Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jim Morris is stalking me in Amsterdam

Hanging out in the hostel with Pete and Jana. It's about 11:30 in the evening and the nightlife of Amsterdam is just now getting under way. I will be joining it in a short time for some elicit activities.


Well, I ate part (not all) of a 'space something or other'. I'm sure someone will figure it out. Felt good from it but I am glad I didn't try more. I didn't want to risk the same sort of reaction as I had to too much 'sandwich' before. I'm guessing that some out there are saying 'why try again at all?' Well, when you get bucked off of the horse hard, you've got to get back in the saddle.

Or so they tell me.

I've eaten the Dutch version of some foods. The ice cream is nice but if you miss it you won't slit your wrists. Don't bother with the French fries - they are exactly the same in USA. If you are part of the Ugandan readership, sure, try the fries.


I forgot what the full name is - it is a famous wax museum. It was like 50ish euros to get the three of us in. It was OK and I did the 'surprise buttsex' pose with some of the wax figure celebrities as well as getting some pictures. You won't cry if you miss this one.


We were hanging out in a pub (England apparently corrupted us) where we met up with Thomas, Natasha and Constantine. They are all Germans which delighted me as I got to use some of my extremely limited German to help talk with them.

We are even going to be meeting up with Thomas in Munich.

A little on each of these folks:

Natasha was fairly quiet, perhaps being that she said her English was pretty limited. She seems to have a very wry sense of humor.

Thomas is a gay party animal. He laughs often, loud and easily. Good stuff. It will be an interesting trip in Munich. We're going to try to meet up with him on Sunday at noon in Marienplatz. Marienplatz is the old town square. Apparently they have some sort of monument (the name of which Pete has written down) across from the Rothause (government building).

Constantine is the deep thinker. He has no interest in smoking (anything) and enjoys good deep conversations. His English is a lot better than he thinks it is.

I like all three of them. It will be an interesting trip to Munich.


I'm back at the hostel. The current night porter is a black guy who is stoned so badly his eyes are very bloodshot and he has difficulty understanding anything. I was listening to a Rasta song about 'crapping my pants' - I'm not kidding - before he finally shut off the music.

Amsterdam has done quite a job getting me to the 'ragged edge' and keeping me there. The whole stay here has been completely surreal from the first time I tried a 'sandwich'. I'm thinking I had a microcosm of what Hunter S Thompson had indisputably in a 'macrocosm' if you take my meaning. [I apologize to people reading this who English is not their first language but some things you just need to talk indirectly about. Again, what happens in Amsterdam (mostly) stays in Amsterdam.

For those that can decipher this part of something Amsterdam is famous for, S and F is 50 euros. If you can't, it's better that you not. Lets just say that it's done with all of the passion and intensity of changing a tire. I don't think it's a good value but as they say 'your mileage may vary'.

Personally, I'm not really into the whole 'Amsterdam experience'. It's interesting but it seems that most of the people are a bit edgy. Maybe it's just me. A lot of times, your not sure if the person approaching you is going to beg you for a cigarette or money, bid you good day, go crazy, offer to sell you drugs which are illegal even here or do something else. The added effect of drugs, alcohol and sex is a randomizer in normal behavior I'm honestly not comfortable with. Combine with my natural fairly high levels of paranoia. Not good.

A lot of people comment on how 'relaxed' the city is and such. I don't get that at all. Since I've gotten here, I've been on edge. Perhaps I know too much of the undercurrent. To much about how things like human trafficking, drugs, pickpocketing, etc work to really ever be at my ease here. Between keeping an eye on the people, you have to watch out for cars, streetcars and bicycles. All that while trying to be friendly to people and such causes a bit of stress.

From the heavy food and beer to the hard working Germans, Munich has in the past been a very 'grounding' city to me. I am anxious to be away from this 'sandwich induced city' and back to something more solid underfoot.

We'll see how that works out.


We're going to attempt to get Jana onto her bus. It seems a rather dicey affair in that the ticket pretty much specifies a parking lot where the bus is suppose to come. If we can't get her on the bus, we may drag her to Germany rather than leave her in Amsterdam. She can then see just how bad my German really is.

Later that night, Pete and I (possibly Jana if her plans blow up) will be taking the night train to Munich. I'm not sure where we're staying as I seem to have misplaced all of my notes I took on it, but I'm sure we'll be fine.

I'm really looking forward to getting a frame pack (and my tooth probably pulled) in Czech Republic. It will allow me to bring more clothing while I'm traveling.


When I get to a country that has inexpensive clothing that can be made, I'm going to work on replacing my sweat pants. They are really ill suited to this kind of traveling. I'd suggest canvas - like khakis. With all of the walking I'm doing I'm wearing through these fast. Also, they're not very good in any sort of humid climate. Amsterdam is a bit humid.

Another travelers tip - if you get a pouch that velcros onto your leg, you will be amazed at the smell of it after three days. The normal 'hang under your clothing' pouches you'll need to wash after a week or so. I don't think I'll be able to have a laundry service deal with these sadly.

If you're going to partake of 'sandwiches', I'd suggest (at least for the first time) having someone with you that isn't partaking. The sandwiches here are very strong and having everyone in your group staggering around freaking out in an unfamiliar foreign city can lead to bad consequences.

The main train station in Amsterdam will be your guiding light. It's easy to find and very large; it will be your road mark to find your way back to where you're staying. I recommend staying near it. There are all kinds of places in (presumably) all sorts of price ranges nearby.

If you're looking for the Red Light District, it is SE of the main train station. Also, don't have any concern over asking the natives where it is. Little old men will be delighted to point it out to you as will any native here - if you can find them. It's not nearly as hard as in London but there are a lot of tourists here. I'm guessing that falls off dramatically outside of Amsterdam.

If you are going out, don't carry more money than you need for whatever you are doing. Hopefully, you'll figure that one out.

During the day time, you might have difficulty locating the red light district. Try after dark.

After about 1 AM on a weeknight, much of Amsterdam is shut down. Get any shopping you need to do (or services, like the laundry provider) in during the daytime up till the early evening.

Many of the restaurants are only open for a limited time but you will find plenty of others that are open when you are hungry.

Sometimes, the transportation workers go on strike. When they do, it is for part of a day and scheduled in advance. Street cars, trains and all of that shit just stops for that time. They put up notices, keep an eye out for them.


If you've got any questions or comments, feel free to submit them in the comments box.


  1. Question (feel free to elaborate in a full post): what you guys end up doing for phones?

  2. Just to say that over here in little old England, meeting a bus/coach in a Parking Lot is not an unusual occurance; they are big enough to house the coach and the passengers waiting and they are a good place to leave your car if you are going on a day trip or need to catch it for work

  3. Her name was Natalie! Where is Pete and his memory? Did you do something to him?

  4. I musta had too much sandwich...

  5. Maybe try washing or rinsing your leg purse out each night. What kind of material is it? Would it dry overnight? I had to do that when I was hiking with my socks and underwear which couldn't wait for weekly laundering but needed some washing in the middle.



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