In retrospect we never should have done it in that order: coffee shop followed by the red light district. Instead we should have hit up the prostitutes THEN some mary jane. Oh well that weekend trip still ranks up there as one of the best of my life.
I remember the IM we sent to each other confirming that we were indeed going to Amsterdam... I copied and pasted it into a xanga blog. Yep, I was that excited. We were both study abroad students at an English speaking college in Rome. And, because there were no Friday classes, long weekends were ideal for travel and backpacking!
The second night in town we decided to unwind at the coffee shop down the street. Everything was really close to our hostel, within walking distance. This would be our second coffee shop since arriving. Forget bar hopping in Amsterdam, it is all about the space cakes and joints. I stuck out like a sore thumb, might as well have worn a neon sign flashing AMERICAN or had "AMERICAN" tattoo across my forehead. Indeed I was completely out of my league as I asked for a weed menu.
It was bright yellow, we stood at the bar looking it over.
...to name a few
I didn't know what to order, neither did my travel buddy. We took a shot in the dark and purchased either purple haze or white widow. In joint form. And a bag for the road. Awkwardly, we sat in the rear of the shop and puffed away trying desperately not to hack up our lungs drawing everyone's attention to us. It only sort of worked. My mate sang along with the music, "so take me to the altar in your white dress..." She had such a lovely singing voice and I was so pleased to be there with her. We took photos of ourselves smoking legally. And photos of the legal weed.
see the menu in the background!?
After about an hour of this (perhaps more, perhaps less) we decided to walk around. My travel mate was higher than a kite, I was still pretty good.
Was it then that I ventured into the red light district or did we go to another coffee shop? I don't remember. But the point is this: my mate was high. I mean... gone. She had to sit down and ground herself. Because we wouldn't be in Amsterdam for long, this was the last and only chance I had to visit the glorious Red Light District. Nothing was going to stop me so I decided I'd go it alone.
At one point my mission was to get a prostitute. No, no. Not for sex. 1, to say I had. What a story that would be! 2, To talk! What a blog that make, right? But I didn't go through with it that night. Instead I decided to buy a porno from one of the numerous sex shops in the district. Much more feasible.
I fully subscribe to this philosophy: WHEN IN ROME.
So I started to walk to the Red Light District, alone. Anxious. Maybe I was a little high after all? I will never forget how I felt upon seeing and approaching that first red door, that first prostitute. She was inside her compartment and a crowd was gathered around. She was striking different poses like a model would. Only... half naked! I stopped dead in my tracks, jaw dropped. I had never seen anything like it. I had yet to go to a strip club at that point. Yes, this was all new territory for me. Then, suddenly, the woman looked straight at me. She gave me a sexy, come hither expression. My face dropped to the ground, to my feet. It was too much! All too much.
The next doors got easier, my anxiety lessened. After walking down both sides of the street, absorbing the sights, I decided it was time to go into a few sex shops. They were much like American sex shops but the staff seemed friendlier and open. I had a great conversation with the owners, we discussed American prudishness. I asked him to recommend a porn video which I bought and have to this day. It was cheap, has 18 (or some extremely large amount) hours of porn, great variety, lesbians, and some "midgets" thrown in. HA HA HA. Sold.
There were also live sex shows. Apparently you are taken into a room, get off while watching people go at it, and leave. I thought this to be a bit unsanitary so did not try it. Maybe next time!
At the end of our stay we had quite a bit of Mary Jane left over so we gave it to the nice folks in the hostel. Where were they from...Croatia maybe? Wish I could remember.
I bought myself a weed themed lighter and a mini bong to commemorate that part of the trip.
Maybe I'll write about the more serious parts another day.
You know, Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum
ME! Nov 2005.
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