Despite any pre-conceived notion of what you may or may not think Amsterdam is like, in actuality the city is very calm, relaxing, and beautiful – with over 600 years of rich history, inspiring architecture, and peacefully meandering canals. The trip was a very tranquil experience for all of us.
Psyche. Amsterdam is fucking crazy.
That’s all I got. I spent a good five minutes trying to think of a better, more eloquent way to describe the past three days but I keep coming back to the same thought: Amsterdam is just absolutely fucking out of it’s mind.
First of all, here’s a video I took. This is what welcomes your arrival to the city… these dudes sitting outside of the Amsterdam Central rail station:
This song would have been the perfect soundtrack to our whole trip, playing on repeat, if only that extended clarinet/accordion intro were to, after the build, get viciously dropped straight on its head for some skrillex-style crunchy dubstep remixing.
Listen, there is no question that Amsterdam is beautiful, because it is. A lot of the buildings were built during the Renaissance, and there are awesome looking canals that make up almost 25% of the entire city. The streets are clean, there are some really amazing museums (The Van Gogh museum being the one I wanted to see most, but it was closed) and the Heineken Brewery experience is a great time. But let’s be real. Nobody goes to Amsterdam just to see Starry Night and drink home-made Heinies and Amstel. It’s all about checking out the Dutch sex, drug, and rock & roll shock-culture that is so overly hyped.
Brother, seeing is believing.
Here are a few fun facts about Amsterdam:
1) Weed. Everywhere. The whole city from McDonald’s to the “Coffee Shops” smells to some degree like Michael Phelp’s basement. People from 16 to 75 walk around, casually smoking joints in crowded public areas with absolutely no second thoughts. Blowing the smoke in police officers faces and laughing at their inability to do anything about it. Living in Amsterdam is essentially like living in a Snoop Dogg music video, except with much more middle-aged male Asian tourists.
2)Sex. And no, not I’m not talking about prostitutes, though I’ll touch on them later (does he mean literally? I dunno keep reading.). I’m talking about the selling of sex things. There are so many different sex shops, it literally makes no sense. Toys, books, movies, music, everything. Like there is no way, economically, that so many shops selling similar products located so close to each other can stay in business. To illustrate, I typed “Sex Shops in Amsterdam” into Google Maps, and got 1,034 different search results. Whatever your turn-ons, vices, fantasies, or deep dark inner secrets may be, it can be bought here…
Oh man I hate when advertisements interrupt the story just when it’s getting good. Hold on a second…
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3.) I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but a guy staying at our Hostel told me that The Red Light District makes Las Vegas look like St. Paul, Minnesota… and I like that description, so that’s what I’m going with. We were told to go see the RLD at night for the full tourist effect, so that is exactly what we did. Black and Red. All you see in the Red Light District at night is black and red; darkness highlighted by TONS of bright neon red. It is about 5 square blocks, and it is packed with tourists strolling up and down the streets, observing the scenery like one would observe exhibits at a museum – except instead of paintings, dinosaur bones and mummies it’s half naked hookers, theaters where you can see live sex shows, and restaurants whose menus posted outside their doors consist of appetizers named Big Daddy Kush, AK-47, Northern Lights, and OG Purp.
4.) The hookers are not what you’d expect. Amsterdam Whores (the preferred, and politically correct nomenclature) are not your overweight, disgusting looking, meth-head prostitues that you’re used to in the states. No, these soulless ladies of the night are young, very attractive, and 95% have had breast implants or other cosmetic surgery. They all pretty much just stand behind their respective glass doors, waiting for someone to walk up to them and nail them for 50 euros. It’s honestly felt similar to a trip to the zoo, if the zoo had hot eastern european women who gave up on their dignity. They all have the same empty glaze behind their eyes; the kind that couldn’t be hidden by any wink or smile thrown at me. (Side note: I caught myself one time smiling and winking back at one of them as we walked past. Um what? Seriously? Winking at a prostitute? Stay hot bro!… Even I had to shake my head at myself. Truly an all time low.) Supposedly the industry is highly regulated and “safe,” the prostitues always use condoms, and are required to take mandatory STD tests every two weeks. EVERY TWO WEEKS. The pretty ones probably have sex with 30 different people every day. Multiply that by 14 and that’s exactly how many reasons I needed to say “No thanks gorgeous, but I’m all set.”
5.) The prostitutes behind the closed windows DO NOT like to have their pictures taken. There is a real strict “No Cameras” policy with signs posted everywhere. I even asked one hooker if she would take a picture with me if I paid her… you know, for Facebook. No dice. This chick honestly had a sign in her room that said “SEX, LESBY SHOW, S&M” but had to draw the line at a clothed photograph with yours truly. Talk about a real shot to the self confidence. So screw her, I took a pic anyway. iPhones don’t count as cameras.
So recap, Amsterdam is fucking crazy. I missed out on Mel Weekend back home, was pretty bummed about that, but this was the perfect solution to make me forget about how much I miss all the great, crazy people I left back home. It was an amazing time, and 3 days was the perfect amount to spend there. Any more would have probably been debauchery overload, and any less would not have been enough to see everything. This Thursday the party will continue rolling, as it heads to the sunny shores of Barcelona, Spain for the weekend. Can’t wait. I’m touching up on my spanish. Las señoras tristes. ¿Me puede dar instrucciones al gimnasio más cercano? Soy un jugador de fútbol profesional, y tengo que estar saludable.
Here are some more Amsterdam pics from the trip:
…or the canals.
My roommate poses like he’s a male model. With me behind the camera he might have a shot.
Weed lollypops for sale at the farmers market.
Red Light District pictures.
Translation: “I came all the way to Amsterdam, and all I got was this dorky hat.”