Belgium and we ended up canceling out meeting. Mom and Dad called when I was in line and it was nice. Yet she always says "Nothin new here", obviously because its boring in the states. I think she just likes to know I am not dead in a ditch like any mother would. She just likes hearing my voice, but we can never speak for long because I worry about a 1000 dollar cell phone bill at home.

Once I was up at the register I made a split second decision to skip Belgium and go to the Netherlands. Belguim wasn't my idea of the greatest time in the world. Especially since my buddy couldn't show me around.

An hour later I was off! The train ride wasn't too interesting. I met a woman from Africa who spoke terrible English. I ended up assisting her in getting to the right station and also helping her with all her bags off the train. As I was speaking to her, some other lady overheard and complimented me saying "you (the African) are so lucky to be sitting next to that young man. He is so helpful". When I arrived in Amsterdam I decided to walk to find my hostel. I got a little lost and that's when the next semi-scary thing happened.

I was walking along with my map and I hear a voice "excuse me are you lost?" in a very nice manner. I looked at the guy and he looked like a quiasi-bum. Once I briefly assessed what his intentions were I reluctantly responded. "Umm,... I am looking for this hostel" He responded by telling me he would take me there. That put me off, but he stated that he is very hungry and that if I can help him out for food that would be great. I was not liking he situation, but it seemed like he had good intentions. Yet I was a little scared of the prospect of him pulling a knife. Just in case I had to defend myself I opened up my leatherman should something go down. But really I could beat the crap out of the old man. I didn't trust anything, yet we had small talk about his life and where I was from and I relaxed a little. Sure enough he sent me to a great hostel and I gave him three euros.

Yes mom, I shouldn't talk to strangers and maybe I could of ignored him and I know this story might make you worry, but I had everything under control and I can see in peoples eyes what kind of person they are. Besides if I just said get away from me, you can piss off someone to provoke anger. And as Yoda says "Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering".

Anyway I hadn't eaten anything all day so I settled in the hostel and ordered a whole pizza. I brought the pizza back into the hostel and randomly went up to my next travel friend.

We talked for a while and agreed that we would rent bikes and ride like all the locals do (with the thousands of bikes riding in Amsterdam). After that Maika (from Germany) and I parted ways.

Our hostel is in the Red Light district (which is huge) and since it was only like 9 PM I decided to see the famous strip. It was like 2 minutes from the hostel and everyone just walks around there at night . The whole thing is red lights in the windows with whores, live peep shows and porno shops. If you take pictures I hear that the bouncers will come after you very pissed (sorry Michelle no freaky whore pics). I was just amazed when I saw a pathetic man walking out of the whore house. I thought about how he is so lame to pay to get diseases.... its disgusting. Sex is only when you love someone, nothing else. The one thing I hated about walking around there was the fact that the bums weren't passive. They just walked right up to you in your face being disgusting human beings. Oh well, all-in-all it was interesting and you cant go to Amsterdam without seeing it! heh heh.

Biking it like the locals

2004-10-07 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

I woke up and had my continental breakfast with Maika. We got directions and even paid for the bike rentals at the hostel. We first walked to the street market near the bike place and did some haggling. I bought Lisa something!! I love having a new sister to buy gifts for.

We rented the bikes and headed toward our next destination the Vondeel Park. On the way we made our first stop at the town square where there was a shopping mall. We locked up our bikes and roamed (even did some Dutch cheese sampling).

Next we just wandered around getting lost and we ended up in a department store (I didn't think I would shop much in Amsterdam, but its all about who you are with) This store rocked. I tried on those flood pants (I cant remember the name of them) that women wear and are gaining popularity in Europe. I took a photo. But I bought a 2 dollar shirt while I was there.

Next we picked up sandwiches and got to the park where we ate lunch. It was nice, but afterward I saw that a bum was eating a small part of the crust I left in the sandwich box. It really hit me, how I should help him so I gave him about a 1/2 a box of chips. It made me feel good, cause he looked hungry.

Next we hit up a few museums. We parted cause she wanted to go to a different museum and I wanted to go to the Van Gough museum. So I ended up paying 12.50 to get in. And I would say it was almost worth the entire amount. The one painting that impacted me the most was this paintings of some Romans in the background and on the far right hand corner there were shadows of three crosses. That picture it put in my mind was so crazy because of the shadow. Anyway after that we went to another flea market where I bought my mom something. We were there for quite some time. We also stopped by a store so that Maika could find an outfit. I picked out the entire outfit for her and she loved it. ;0)

We headed back and turned in the bikes after that.

We went wandering to find food and ended up in a Chinese restaurant. It was good food and great conversation. Maika even eats faster than I do. Once we got back (I showed her the strip because she wanted to see it) she went to bed.

I decided to wander around seeing if there was an internet cafe. While walking down the street a guy behind me was kicking his half filled bottle of water around playing soccer. It ended up by me so I participated. I was goofing off with them and ended up saying to the girl. Maak ich u its fragen? Praat en engles? She thought my Dutch was perfect and they asked me to join them to play pool (my favorite) we had a good time. They were a really nice couple and the guy was from Italy. I thought them how to play cut throat and we ended up closing the place down probably about 1 AM (which included helping take a box to the dumpster!! but they gave me free beer) It was so great because I was having a good conversation to a Dutch guy about Jazz and also because the bartender was really cool to me. He helped me get back to my street and then asked me if I wanted to come have another beer. I accepted and somehow his Mom and Dad and Grandma were at this bar too. WEIRD.

Next we went bar hoping from this Dance Club where he knew everyone and I got in for free and this other regular bar. We hopped back and forth all night. The next time I found out the time it was 4:30 in the morning and I said goodbye. I gave Susan a drunk email and then called it a night. Lets hope the next morning doesn't turn out like the morning a few days ago. I think it was the cheap shots of whisky that did it last time.
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