A threesome with two hot chicks

Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
Trip End Aug 03, 2008

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Friday, July 18, 2008

I woke up and was greeted by Laurence, after he had returned from his morning run - "Good morning!" he said, as he offered me a handshake with his sweat-soaked hand ... I didn't want to be rude, but eeeewwww ...

The three of us grabbed breakfast together, and then I went back to the room to throw some things into a daypack, before heading out.  I got into the elevator, just as a group of guys ran out giggling.  I thought nothing of it, until I stepped inside and noticed the foul, noxious odour - somebody let a big one rip, and it wasn't pretty! 

I said to myself "Screw this!" and decided to walk down the three flights.  But apparently this elevator had it out for me, because as I arrived on the floor below, the elevator door opened, and I caught another whiff of the toxic gas.  The funny thing was that there was no one waiting for the elevator on that floor, so there was no reason for the elevator to stop there, unless it purposely wanted to torture me! 

As I stepped down onto the ground floor, the same thing happened - nobody there, and still no reason for the elevator to stop and open its doors, and no reason for it to subject me to its deadly contents, once more.  Sigh ... what can you do? 

First stop of the day was the Coster Diamond factory - they offer a free tour and of course, there is a sales pitch that goes along with it.  What do you expect?  They offer guided tours in dozens of languages, and I ended up with a guide from Sweden.  I was surprised to learn this, because she had absolutely NO accent.  Perhaps I should have asked for a Spanish-language tour, then maybe I would have had a Spanish tour guide ...

After, I browsed through some high-end shops near Museumplein - there were no $10 t-shirts for me there!  It started to drizzle as I walked over to De Pijp - there's a certain elegance here in Amsterdam that makes a light rain quite pleasant.  

I took a quick walk through the Albert Cuypmarkt again, and then headed over to the Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch theatre) - it's a quick stop, as there isn't a whole lot to see there, but it's still a very important historical site.  When the Nazis took over, they changed it to the Jewish theatre, and it became the only place in town where Jewish performers or patrons were allowed access to.  It later became a gathering point for Jews that were to be sent to a nearby concentration camp. 

I hopped onto a tram for the Jordaan, where I had hoped to visit the Noordemarkt - it's only open certain days and it was closed the first time I tried last April.  And today ... it was again closed :(  On the tram ride over, I noticed a market over at the Waterlooplein and considered seeing that instead, but chanced it and missed out on both.  It's alright, it's just another excuse to one day return to Amsterdam :)  But still, the Jordaan is a great place to hang out ...

The Stedelijk Museum was closed in preparation for a new exhibit, so I went straight to the Electric Ladyland museum.  It sounds more like a nickname for the red light district, but it's actually a museum of fluorescent art.  It's a small museum, and the door remains closed while the owner gives tours in the basement, so I listened to music on a nearby bench until he was finished. 

It's trippy, and perhaps the most unique museum I have ever visited.  Apparently, 1/5 of the world's fluorescent rocks are found in New Jersey, and the owner kept making humorous jokes at New Jersey's expense.  He's a pretty entertaining guy.

I wandered around Kalverstraat and the Dam area before returning to De Pijp for dinner.  The Javanese/Surinamese place was packed again, so I went to Cambodja City, which was open today.  I tried the Fernandes drink, a light, carbonated, refreshing beverage.  I thought it was some kind of carbonated juice, but it turned out just to be a soft drink - the green jello colour should have tipped me off. 

Chicken soup - a light broth with eggs, chicken, bamboo shoots, and tons of cilantro.  A perfect dish for the now rainy weather.  I was disappointed at first, because I expected Thai-like complexity, where seemingly disparate flavours that should result in something dischordant and cacophonous, perform like a choir singing in perfect harmony.  But soon after, I had no complaints - it was comfort food, a simple but delicious bowl of sweet, flavourful soup.

The main course was a Cambodian pancake - the pancake was remarkably crisp (maybe the batter was egg-based?), stuffed with chicken, crisp shrimps, bean sprouts, onions, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and it was all served with a side of lettuce.         

A rich, thick broth was oozing out of the crescent-shaped pancake - the fresh, vibrant flavours are exactly what delicious Asian food is all about!  A great dish, with its numerous contrasting textures.  As I ate, I noticed that my nose was longer stuffy - perhaps all the second-hand pot smoke in town has cleared my sinuses?

A couple of German girls dining next to me struck up a conversation, asking about the location of an internet cafe.  I usually have to make the effort to talk to beautiful European women, so it was a nice change!  Too bad it isn't this easy in Spain ... Anyway, both girls are from Hamburg, but one now lives in Holland, and they are both crashing with a friend for a few days in Amsterdam. 

I wandered around Amsterdam aimlessly, in an attempt to burn off some of the calories from dinner (I overate and felt pretty stuffed, after).  There were a few new bunkmates - some dude from Minnesota, and a couple of girls from Long Island.  I asked if they were still in university, to which they replied, "Yes, are you still in university, too?"  I laughed and said "Hell no!"    
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