So I’m a bit behind again but I feel like I should write about my last two trips at took at Kent Uni. I took a four day school trip to Amsterdam during my first writing week. We left at midnight on a thursday and headed by bus to Holland. They said we would be taking the ferry but to my dismay we got stuck taking the Chunnel yet again. This time it was absolutely freezing–guess you can’t win. After 7 or so hours on the bus we hiked it to our hostel but we couldnt check in yet so we ditched our luggage and set out to explore the city for a couple hours. My friend Kendra and I walked around getting lost, grabbed the most expensive bagel and coffee ever at a cute corner cafe and took a bunch of cheesy photos around town.
The first thing that surprises you is the number of ‘coffeeshops’ everywhere. They’re in between restuarants and boutiques… some are small and cramped but many are big. And, by looking in the window, you can tell that there are more ‘upscale’ coffee shops and other ‘dirty hippie’ ones. But there is so much more to Amsterdam than Marijuana and the red light district.
It’s hard to explain exactly what we did… I mean we went to the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank’s House, the Heineken Experience (it’s delicious in Holland by the way). Kendra and I came up with a silly checklist of all the dutch things we needed to do… eat a danish, drink certain beers, see the tulips, dutch chocolates (YUM!), dutch pancakes… we wanted to ride bikes but there are so many bikes in amsterdam it’s worse than the cars on the rode. We avoided pissing off a lot of natives.
The city had the feeling of a big town where you can reach everything on foot if you wanted and could see the whole thing in 2 days. So by our 4th day Kendra and I felt right at home. We knew the cheap places to eat and drink and where the best souvenirs were. So many people I know were upset that they spent too much time getting high to enjoy amsterdam, which is a shame because the city was inviting and had an air of Christmas about it… it was comfortable and felt safe (minus the red light district).
The RLD is larger than you think… you can wander into by accident, think you’re out, and then BAM, a naked woman is dancing between a bakery and a pub….put your camera’s away… they don’t like to ‘violated’. Kendra couldn’t get over the fact that it was okay to pay for sex in this town, but I understood the economics of it… Amsterdam is exploited the things that are normally illegal in states, and are taxing and making money off of it. How the girls end up as window dancers- I don’t want to know, but I bet they are making more money than Vega’s show girls during the busier months. Sometimes you have to let your morals stop clouding your brain to understand new things.
Overall- I love amsterdam. The people were sweet, the food was amazing (I mainly ate sweets) and the city was accessable. The Buildings were old and decorated with christmas lights. So if you, yes–go to a coffeeshop, but then walk around, talk to people, drink the beer and eat the food (don’t waste all your money on weed). The town can feel like home in no time.
Location: Amsterdam, Holland