In Amsterdam

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Monday, June 12, 2006

Here I am in Amsterdam... 2 nights to make the most of it. You don't need any reminder it's Summer here... it's a scorcher here in Amsterdam today. After this, I think I'll be heading for an outdoor pub to have a couple of beers. I'm glad I don't have to watch what I drink anymore... driving turned out to be a real pain except for the luxury in getting around Ireland with ease. Here in Amsterdam, the sex shops are in your face, especially with my hostel being in the centre of the Red Light District. It will be an interesting exercise walking through this area tonight.

I'm staying at the White Tulip Hostel on Warmoesstraat in central Amsterdam for 30 euro a night. It's next door to a, you guessed it, an IRISH PUB... can't get away from them. The dorm's cramped and filled with 3 very messy Canadians... 2 female and 1 guy. The girls aren't friendly at all... quite nasty actually. Luckily, they are only staying for 1 night. The other person is Australian, yet to meet. I think I can put up with this for 2 nights given that I've been living in relative luxury for the last 5 nights in Irish B&Bs. I don't plan on being in the room much anyway. Given that this may be my last 2 nights on the road, I'm out to celebrate what has been an amazing 6 months travelling with such a multitude of experiences, people, sights, food, means of transport, climates, cultures and accommodations. Going back to Perth is going to be kind of weird after what I've seen and experienced.

The flight from Dublin to Amsterdam was 1 hour and 10 minutes... with Aer Lingus. I don't like this airline... it is a no frills airline with no inflight entertainment and the service is very ordinary. I was in the emergency exit row which gave me a bit of extra leg room. I was feeling quite tired so tried to sleep the hour, but couldn't given that my seat wouldn't recline.

Getting a train out of Amsterdam's Schipol Airport was a bit of a drama. The damn machines only accepted coins, of which I didn't have any. I had to go to another machine where I had to use my CBA Cirrus Card to pay for the 3.60 euro ticket to the city's Central Terminus... a pain given that the CBA charges $5 for each and every foreign transaction. Everything has become automated here which I don't like. There is no person to person contact. The other thing that I've noticed with my travels is the impact of globalisation. Each and every place has become multicultural with there populations (the world's people have become truly mobile with cheap flighs etc.), the attitudes, the food, the clothing etc. I think this is a negative impact of globalisation... I've observed that many countries are losing their unique heritage and culture... which is kind of turning me off international travel. I primarily travel to immerse myself in unique experiences... Why leave your country is you're not going to achieve this?

Anyway, Amsterdam is up there with my favourite cities... so until next time Adios.
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