Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Norwegian protagonist braves the Netherlands in search of adventure; in other words….MIKE TAKES AMSTERDAM!!!

Day 18

So wait, I can just walk into ANY coffee shop and not only buy marijuana- but then smoke it?”


hahah yeah…”

DISCLAIMER: for obvious reasons, I will not talk about some of my experiences directly or explicitly. Again, where most of my censoring comes from is the respect I hold for my grandmother, who is an avid reader of this travel blog, and I’d rather not scar her too badly. If you’d like to hear it all, bring a bottle of wine to my house before I leave Seattle and we’ll talk.

SECOND DISCLAIMER: I really didn’t do anything horrendous, but I like creating an exciting atmosphere with my story-telling, so for all intended purposes- just pretend I was a bad, bad boy.

Alright, so, the first day in Amsterdam wasn’t actually the most excited: I had a 10hour layover in Copenhagen, which last most of the day, and I ran out of minutes on my international sim-card, which resulted in me not being able to connect with my friend/tour guide. I think this was Monday the 24th….yes..I think so. I did, however, end up seeing a good amount of the gorgeous night-scenery while I looked all over the place for my freaking hostel. Seriously- I COULD NOT FIND IT. I stayed at the Stayokay Hostel at Vondelpark. As I would come to find out, it was actually StayOkay Hostel in Vondelpark; the hostel was literally in the middle of this park. I, on the other hand, walked around for over an hour with my 35lb bag trying to find this damned hostel, looking like the biggest sap of a tourist in the world. As anyone who knows me knows- I dislike tourists, immensely. Mostly because of their ignorance and non-desire to actually live and learn a culture, instead, opting to visit sightseeing destinations and stay in fancy hotels. I know, I know, I’m an econ major and I know tourism is a fair chunk of some nations’ GDP, but still, tourists on whole can be assholes.

But I digress.

I looked liked the only tourist in Amsterdam, and because it was winter, I wasn’t too far off. But I eventually found it, thanks to the help of another hotel manager. I checked in, found my coed room, and unpacked. And here’s the funny thing about the coed room- it was full of dudes. I clicked on the coed because it was the only room open at the time I registered, but I have a feeling that every other dude in the room booked it accordingly to try and fully “experience” Amsterdam with a little hostel love. And another interesting thing was that there was an entirely girl-tour group staying the hostel and I could hear girls down every which way of the corridor and every room around us- but our room was completely dudes. I don’t know, I just find this to be a funny occurrence. One of my hostel-mates, Daniel (?) from Argentina, had just checked in as well and was getting all prepped up for the stay. We chatted for a bit and I eventually decided to go check out the city a bit. Daniel (?= I forgot his name, so it will be Daniel from now on) was working on his blog and I tried to persuade him to come out and get some drinks, but he declined because he wanted to write everything while it was fresh in his mind. Right at that moment of denial, a PACK OF CLUB-DRESSED = SCANTLY CLAD WOMEN walked behind me, tossing smiles and flirts our way. I did one of those slow head-turns back to Daniel whose head had tilted so far to the side he could rest his ear on his shoulder (comfortably), raised an eyebrow, and threw a headnod towards the chick-pack.


something is wrong with this dude, seriously.

Anyway, I was done trying to persuade this guy to come out, and I took off after the night-life. The pack had gotten out of sight by the time I got out, so hunting was out of the question, leading me to find fun on my own [which isn’t hard for me]. I walked to the touristy-tourist center of town and immediately found a bar playing loud music and had a good, dense crowd of people. I made my b-line for the bar and got some drank. Honestly, nothing really happened here; I talked with a couple of people, drank a bit, got a couple beers bought for me, and left because it was 4am something and I was drunk. I was set to meet Katie, my buddy, at a local bike shop in the morning around 10:30, so I figured with everything going on that next day, I should have probably started back. As I step out of the bar, I look across the way and see the “Cool-Down Cafe” (?), a coffeeshop. As Katie told me –“Coffeeshops = weed; coffeehouse = coffee”. And I mean, what is the sensible son of an agent of the law going to do at a time like this?

You’re damn right I went into that coffeeshop.

“Did you smoke..?”


“Why not?!”

Because (1) I didn’t have any matches; (2) I was already drunk and I didn’t feel the need to go overboard; (3) honestly- I was nervous!

In the States, as everyone knows, this is bad-juju, and I wasn’t quite in Netherland-mode yet, so I took my time, ya dig?

So here I am , walking down the street back to my hostel, nd I’m thinking to myself: “Damn I’m cool!”, when in reality, I was just now fitting in to the Holland scene. But in any case, I felt awesome because I had already started experiencing Amsterdam. Even though I had drank until 4am, met some peeps, and bought a J- today was going to be NOTHING compared to the next night, which you can read in my exciting conclusion!

…to be continued…

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