Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I AMsterdam, do you?

Sooo a couple of weeks ago (yes, I realize that I haven't written on my blog, or in my sketchpad/journal for a few weeks) I traveled to Amsterdam. This was the weekend after my trip to Berlin and Munich, and yes it did take me two full weeks to recover from two back to back trips backpacking around. I like to think it was because I for the most part was slightly stressed over laundry and packing everything into a tiny (it's actually quite large--I'm really just being dramatic) little backpack and not enough sleep and the onset of a cold/cough. But here's the story of Amsterdam:

First of all, I was reluctant to go. Like, I literally felt like shit and wouldn't have gone if I hadn't already taken the leave. (Yes, that's right--the nonrefundable cost of the flight/accommodation did not matter to me as much as the leave I was taking. I realize it's odd.) But I had. And so go I did.

Don't get me wrong, on the plane I did get kind of excited. But on the long (and slightly exhausting to someone who's already exhausted) walk to our houseboat (we lived on a boat!) did not help my opinion that Amsterdam and I…well, we weren't going to have the love affair that I might've hoped for.

The first morning, with my nose running about a million miles a minute and some toilet paper/napkins/sometimes an actual tissue--hooray! clutched in my hand, we made our way to a brunch place. A very yummy brunch place. Alll the yumminess. I had a pumpkin bagel with red cabbage slaw (which I liked even though I do not as a rule enjoy slaw) and pulled pork. Oh it was good. So very. Good. And then we made our way to the I AMsterdam sign for pictures (and because it was right in front of the Van Gogh museum. Mostly because of that). We spent awhile trying to capture the perfect picture, and finally settled for one. That featured a random girl alone on the 'A' trying to take a picture as well. To be honest, the amount of tourists and groups that were trying to climb on/take a picture on the sign was astonishing, and made me think of ants at a picnic, hungry for attention.

After the sign, we toured around the Van Gogh Museum for awhile--and then we were off. To the Heineken Experience, which is a brewery where they teach you about how Heineken came to be, the brew, how to brew it, and how to drink it (a very useful thing for drinking beers in general). The smell of the hops and barley reminded me of when I would ride horses--most horse feed has barley and is edible. Barley is a very sweet grain, and I remember snacking on it while taking care of the horses. I'm pretty sure after awhile I started to do it kind of secretly--though I have no idea why; we were encouraged to try the stuff, and there's absolutely no way I could've eaten enough in the course of an hour or a day that I would've made much of a dent. But, just to get back to the point: Memories. All alone in the moonlight. Of the taste of barley. And how to properly drink a Heineken (/all beers ever?).

After that, we split up, as a few of us had to get clothes after insufficient packing (no, I was not one of these people who needed clothes desperately, despite the fact that I had no clothes left at home), and not everyone obviously wanted to go. After the short foray, we adjourned back to the houseboat (we lived on a boat!) and after finding pizza kebab (which was for some a kebab. In a pizza. And for the rest of us a Kebab sandwich WITH THE FRIES INSIDE IT'S GENIUS) we called it a night.

The second day (which was saturday, I think. Look, it's been awhile), we decided to head to the Anne Frank Museum. On the one day a year that it's closed, as we found. Well, on the way there we stopped at Amsterdam's flower market (which is famous), but it's not really the season for the famous tulips (they're spring flower, and we were there in October), and the torture museum. Cause who doesn't love a little torture? (According to some in our group, I know a little too much about some of the torture devices. I defend myself by saying I've studied the Salem Witch Trials, and I read horror. It should all make complete sense.) Well, after finding we were at Anne Frank's house the one day a year it was closed--seriously, those odds are astonishing--we decided to split up and some of us just went to relax on the boat. It was a very nice boat. I was included in this boat group.

And the third day (a very gloomy gray one at that) dawned. And then crept past dawn. And then past noon. It is seriously hard to get six people up, choose a place to go, get ready to go, and leave in a timely manner. Especially when many are late wakers. But eventually we again split up--us ladies headed to the shopping area to help our friend in her time of need. (I may have also bought something, but that is beside the point). And then we went to the Anne Frank House. Which, might I say, was mightily emotional. I got triggered by a little girl asking about why Anne Frank had to live the attic with the curtains closed, and why people were after her. (Look, I'm an empathetic person by nature. This was never going to be a question of whether tears would occur, just whether I would be able to hold them back to "teary-eyed" rather "on the floor in an emotional pile of goo and snot and tears". I stayed in the first category, thankfully.) After Anne Frank (the group I was with was made up of the ladies--Rose, myself, and Cyerra--and Tim. The other two got lost on the way to the house, and were in the line when we got out.) we headed off to the other famous thing in Amsterdam--the red light district. We got Chipsy King and dinner (Chipsy King is the french fry place. They only sell french fries. And they were delicious), and our day was done. And that concludes our short foray to Amsterdam.

I know this was kind of short and uninteresting cause no pictures, but I have two other trips to write about, soooo....yeah. Deal with it.

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