amsterdam: 1 austin: 0
safe to say that amsterdam was the hardest thing i have done so far. i don’t want to go in to all the details* but we went with a group, which was hectic for me since i am used to being with just lewis/following a specific itinerary. needless to say, we got separated from the group more than once which sucks when you have no phone service.
* inquire for details
everything worked out in the end but take mind the entire journey from germany to netherlands took 9 hours via car and train. many, many trains. it was a long day. we also had a stopover in rotterdam to drop off our bags at our hotels.
we were with dom, rachel, (who picked us up from trier, more details below!) and their three friends they know through the military. hooray for more americans!
the city itself was pretty cool, but really dirty. not sure what else i would expect from a city where you can legally buy sex and weed. the streets were filled with people (and trash) from all over the world, it was hectic! it was like las vegas or new york but with better architecture and the constant smell of marijuana in the air. definitely an experience.
when the sun set, the red lights went on and the girls came out to play. windows were lit up with neon colors and nearly naked women stood in them striking poses, waiting to name the price. we only saw a few, but it was enough. if i lost sight of lewis for 5 seconds i would have been engulfed in the crowd like a child at disneyland and we had already lost our five friends (again). we moved quickly and i kept a firm grip on lewis’s hand. we were on our own this time.
lewis had on his gopro which a prostitute saw and opened her glass door, yelling after us. “f*** you motherf***er piece of ****!” we picked up the pace. i guess no photos or videos allowed. funny your job is to have sex with people for money but you get mad if someone takes a picture or video of you. priorities.
we decided to leave around 9:45 pm because it takes an hour to get back to rotterdam.. but didn’t get on a train until midnight. why? because walking to the train station took two hours. why? because we got lost in the rain. 4 miles in the wrong direction to be precise. again, inquire for details.
when we finally got to the train station, we could not figure out tickets. ugh. we were like, “f#%& it” at this point, so we “snuck” on to a train and headed back to rotterdam.
it was a long hour train ride back to our hotel. our eyes were heavy and i was so nervous waiting for someone to ask to see our tickets. thankfully and luckily it never happened. earlier, we got in trouble for not having the right train tickets and had to pay €20? oops.
after our long journey, we were definitely ready to take a cab. we walked up to a cab driver in front of the train station and asked him to take us back to our hotel at bahn 14. he said to walk up further and to find another cab. we shrugged and asked the cab driver behind us if he would instead. the cab driver asked why the other one wouldn’t bring us. we weren’t sure. this is when the cab driver got out of his car and approached the other cab driver’s door, where he proceeded to yell at him. he was saying he must take us to our destination or he was going to call the police. ahh! they started arguing (in another language), which attracted two more cab drivers to get out of their cabs. they all started arguing with the driver who made the apparent mistake of refusing us a ride.
one cab driver had a notepad and started threatening him, said he was going to report him unless he took us. i got nervous. lewis said it was fine but all the other cab drivers told us to get in the cab and that he has to take us.
needless to say, it was an awkward cab ride back to the hotel.
i am glad those cab drivers care about their policies and know what the other cab driver did was wrong. somebody send these guys to minneapolis.
we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite in our hotel.. which led us to taking a jacuzzi at 1 am. nothing is better than taking a hot jacuzzi in the comfort of your free suite after a 10 mile walking day. it was a long day and i am not sure if i want to head back to amsterdam anytime soon, once may be enough.
rewind to two days ago: when we left trier (refer to earlier blog posts), we got picked up by my friend’s wife at the bus station. my friend dom (from high school) and his wife, rachel, live about 30 minutes from trier at the air force base. so convenient! it was nice to be with some other friends who spoke english.
we experienced the auto bahn for the first time. so cool! going any speed you want, can’t complain about that.
the airport base was a mini america. pizza hut, gas station, grocery store, popeye’s, cheap booze. we spent the night eating pizza, drinking beers, talking, and watching TV. it was just what we needed and what i want now. we also bummed and did laundry, which was nice 🙂
it is funny because dom told me if someone approached him in high school and said: “you’re going to be hanging out with austin in amsterdam in seven years,” that he wouldn’t have believed it. i thought the same. small world, isn’t it?
any way, i am glad we made new friends and got to experience the hype of amsterdam, though i did prefer rotterdam. we all booked a hotel in rotterdam because it was cheaper and accessible by train. rotterdam is a very modern, hip, and fashionable. i would love to live there.
well – here’s to getting lost in another city tomorrow. impromptu trip to belgium, then off to italy!