Monday, May 25, 2009

23 Hrs in Amsterdam

I had never really wanted to go to Amsterdam. But it just so happens that it has a non-stop to Portland and my frequent flier mile reservation included a 23 hr layover. Not Enough Time. I had heard that Amsterdam was sort of a party town known for its sex and drug scene and that did not interest me, but no one told be it was also completely bad ass.

I showed up pretty much blind and completely unplanned. I stopped by the tourist info booth at the airport and got a fairly priced tiny room in the southern canal neighborhood that was walkable to everything. Got a guidebook. And hence my time there looked something like this:

-walked for blocks and blocks around the canals and houseboats and apartments.

-ate smoked mackerel on brown bread with dill sauce. (this sort of thing ranks high on my list of favorite kinds of things to eat).

-found Homomonument, a pink marble memorial to the not-so-nice things that happen to the lesbian and gay people around the world.

-noticed that the Dutch people sound like they are talking backwards but that is okay because they all speak English anyways.

-walked through red light district while the sun was still up and found it packed with roving groups of guys who seemed to be from the U.K.. It was like Bourbon Street with a lot of pot smell and ladies in windows.

-bought toothpaste in a grocery store.

-randomly met a couple from Texas who were also lawyers and we ended up going to a sharp looking wine bar in the Jordaan neighborhood together that featured throughly explained tasting flights and excellent conversation.

-got directions to a couple of women's bars which ended up being quite packed with tall, pretty girly, smartly attired Dutch ladies. Not that I really would notice such a thing.

-went to some photography galleries.

-walked by the Anne Frank museum.

-thought about Dutch bands I like:

Shocking Blue - Send Me a Postcard

Bettie Serveert - Lover I don't Have to Love (Bright Eyes cover)

-managed not to get in the way of any of the billion kabillion bicycles rolling around town.

-wanted to stay.

-slept 6 hrs, went to airport, flew 9 hrs back to Portland.


Brandon said...

I spent something like 49 hours in Amsterdam back in 2007. The city was much different than the Euro-Vegas Hellburg I was expecting. An all around great vibe and the early fall weather was fantastic but I wish I had stayed somewhere other than Rembrandt Square. It was pretty sleazy.

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