Trip Start Feb 20, 2006
Trip End Feb 18, 2007

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

yes, i am indeed in amsterdam. and all the rumours are true.

my hostel is slap in the middle of the red light district. which is SO red light, that there are actually barrriers at its perimeter to block of the traffic, and these barriers have big red lights on them, just to ram home the point.

coffee shops sell marijuana, cafes are actually bars... i haven't actually figured out where to get a coffee yet.

amsterdam is probably not the place to meet people when you are traveling by yourself - i trooped down to the hostel lobby and bar last night to find myself some friends, but everyone was stoned and completely anti-social really. luckily when i got back up to my room some english girls had just arrived, so i hung out with them. because i really wasn't about to set foot out the door of the hostel without a bit of backup. there is a high level of feral here. so we had a wander around for a while, then suddenly realised that the only girls out at night were for sale in glass boxes on the side of the road, and that we were indeed the only females in the bar, so we decided not to push our luck any more and leave :)

today i have had a wander around. went to see anne frank's house where she hid during the war, which was pretty interesting - you can still see where she has stuck her pictures of movie stars on the walls of her room, and the bookcase that swings out of the way to reveal the secret annexe. it was really well done as a museum, lots of interviews with the people who helped them, and with anne's father.

then i headed off to find this boat that i had heard about, called the poezenboot, which translated means 'cat boat'! yes, it is a boat full of cats :) it is a shelter for them, because there are lots of strays here, and for a donation, you can go in and play with the cats to your hearts content :) so i did. there was this old guy there who just thought it was the funniest thing that i had come to amsterdam, from australia, and was spending my afternoon playing with a bunch of stray cats. the cats here are bloody huge too - northern european cats, apparently, are much bigger than other cats. these ones where bigger than alot of the dogs i have seen!
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