I know it’s way too early to say goodnight, especially since it’s only 7:00 pm here in Amsterdam, but I’m turning in early because I’m completely knackered! I’ve been getting up at 6:00 or 6:30 the past few days because I have to renew my locker rental (left my suitcase at the Amsterdam Train Station since I’ll be leaving from there soon anyway) before 7:30 am. I arrived a few minutes late today so pfft! Never mind. I’ll just pay an extra Euro 4.00 tomorrow. I have to get up early again tomorrow – the train for my next destination leaves at 8:00 am, and I don’t want to miss that (I don’t want to miss any of my rides, full stop).
So yeah – I’m in Amsterdam and my eyebrows went up several times in the last three days. First, I was amazed at the grandeur that is their train station. I was mildly peeved when I got in because the elevators were painfully slow and there was just a whole lot of people (having spent the last 8 years of my life in New Zealand, you kinda forget what a “big crowd” looks and feels like). Plus, I couldn’t find the locker area and bus stop F. However, when I turned my head, I was like … :O.
What other things caused me to raise my eyebrow or smirk while I was here … the buildings did. For some reason, the buildings all look so wonky. If these were not skewed to the side, they look like they are about to topple forward. Maybe it has something to do with Amsterdam’s many canals – who knows! All I know is that my inner OCD wanted to tilt the buildings so that they would stand properly.
The proliferation of cannabis also shocked me. They have cannabis lollies, cannabis energy drinks and were openly selling cannabis seeds! Tempted to try their happy brownies, but nah … I’m not that adventurous. I was, however, brave enough to walk up and down Amsterdam’s notorious red light district by my lonesome (but it was daytime, so it’s still “safe”). I even entered one of the many erotic shops that lined the street. I think it was one of the tamer ones, because they didn’t have any S&M stuff on display. I found out from the friendly salesman (no, he wasn’t gross looking – he was actually quite polite) that the government has shut down almost 2/3 of the “fun” places. It was really weird – he was discussing the pros and cons of each, toy – like he would explain the functions of a camera. Very technical and with absolutely no hint of malice whatsoever. I didn’t buy anything though. Sorry, but I’m not that “brave”.
Anyway, it was a fun three days. I saw tulips, had gouda cheese, had fried potatoes with mayonnaise (just like the Dutch like them) and even went on a canal ride (at Giethoorn, not in Amsterdam). Here’s Amsterdam from my perspective: