Friday, March 18, 2011
I may be getting old, or perhaps my moral compass finally points in the right direction but Amsterdam is a freaking crazy city!
Since school ended all of us have been in need of a well-deserved break from each other. Most of us went away for the interim week between school and stage, some went out of the country, most escaped to little known corners of Italy. For example Ura went solo to London to meet up with some friends and drown himself in St.Patricks' Day beers, our good friends James and Erin both went to a hideaway in Cinqueterre on the Ligurian coast.
Pete, Tony, Chris, and I however took it upon ourselves to really unwind and relax for four days in the beautiful dis-functional city of Amsterdam. This place is probably one of the most fucked up places I have ever seen. It was like falling through the looking glass into this a quaint little Dutch town that looks like it got overrun by a unruly band of beer-guzzling and pot-smoking pirates. They sailed into to town and started setting up shop one street at a time, unloading upon this unsuspecting village of rosy-cheeked blond children wearing clogs all the horrors of sea-faring life: sex, drugs, and good beer.
I spent the entirety of my trip to Amsterdam in a daze, brought on by a combination of weed smoke and disbelief. I couldn't navigate my way around this place if my life depended on it, it was to me a labrynth of alleyways and canals all of which just became a blur, a merry-go-round of black latex and doughnut stores.
Oh yes, where there are stoners there are munchie joints. If you have a problem with self-control, of any kind, do not go to Amsterdam. My biggest vice is obviously food, and here is where Amsterdam and I ran into a problem. I have already been griping about my weight gain since Italy, armed with determination I was prepared to go into stage in "skinny mode", you know, low carbs and all that healthy mumbo jumbo. Unfortunately that was thrown out the window the second I got a load of what Amsterdam had to offer. This place has figured out how to get as much money from a bunch of stoned tourists as possible, they just put a food stand that sells pizza, loaded hotdogs, waffles with chocolate sauce, doughnuts, and ice cream right next door to a coffee shop filled with high kids. bingo! There's the million dollar idea!
There is every type of food, at all hours, and it is everywhere! I got my fix of all things Asian on this trip with a dinner of Indian, Thai and Chinese; a welcome break from my Italian culinary tour. Everything I ate in Amsterdam was phenomenal, whether or not it had anything to do with the pot...I don't really care.
We did do more than just ate and smoked, we also saw a good amount of the city. We walked clear across the city to get to the Van Gogh museum and spent two hours in there staring awestruck at the walls. This museum was set up unlike any other I have been to, it was set up so that the visitor progresses through Van Gogh's work the same way he did, from his earliest and most basic compositions to his later years when he fully established his style and love for primary colors. They also threw in some works from a few of Van Goghs' contemporaries such as Monet, which was a real treat.After the museum we strolled on over to the Heineken museum and saw the factory and drank some beers. The Heineken is truly better over there and the museum was so much fun, a really great interactive experience.
To be honest though, I was just fine leaving Amsterdam. The city was great, I didn't see a sex show or talk to any hookers, but I think that's alright just the same. I smoked a lot and ate my face off, saw a cool new city and managed to get out of there alive and somewhat unscathed.
Amsterdam was a wild time. I can't wait to get back there someday