Travbuddy meet up with the gorgeous Kei, and I finally meet my favouritest Paul!

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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Kei, Paul and I at a coffee shop (a real cafe, not a "coffee shop", LOL)

Why can't I sleep on planes?! After a grand total of about 3 hours' sleep, I woke up and killed time watching "3 Billboards" which was fairly good. The last time I landed in AMS was over a decade ago, Feb 2004 to be precise, and I remember the never ending taxi ride from the runway to the gate. So even more gutted when they announced that we'd be parking at a remote gate! 

Park at a remote gate we did, surrounded by a plethora of Jet Airways which felt nice. And off we unboarded, and headed to the proper terminal. I'd met a Sikh inflight (he was asking for the waffles!) and we got to chatting later on the bus.  Turns out he's a musician and he flew Biz class just to attend SXSW. Not only that, but he's been attending SXSW for the last 3-4 consecutive years!

Anyway, Schipol! Wow, feels like ages! Cleared immigration in minutes, picked my luggage and after talking to a bunch of clueless agents in trying to locate Air Serbia's desk, I headed to the luggage storage, dropped my suitcase and caught a train to the city centre.

Well, you know you're in Amsterdam when....!
Peeped into the G Star Raw for a bit before that.

Reached Amsterdam Centraal shortly after noon and did a wander about. I'd honestly forgotten about this town, and with zero research, I was starting afresh. I walked down the main strip. I wanted to visit that Sex Museum but Paul told me it was quite overrated, so gave it a miss. I wandered into various stores, G Star being one of them. As soon as the owner saw me wearing a G Star jacket, he was happy, called me a "well dressed man" and served me a glass of champagne. LOL! He was quite chatty.

One nice thing about this town, people are ridiculously friendly! Paul, Kei and I kept texting one another on where to meet up. Kei announced she was going to be late so Paul and I decided to meet by Madame Tussauds by 2pm.

Gates all full, so we had to park at a remote stand. good in a way, got a good shot of our Dreamliner
I continued a wander around, saw all those brownie and Cannabis chocolate shops and headed to meet Paul at 2pm. Looks I got there early... stood around the city centre watching people blow air bubbles into the sky. It was definitely a very relaxing moment no doubt.

I honestly don't recall a lot of what I saw in the Netherlands 3 decades ago. For the most part, a lot of it was still the same. 

And then, the man arrived! Paul and I have been friends for well over a decade now. We met through Travbuddy. The nicest thing about Travbuddy is that you meet various like minded people from around the world, some come and go...but something about our friendship that stuck. We instantly connected and have stayed dear friends to this date.

India's Jet Airways made AMS its base in 2016. There are 4 dailies flying out of Schipol
It's just that our schedules never worked and we could never meet. So poor Paul, despite living an hour away in Utrecht and doing a night shift, he still plodded through 3 hours of sleep and took a train to Amsterdam just to see me. Give that man a Nobel prize! Seeing as we've known each other for so long, we didn't have any awkward pauses or a "where do we start" thing, but picked up pretty much from where we left off through our messages. We walked through a rather cold Amsterdam to a waffle shop - we talked about work, travel, pretty much everything. After a nice crepe, we headed for a walk around the Red Light district. 

It had been so long since I visited Amsterdam I was expecting more and broader canals, but it was really quite narrow and all, in these parts.

Paul and Waffles!

We wanted to continue walking but it really was getting cold, so we just picked a coffee shop at the end of the Red Light area, and we texted Kei to meet us there. She eventually got there. Again, another Travbuddy I virtually met only recently, but she's amazing fun. Very open minded, very social and eager to ask questions, learn and grow. I always like chatting with such types. Kei and Paul hadn't met, so this was their first time.

We had a jolly ol' chat for nearly 2 hours. it helped that it was freezing cold outside so we didn't feel like venturing out. About 5pm, I said I wanted to head back so I can be in Schipol by 6pm. We started our walk, passed through the flower market (which was closing) and then to the main road that leads to the station. We said our goodbyes (although hopefully Kei and I would meet the following Saturday), and I caught the train back to Schipol.

Their flavoured waffles
I love how well networked Europe is!

On arrival into the airport, I headed to collect my luggage, walked through the shops (found one that sells model planes, wow!) and then proceeded to the Air Serbia for checkin. Proceeded through to Security Check which was actually really easy, and then into the terminals. I did some window shopping, and finally settled in for some Thai dinner. It was super yum (so yum, and I was so hungry I forgot to take photos!).

I headed to the departure gate at 830p as instructed. But the flight kept getting postponed and eventually left after 10pm. The flight was fairly full, and there was some kind of argument going on as well with a lady, seated at the back displeased about something.

I slept. All I know is that they handed out packaged sandwiches and bottled water, and I returned my sandwich as it was meat.

Chocolate of a heady kind
And .... I .... slept! The next thing I know, the PA landing announcement came on. Surprisingly, it was "only" 1145p, so looks like the pilot did make up lost time in air. So, I landed in Serbia for the first time. Thanks to Paul for pointing it out - this is now my 42nd country!

cotton_foam says:
I could imagine how exciting for the two of you… when he arrived!
Posted on: Mar 22, 2018
Paulovic says:
I'll come back later here my friend! Was very nice meeting up with you! :D I will soon write a vouch for you!
Posted on: Mar 20, 2018
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Kei, Paul and I at a coffee shop (…
Kei, Paul and I at a coffee shop …
Well, you know youre in Amsterdam…
Well, you know you're in Amsterda…
Gates all full, so we had to park …
Gates all full, so we had to park…
Indias Jet Airways made AMS its b…
India's Jet Airways made AMS its …
Paul and Waffles!
Paul and Waffles!
Their flavoured waffles
Their flavoured waffles
Chocolate of a heady kind
Chocolate of a heady kind
And the 4th Jet Airways
And the 4th Jet Airways
Random market
Random market
this is supposed to lead somwhere.…
this is supposed to lead somwhere…
Random shot of AMS
Random shot of AMS
random selfie
random selfie
Brownies!!
Brownies!!
Paul and I get some sightseeing do…
Paul and I get some sightseeing d…
They make nutella cup cakes here
They make nutella cup cakes here
More colour anyone?
More colour anyone?
More colour anyone?
More colour anyone?
At the Red Light district
At the Red Light district
At the Red Light district
At the Red Light district
Where we bundled up from the cold …
Where we bundled up from the cold…
Whilst waiting for Kei to show up
Whilst waiting for Kei to show up
Paul was telling me that this thea…
Paul was telling me that this the…
Flower market
Flower market
Flower market
Flower market
Flower market
Flower market
Flower market
Flower market
I could get lost in this store...p…
I could get lost in this store...…
Dinner at Schipol - the banana sti…
Dinner at Schipol - the banana st…
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou