Day 24: Cannabis Museum, Yellow Sunshine, and canals.
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 24 of 60 › view all entries
I had a ticketless entry for my flight from Dublin to Amsterdam, but I managed to get to the wrong window two different times before I finally got to check my bag in. I was a little hesitant, but we all know there's only two types of luggage: carry-on luggage, and lost luggage. The whole reason why I splurged the big bucks on a nice backpack was so I could just do carry-on the whole trip, but these no-frills european airlines (aer lingus, for example) only allows one piece of carryon luggage. Bollocks, I say.
I touched down safe and sound ant doock my first nice double-decker dutch train into the heart of Amsterdam at the Centraal Station. A little disorienting in the city, since it was muggy and the sky was pretty gray. Got on my first tram ever (yay! fun!) to the Amigo Hotel, which was kind of a last-minute choice and ended up being pretty far away from the action, meaning I had to take the tram everywhere. But it's definitely true: UK and Ireland hostels are way nicer.
I admit: I got so utterly lost in Amsterdam, my tram pass was not even worth it. I had to backtrack every tram ride I took, and since the whole city is laid out in the shape of a big wide U, my compass was of no help. All the canals look similar, the street names are just RIDICULOUS and hard to remember, and, well, I wasn't entirely into Dutch mode yet.
I arrived at the Cannabis College after looking everywhere for it, and despite the name, I did not receive any diploma or certificate upon completion. They did have a nice all-season garden in the lower room that simulated spring, summer, and fall with specialized lights that let you see the different flowering stages of the Cannabis plants. Interesting indeed!
Right as I rounded the corner out of the Cannabis College, I saw my first pair of prostitute legs. Oh my god, I had just stumbled into the red light district at 6pm! Even though it was well light outside, the crowds were gathering on a Thursday, and I looked around and saw the place. It's on such a quaint canal-lined street, so it looks cute until you see all the sex shows! Live sex on stage! Big nasty old 'n busted! Dildos! Hoes! Private booths!
I found the Grey Zone, which is a little coffee shop run by a couple of American dudes, and they set me up with a nice spliff of something they called Yellow Sunshine or some shit like that. Worried that I would fuck up the ordering, I blurted out I was new at this and never been there before, and asked for a lighter. Found a nice secluded bench on one of the canals where no one could see me (the residual fear from the States, of course, even though it's perfectly legal here). It was a mixture of fear of getting caught coupled with the gripping fear I would fuck it up and start coughing uncontrollably in public, or, worse yet, light the wrong fucking end and fall into the canal in front of a large audience.
Anyways, got pretty toasted, and the words heeded to me by the guidebook were true: it's waaay stronger here. WAY stronger. I actually almost fell into a canal. Good God.
Continuing on my quest to be productive, I got to the Anne Frank Huis (House), where the unlikely families hid for the better part of two years away from the Nazis, and it was a real walk-through of the living quarters, including the secret entrance to their secret annex.
I have no idea what I did for the next couple of hours besides enjoying a nice cappucino at Rembrandt Square, but I met my 3 Irish roommates, barely scraping 18 years old and looking like little sheep in a big world. Awww. I went out again to the red light district to see what it was really like back at like 11pm, and there were plenty of shady dudes hawking ecstasy and coke (both of which I highly doubt are of good repute or quality). There were a fair share of some pretty nasty old ladies, especially on the side streets, but on the main canal streets there were some beauties to behold as well. My favorite part was people watching the guys who would stare incredulously for ages at the girls, summoning their inner brain gears to try and justify their conscience into letting them sleep with a prostitute for 50 euros. Aww, it was like little devil against little angel on each shoulder. ;)