08.25.2009 15 °C
Today got off to a grand start. I walked into Dam square and rented a bike so I could make my way to the sort of southern part of Amsterdam that I hadn’t seen yet. It was pouring rain, but that didn’t stop me, and I found the Heineken Brewery, my first stop, without a problem. The Heineken Experience was awesome! I figured it would be just like the Guinness tour, it was the same price, but it was ten times better. There were actually people throughout the tour who talked to you and did demonstrations and answered your questions. One up on Guinness right there! It went through the history of Heineken, all the brewing stages (we even got to taste a sample of one of the stages the beer goes through called wort; it was really sweet and weird!) Then we went into like a motion room where we were brewed! Haha, it was cool though, we got splashed with water and tumbled around and stuff and got to see the process from the inside out. Then we learned how to taste the beer, saw old commercials and propaganda, and finally got to the bar at the end. Unlike Guinness, you get 2 free beers at the end, as well as a pretty generous half-pint in the middle of the tour. Very cool and I’m glad I went!
After that I attempted to go to the Van Gogh museum, but the queue was huge and I couldn’t be bothered to wait in it. I then attempted to find Vondlepark, but took a wrong turn and ended up off my map in the pouring rain. After a couple of tries asking for directions, I finally got onto the right street when the chain fell off of my bike. Great. Two construction guys helped me fix it, and after about 15 minutes it was back to normal… for about 2 more streets when it fell off again!! So I’m pretty frustrated at this point, and I hopped on the tram to get myself back to the station when the tram guy starts yelling at me in Dutch to get my bike out of the tram. I had to ask people if he was talking to me, then I got off. I’ve seen tons of other people bring their bikes on in other cities! So I get off and ask a couple of people if I can take my bike on the bus, and they just stare at me. Didn’t even shake their heads or look away or tell me they couldn’t speak English. I even asked a group of girls around my age and they just stared! I was like, “THANKS.” So now I’m pissed, and completely back to hating Amsterdam and I tried to get a cab and he said he couldn’t take my bike, so I told him it was broken and asked him how I could get back to Dam Square and he said walk. So I freaking did, all the way back to Dam Square, half in tears, stopping for lunch on the way as it was 2 and I hadn’t eaten since 9 and I was starving and angry! These guys asked me to take their picture as I was locking up my bike and I was like, “NO I’m busy,” which now I feel badly about but that’s how frustrated I was. Especially since I had to walk this stupid bike through really busy streets where everyone walks super slow and doesn’t move out of your way, or just stops in the middle of the street to look at their maps. Cool! I was sooo tempted to ditch it in the canal, but all I could think about was how they had a copy of my visa as a deposit, and I think the charges would have been worse than this walk. Once I finally made it back to the bike place I explained what happened and they didn’t charge me for the rental so that was really nice of them, but I was still mad so I stormed back to my hostel and put on some mellow music and just laid down while I relaxed lol. I didn’t know I had this kind of temper!
Last night, plans with the 2 Amsterdammers that I met back in Revy didn't work out, so I had an early night yet again. Today I'm off to Cologne, Germany, and Friday I get to see Max in Nuremberg!!