08.24.2009 26 °C
Wow, neglecting the blog a little! Don’t worry I’m back on track, this one might just be a bit long..
On Saturday I got up early and went for a jog around the park in Rotterdam and the port, saw the swan bridge, etc. Felt good to be out and about so early! Had breakfast at the hostel (they had vegan nutella!!) and walked to the train station to do a day trip to Den Haag. Now, I’m not sure if it was the mood I was in or what, but I wasn’t all that into exploring and getting lost, so my trip was short. I didn’t even make it to the beach! But oh well, save it for another trip I guess.
Yesterday I made my way to Amsterdam fairly seamlessly, and my hostel was a 5 minute walk from the station, which was awesome. I got into Amsterdam not feeling 100% (still) but determined to walk around and at least see a bit of the city that day. I couldn’t check in until after 3 and it was only 1 so I ditched my stuff and walked around. Little did I know my hostel is smack in the middle of the red-light district, so there were stoners and girls EVERYWHERE. Everyone in Amsterdam is high at around 1pm. I mean everyone! So that was a little disheartening as I knew I probably wouldn’t relate to half the people here, unless they came for Anne Frank and the Heineken tour. Cool. Anyways, walked around nonetheless, feeling relatively safe during the day, even though it’s one of the most dangerous streets in Europe! (Don’t be afraid parents, I’ll be fine.)
I went to Madame Tussauds, as I missed out on it in London, and this one was cheaper too. It was pretty good, definitely a good way to kill time anyways. Got to see some (wax) celebs! Haha.
At around 4 I went back to my hostel to check in. WELL, I get to my room and could hardly make it across to my bed without stumbling on shoes, perfume, and girly crap. It was everywhere. I assumed either the girls who were there were living and working there and set up camp, or were just all together and didn’t care about their shit. I literally had to put my backpack on my bed and sleep with it because there was no where to put it. There were smokes and “mushroom truffle” wrappers and other misc. getting-high objects around the room, so I knew these girls were having their version of a good time. I wandered out again, finding dinner and taking pictures, then spent the rest of the night having a drink at the hostel and calling it in early.
4 am and the lights go on and a group of 7 40+ British/Scottish/Irish ladies stumble into the room and start singing various tunes they’d heard that night. They all sounded like they’ve been chain smoking since they were 3, and were obviously drunk/high/whatever. They didn’t even notice I was there until I rolled over 10 minutes later and were like, “Oh, sorry love, it’s just we’re all togetha an’ didn’t know we’d be sharing’ a room.” I was like, well you are so go to bed! They didn’t, and half an hour later while they were still singing away and chatting, one lady was like, “I must have a cigarette!” and I was not having it. Grumpy as hell, I grabbed my computer and headed out to the lobby to waste time while they went to bed and the room aired out. I went into the lobby and the guy was like, “Sorry you can’t be in here,” and I said, “Oh, sorry, it’s just the old ladies in my room are smoking and it bothers my throat,” knowing full well the reception guy said “NO smoking in the rooms as our smoke detectors are highly sensitive.” Needless to say they got in trouble, and I’m a major tattletale! When I went back into the room they apologized and said they were going to bed, which they did over an hour later after more singing and reminiscing about their evening. Awesome.
Today was much better though; I got up bright and early, trying my best not to wake those super considerate and respectful ladies, only slamming the door on my way out. I hope that gave them all a startle, but somehow I doubt it. They made me really angry! Anyways I walked over to the Anne Frank museum and even though it was only 9:30 am there was already a 15 minute queue. But the museum was really good, very simple and told Anne’s story quite well. You actually walk through the building that the Frank’s hid in during WWII, which was cool as I thought you would just see it from behind a glass wall. Very eye-opening; I can’t imagine what it will be like to see Auschwitz and Dachau.
I had passed a big shopping center on my way to the Anne Frank House, so I checked that out afterwards, which was a bit of a disappointment. But good in a way as I wasn’t tempted to buy anything!! I am learning, and the bank balance is a little startling, so I’m trying to smarten up on my little habit.
I then joined in on the NewAmsterdam free walking tour, which of course, was amazing! The tour guide was a bit perma-fried, but I guess that goes with the city. But he did take us through some cool spots in Amsterdam, and made me see it as much more than just a place for tourists to get high. Actually, I learned a lot about weed on the tour! I learned that most Dutch people hardly smoked the stuff, as it’s so readily available that they get bored quick. Also, even though the coffee shops are legal, they have tons of rules, like no smoking cigarettes in them (wtf?) and lots of little technicalities. Also, it’s legal for them to sell you weed, but it’s illegal for them to buy it off of anyone. So when asked where they get their stuff (because they can only legally grow very little of it) they say something along the lines of, “It magically appears on our backdoor every morning.” Haha, how messed up is that? But our tour guide explained about how much revenue it brings in, what with food consumption because of all the high tourists, how the government gets their taxes, and how millions of dollars are spared from law enforcement normally needed to patrol the use of weed in other countries, and it did make a lot of sense. Maybe something Canada should think about? Not that I’m all for it or anything!
When I got back into my hostel I crossed my fingers and opened my door expecting the hurricane to still be there, and it was SPOTLESS! I actually went, “HAAAAWWWW” like the clouds had parted and the cleaning angels had come down and got rid of their mess, when I noticed two girls napping and promptly stopped! Haha, little embarrassing. Not too long after, 4 more girls came in and the other 2 woke up, and after telling them my horror story from the night before we realized we were all Canadians! Such a great turn-a-round. We all quickly made friends, and me and Julia and Amanda, the girls who were napping, went downstairs for a drink and then wandered around Amsterdam, including some of the red-light district, as the girls were leaving the next day for home and wanted to see as much as they could.
Now I’m off to bed and going to see more of the town that I judged at first, but am letting it grow on me.