Snors and Sidestraats: Jacobo goes to Amsterdam
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
34Trip End Jun 07, 2009
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Both Abe and Scott were more or less flabbergasted upon seeing the little surprise on my face. Prior to coming to A-dam, I had told them I wanted to have a mustache and they should do they same. They saw my 3-weeks-worth-of-a "snor" (Mustache in Dutch-pronounced like 'shnorr') and couldn't help but give a little laugh/chuckle. Keep it mind I was 100% aware that my little facial member looked hideous and heinous and was just a big joke. However, the word 'snor' did spawn some funny conversations/comments such as "Are you 'snor' about that?" and several other silly comments.
Jon, Scott and I walked around a little bit and checked out some sights. We literally spent 7 minutes or so in the Rikes Museum, which is a museum presenting the history and culture of the Netherlands primarily expressed through art. There wasn't too much to see since the museum was being renovated so we sped through the important stuff. After we got out of there, we grabbed a few slices of pizza, and then headed towards the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. As I really have become the artistic aficionado over the past couple months, I was eager to explore the differences between my knowledge of Picasso and Dali's style compared to Van Gogh. As it turns out, VVG wasn't so much the child prodigy that the other two were, and in the end, Vincent LITERALLY went insane and perished at a young age as a result. Nevertheless, we meandered through the 4-story museum, which culminated of our viewing of the famous Starry Night.
Friday evening through early Saturday morning: EDITED FOR CONTENT
After somewhat of a decent slumber on the air mattress, Scott blared some Hall & Oates "You make my dreams come true" as a standard wake-up song. Great choice! We made our way out of the apartment towards the Anne Frank House/Museum. The line seemed long so we proceeded to walk around and come back later. We searched a while for food until we found something close to Rembrandt's house. After grabbing a roll sandwich and tart White Beer, we entered into Rembrandt's house, the domicile of a famous Dutch artist. Overall, it was a pretty sizeable old house, containing old-fashioned rooms with some his (and others) famous paintings that created a very homey feeling within the abode.
Fun Fact #1: Rembrandt, along with other people of that generation in Holland, feared that if you slept lying down, then all the blood would rush too your head and you would die! As a result, they slept in box beds that allowed you to sit up halfway as you slept.
Fun Fact #2: Rembrandt had a majestic collection of artifacts, including weapons animal bones, animal skeletons, and other macho-esque (ish) goodies that composed an entire room of his house.
Fact Fact #3: Rembrandt was a much better etcher than painter. He also went bankrupt due to his spending habits and his inability to efficiently sell his art.
Fun Fact #4: The pop music duo Hall & Oates originally planned to call themselves "Dreamboat." (I randomly stumbled upon this while browsing for "Fun Facts" on the Internet, I swear. It's just a coincidence that I had just mentioned them as our wake-up song)
So, that was Rembrandt's house. Pretty cool dude if you ask me.
After that, we headed towards a huge Flea Market type place right around the corner that was very representative of El Rastro here in Madrid. Scott, Abe, and I are very fond of looking for "classic" attire and associated accessories. Although I didn't buy anything, we saw many interesting things such as bike locks, spray paint, a white Searsucker jacket, and the VHS tape Bernstein on Broadway. Scott and Abe bought "skinny ties", which I, upon 2nd glance, am extremely jealous that I did not purchase one at the time.
After our market experience, we ventured towards the Anne Frank house once again and finally made it in this time a la the Butabi brothers in Night at the Roxbury. At first glance, the exhibit/house is much larger than I anticipated. Albeit Otto Frank's office as well, the Annex (not a la 763 Jacqueline Lane) contained 3 floors with a room or two on each. Within each room was a description of its form, function, and who lived in each. As you progressed through the annex, there was an excerpt of Anne's diary or video clip displaying some aspect or progression of Anne and her family's experience of hiding during WWII. It concluded with the mentioning of Anne's perishing in the Auschwitz concentration camp, which was truly a poignant moment for me. Nevertheless, I was glad to have experienced the building in which a charming, pensive young Jewish child endured her last years.
After the Anne Frank house, we ventured back to the guys' apartment and made some food. We downed a few Pilsners and headed to a bar around the corner where the guys knew a friend. The friend (whose extremely Dutch sounding name I forget) was a large man, great in stature, as are many of the Dutch men and women. In fact, the Dutch claim to be the tallest people in the world on average with man averaging 6'1 and women an astounding 5'7 on average. Due to the abundant amount of apparent 7-footers, the guys and I decided to call them by former NBA 7-footers, most notably The Dunkin' Dutchman of the mid-90's Indiana Pacers, RIK SMITS!
Anyway, as I was saying, we hit up this guys' bar for a while and then our way to Paradisa Club. When we got there, the crowd was a little sparse, but that didn't stop us from fistpumping our faces off. We enjoyed ourselves for a solid while, rocking out, some of us in skinny ties, some of us not. I felt extremely "euro" and tried to use my 'snor' as somewhat of a pickup line on obviously taller-than-me Dutch girls. I'd just about all of my 10-15 attempts at conversation were an immediate failure and/or turnoff. Even so, we managed to have a great time and left around 3 am. We returned to the guys' apartment, grabbed our bags, and finally got the airport around 6:15 am, still awake ready to pass out on the plane. Upon arriving to Maruja's, I actually shaved my 'snor' PRIOR to going to sleep so that I would wake up feeling a little cleaner and much less Eurotrashy. Mission Accomplished for 'snor'.