Amsterdam, Netherlands

Trip Start Sep 30, 2007
Trip End Jan 08, 2008

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Where I stayed
Christian Hostel

Flag of Netherlands  ,
Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ahhh, Amsterdam at last. When in Amsterdam, first thing you see is millions of bicycles. You see them everywhere and everybody has one. Students, adults, kids, grandparents, even the tourists has the most popular vehicle in Holland. You also notice other things such as (yes, you guessed it) coffee shops, red light district, bars and crazies crowding the city. Amsterdam is mostly driven by sex and drugs, and as a result, it attracts curious tourists from all over the world hoping to experience something surreal.

Ironically, I'm staying in a Christian hostel in the city that promises unforgettable nights. It's a long story but I couldn't find any other hostel so I checked into a hostel filled with biblical scripts on the wall and bible study invitations. While the bible study offer was tempting, I decided to save that for later and venture out to the center.

Let see, where should I start? Rembrandt house was bit disappointing but the Van Gough museum was impressive. Cathedrals are nice to look at, but I had better time spending time on the canal greeting the passing-by boats. BUT, I'm sure none of you are really interested in any of this, so I'll cut to the chase. Coffee shops can be seen everywhere (approx. 300 in Amsterdam alone) and it's legal to carry up to five grams of marijuana at any given time. Contrary to many beliefs, smoking marijuana is still illegal, but just tolerated in Amsterdam. Magic mushrooms are also legal, but it must be fresh. Mushrooms are very potent here and can get you into trouble if taken without proper precaution. One guy I met told me his friend, while on mushrooms, neatly packed up his suitcase and jumped in the shower with the suitcase in his hand. Complementing the drug industry is the infamous red light district. Narrow streets are packed with tourists, all pleased at the public display of prostitution. It's entertaining to see so many smiley faces while witnessing one of the oldest business practices.

My last night in Amsterdam, I ended up hopping bars and clubs, fully aware of my limited time here. Music was ok with mix of old classic rock and electronic. Nothing to brag about... One thing for sure, Dutch people are very tall. I feel like a midget here and my neck still hurts from looking up the whole damn time.

Despite the party scene, I didn't feel the need to stay long. I'd love to come back to Amsterdam with friends back home, but after staying here for three days, I wanted to reclaim some sort of sanity back to the trip. My perfect remedy was to visit my good old friend, Mike in Groningen.
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