"I won't tell your wife..."

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Jun 18, 2008

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

<Brian's brief chronological list of "highlights" (and of whinging)>
- Today Terry offered to be our tour guide and take us around in his car, so we did so. We were to meet him in Chinatown at 11am so walked around Chinatown and the Red Light District to kill time... this area was kinda scary in the early morning coz all the older grandmas were "working" their booths, hoping for some business... we eventually did catchup with Terry for his tour.
- The first place on Terry's tour was a cheese making place... here we saw how the cheese was produced and got to taste the different cheeses and we also tried stroopwaffels... kindof a sweet syrup caramelly waffle thing that is delicious... can be bought in all supermarkets in Amsterdam... we obviously bought more later on! We also saw a clog making place... they made clogs of all kinds, sizes and colours... even personalized ones so you can have Nike clogs if you so wish.
- The next place was a small town or a village as they call them here. Here, Terry took us to get costumed up in classic Holland dress for photos... I unfortunately had to wear a Russian style hat and ended up looking like one of those monkeys that play the cymbals for money. We also ate some raw herring and smoked eel which is a local delicacy.
- Next place on the tour was a set of five windmills... this required an extremely long drive coz Terry got lost due to lack of GPS... we got to see the airport and planes taking off and landing though. The windmills were kinda average... maybe it was due to the lack of colourful tulips like they have in their postcards and photos... the windmills were also kinda rundown and falling apart.
- This was pretty much the end of the tour and we went to the cinema to watch Iron Man. We had watched it earlier on the EEE-PC, but since Terry hadn't seen it yet, we opted to watch it again... it was still pretty good... good movies don't really come out that often anymore! Still need to watch Indiana Jones 4.... Watching it here isn't that good an idea anyways since there are dutch subtitles annoyingly at the bottom of movie.
- Had dinner at a Canto restaurant in Chinatown... annoyingly to Terry, we had bbq and roast pork... we hadn't had any since way b4 the trip so enjoyed it thoroughly.
- After dinner, Terry took us through the red light district... this time he deactivated the Lang forcefield and made her walk in front of us, so I got a few winks from the prostitutes eyeing a potential customer... hahaha. We also went in to see a peep show... we each got into a separate cabin that surrounded a circular room.... We each chucked in 2 euros and the window would unfog and a semi-naked woman would start moving around... um, seductively? Anyhoo, not much else to report here... haha.
<Lang's Extended Version>
It looked like it would be an overcast day again today, but luckily, Terry had our whole day planned out, so we didn't really have to do too much apart from make our way over to Chinatown to be picked up by 11am..
So after breakfast, we slowly made our way over - of course this meant that we needed to walk through the Red Light District again.. Most of the ladies of the night were probably still in bed and those that were out this morning weren't exactly the 'pretty' looking ones.. Brian had an eyeful at the first window.. haha..
We stopped by a cheese making factory/shed to listen to how cheese was made there and even got a free tasting of all the different types they made their.. Our favourite had to be the baby gouda as it was soft and creamy.. But I guess what we also loved was the stroopwaffels, these were round caramel filled waffle biscuits, which we later stocked up on at the local supermarket for half the price..
Across the road they had a clog making place, so the guy there explained the process to us briefly.. It seemed rather simple as most of it was made on the lathe type machine and they used a template to carve out the shape of the clog.. It's a wonder who actually wears these uncomfortable wooden shoes..
Next stop would be to Volendam, which is a fishing or tourist village as there were many tourist there going out on a ship or doing what we were there for - to dress up as they did many moons ago and have our photos taken.. Apparently 'everyone' (according to Terry) gets their photos taken here - even Jacky Chan..
So into the shop we go and I was quickly taken to one side and helped by two ladies who quickly put a skirt, top and bonnet on top of my head.. I was then taken to the other room to pick a pair of clogs to go with my outfit while they dressed Brian up.. OMG, when Brian stepped into the room with his outfit on, I couldn't help but laugh my head off.. It was totally hilarious!!! Think of one of those dressed up monkeys that you see in cartoons playing the cymbals, that was exactly what he looked like..
Anyway, we had a few photos taken and then headed out to check out some souvenir shops and a bite to eat while they processed them for us.. For lunch, Terry shouted us to a fresh herring and smoked eel.. The herring was a bit too gooey for my liking, but wasn't too bad as it tasted a like sashimi. As for the eel, it was quite nice actually, just difficult to eat with all the bones.
It was 2pm when we picked up our photos, then headed to Zaanseschans to see the windmills.. It wasn't that great, but I guess it is typical of Holland, it was just missing those gorgeous tulips that appear in all the postcards.. Late May is a bit late in the season for tulips, so unfortunately I missed out the tulip fields that I so wanted to see.. poo... next time...
As Terry had gotten lost on the way to Zaanseschans, it was about 5pm when we left and decided to go to the cinemas to watch Iron Man.. I guess the 2nd time round is never as good as the first, but I still enjoyed it.
Yup, as Brian mentioned, we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant with bbq and roast pork, something we were wanting after eating fried potatoes, schnitzels, wurst etc for the past few weeks.. It really hit the spot..
Since Chinatown was just a street away from the Red Light District, that's where we headed after dinner. This time Terry showed us the way and made sure that Brian was walking on his own to see what reaction he could get.. Well, he did get a wink from one of the girls, so that made his night, I'm sure.. Either that or the peepshow we saw.. haha.. nah, the girl dancing around wasn't exactly a looker.
Oh, on the way back to the car, we saw a couple of the girls trying to entice a guy from a group in for a 'service'. The girls go to them "we won't tell you wife..." In the end, the guys weren't convinced, so they walked off.. it was pretty entertaining to watch, nevertheless!
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