I would like to go through my trip at large while I am away but I promise to get more in to the details when I get home and have a bit more time on my hands.
We got to Amsterdam with little trouble. Flying stand by is always a nail biter, but we both got on. At the last minute some one upgraded and only one of us got to fly first class. Ben generously suggested right away that I should take it, and… well…. I do give blood sweat, tears and extreme lack of sleep so we can have these flights. I slept a little and enjoyed the food and bloody marys.
At the moment I am sitting in the bar in the basement of our hostel. Hostel….just when are we too old for them? I’m going to go with not quite yet, since a.) we couldn’t afford an actual hotel in such a touristy city and b.) we are only maybe a year or two older than the mean age in this hostel. But hey its clean. Although I don’t have a whole lot of interest anymore when it comes to drinking with strangers in a much used hostel, its a good option. Despite having a reputation for being a huge party hostel, its been quiet enough to sleep so I don’t really have complaints.
Ben and I have been planning our trip to Amsterdam and Prague, actually not at all until about two days before we left. I always find planning and the day or so before leaving for a trip very stressful. I get this from my dad, just ask my mom. He gets crazy cranky and mad at very strange things. Hopefully I dont get that bad but I do get incredibly overwhelmed when packing (despite the fact that I am an excellent packer) and think we just shouldn’t go. The longer we will be gone the worse it will be, so my case this time was fairly moderate.
Our first day we spent a lot of time just getting lost and walking the city. The architecture is definitely on of the best things about this city and there is very little of a metropolitan feel here. Its all old bring buildings and winding canals. It definitely feels very young and the people we see everywhere seem mostly under 40. The bikes are everywhere. Thus the cars drive slowly, but it certainly turns out that your dodging the bikes as much as any traffic. But it does make things more interesting and it is certainly culturally relevant
*side note, the very young people sitting across the table from me are taking jager shots and he, who is coming on strong, just said “do you remember my name now?” and she answered fairly definitively “……Sean.” and he reply’s “Matthew! Jesus Christ!” But I’m still giving him a 50/50 on his chances of getting laid….wait he just started bragging about writing a punk rock song.
People are also very tall here. Seriously, I think I’ve seen at least a dozen women in the last few days who are easily six foot. And no surprise, people are very thin. All that biking has clear benefits. People are also incredibly well dressed. Ben said he just doesn’t feel like he stands out at all. Everyone likes ties and wooden toggles on their jackets.
We went to the Anne Frank house our first day here. It was a bit surreal and obviously incredibly sad. It is an intense experience. It leaves you wanting to not necessarily talk about it but soak it in and think about it first. I’ll have to revisit the details in a later post.
The jet lag seriously set in for me around 6 and a kept myself away until about 8, when I zonked out for about three hours. When I woke up around eleven Ben was still awake so we decided to hit the red light district. Now I hear this is a must do for tourists, though I was a but foggy on the details. To make things very, it is prostitutes in glass store fronts in very tiny lingerie, and lots of sex shops with all sorts of black leather straps in their display windows. The brothels all have long red lights over the doors and the prostitute booths, thus the term “red light district” I am an american and thus that comes with a certain prudishness, and I can honest with that. I was totally uncomfortable, and found it quite sad. How did these girls end up here? When we first found it we sort of wandered into the side streets where I didn’t see another woman amongst the hordes of men, well a woman not scantily clad in a glass booth. We found the main stretch and that had more of a tourist feel. Ben and I discussed what the ratio probably was of dutch men looking to pay for some action, tourists, and tourists looking to pay for action. The girls are mostly very beautiful, thin, with large fake breasts, and very very young.
Today our big trip was out to the Tulip State Park (name to be inserted later) We were with mostly middle aged americans and asian tourists. It was very beautiful for sure. We are here closer to the end of Tulip season, but it is certainly a great time to see them. The varieties are truly spectacular and we had fun looking at all the bizarre flower names. We decided the people just get bored and pull these out of the air. More to come and many pictures later.
Now I’m done trying to concentrate in this noisy bar full of many languages, where the smell of weed never fades away, but on the up side, this guy is close to closing the deal. But well, she is Canadian and hes is a skinny guy with messy hair and a “sexy” British accent.