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When my coworker asked what my favorite country that I visited during this trip was, I told her it was Amsterdam. My exact words were “Amsterdam, but we don’t need to talk about it because you know why I loved it…” However, for the sake of being transparent, I’ll give you the details. You can’t fire me and I don’t have to worry about whispers regarding what Monique did in Amsterdam. I mean really, why else would I have gone?
Amsterdam was the epitome of a blur, but it smacked me in the face as soon as I got off of the train from the airport. I immediately thought it was one of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen…and I’ve seen some gorgeous places. I made a beeline for my hostel, which was mere minutes from the station, because I was starving and just wanted to get out and explore. I’d spend the shortest amount of time here and I had things to do!
After checking in and getting the spiel of it being a dry hostel (no drugs in the rooms), I set my things down and went back toward the lobby. There was a bar/pub right downstairs and those staying at the hostel not only got a discount on food, but 2 for 1 drink specials. I ordered up some food and two Beck’s all for my lonesome. Chugging those babies on top of not eating since before boarding my first plane put me in a lovely state. I headed upstairs to grab my charger and left with pointers from my roommates about where to head first. They pointed me toward The Bulldog, the first “coffee shop” in Amsterdam.
I flashed my ID and ascended into the dimly lit, smoky shop. At the counter I was alerted that my options for buying single joints were extremely limited. It was just me so I didn’t want to buy a pack (in retrospect I definitely should’ve) and I didn’t want to get so high that I couldn’t take in the city. I opted for a pre-rolled joint mixed with tobacco. I headed into the basement to find a seat for one and fired up. Still scared of getting too high too quick, I only smoked half and put away the rest to finish later. I’d return later and smoke the rest, believe you me.
I decided to roam the canals and wait for a munchie situation to kick in. And it did. As soon as I passed 1 of 10 million waffle shops in Europe, I stepped right on in. While the idea of a room temperature waffle doesn’t tickle my fancy, freshly made ones do. However a chocolate covered one wasn’t an option. I swear I’ll try one one day. I set my sights on a donut and a cup of earl grey. An expensive snack as usual, and a little parfume-y tasting, but it grew on me. Or maybe I was just high.
On my way back from indulging in treats (I swear I feel like I was my slimmest during this trip, somehow) I decided to hunt for the red light district. It wouldn’t have been a normal hunt if dipping down a random alley didn’t bring me upon dozens upon dozens of windows with the a rouge hue lighting them. Women of all different ethinicites, shapes, and sizes hoping to lure in a customer. Women who immediately hid behind their curtain if someone even hinted at snapping a photo. Women with a job to do. Working women.
I’d heard stories of the line to the Anne Frank house being hours long. So while I knew I had no intentions of visiting, once I finally did get out of bed I input the location into my gps and began my trek toward it. As I thought, the line was well around the block and I could see it from several blocks away. Unfortunately there was nothing to see from the outside but that was okay. I was there.
The White Widow pack of joints I’d picked up along my journey were calling my name so I headed back to The Bulldog for the fourth time in two days to sit outside and smoke my second of the day. You see, the joints that weren’t mixed with tobacco were substantially smaller. I smoked a full one earlier in the day and came back to the same spot to smoke the second. I ended up getting scooted one foot to the left because the establishment directly next to the coffee shop didn’t want people sitting in their chairs and smoking. A couple gave me a seat and in return, I gave them the rest of my joints. Why, when I’d just bought them earlier during the day, you ask? Well, at some point during lunch, as I scarfed down a huge burger, fries, and two more Beck’s, I realized I was catching an overnight bus back to London, per recommendations. My check out wasn’t until the next day, but I had an entirely different country to be in on Monday, so it had to have been this day, a Saturday that I should’ve been taking the bus. Thankfully I was so damn high that I remembered this, although it turns out it would’ve been easier to just schedule the bus for the next night. I didn’t want to risk it being late and missing my next flight. At this point I immediately eliminated any thoughts of plans for the day, and aside from smoking, I did have things I needed and wanted to do. I headed back to my room to pack because in a few hours, I’d be headed to the bus stop and gearing up for my first overnight journey ever. And what a mistake it was.