Party Time

Trip Start Mar 03, 2011
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Trip End Jun 03, 2011


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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Monday, May 9, 2011

Amsterdam was another one of our favorite big cities- that and Munich.  There's just soooo much to it.  Yes, there's the drugs... the sex... ...and more drugs.... but there's a lot of neat history to it as well.

We had our second to the last really long train ride getting into Amsterdam from Prague- 12.5 hours.  And we had to be up stupid early... the most stupidest early yet this trip.  I mean, there was a freakin FOUR as the first digit.  Sigh.  4:45am we were gettin  up to trek to the train station, before people were even stumbling home drunk from their night of partying.  Needless to say, we passed the eff out on the train, lol.  We got really lucky.  Most trains have seats in pairs and rows... but some cars have compartments, with a row of three chairs facing each other on each side.  Chris and I each laid out on on a bench of chairs, and passed out for the next five hours.  We were so tired.

We didn't actually get to Amsteram until 7pm, so we pretty much just ate dinner that first night... and then called it a night.  One thing that is weird now is the light...  It gets light outside pretty early now... earlier than 6am.  And it hasn't been getting dark until 9:30pm.

The next three days... were a fun party.  =)

Our first day we took one of the free walking tours of Amsterdam.  We had an awesome guide named Ryan who spent 3-4 hours (much longer than the typical tour) leading us all over the city.  Learned quite a bit!  Amsterdam is known for its toleration of differents types of people- if its discrete, if its good for business, and it doesn't hurt anyone- then its tolerated.

-Weed Policies:  It's legal.  lol.  You can carry up to a gram in your pocket without getting in trouble.  It's sold out of "coffeeshops" but they can't legally advertise it.  The whole coffeeshop facade started when some guy was handin out joints along with your morning cup of coffee at a cafe, lol.  You just walk into one of the million coffeeshops along the streets, order your joint, and light up.  They also sell space cakes.  And of course they make a killing off the munchies sales.  The country made an 8 billion euro profit off the sale of marijuana last year.  California REALLY needs to get goin on this.  Only 5% of the locals in Amsterdam actually smoke weed on a regular basis.  It's all the tourists, lol.

-Red Light District:  They're actually shrinkin it.  It's only 40% the size of what it used to be at this point, and they're going to continue to scale it down in an effort to reduce the dark side... drug wars and human trafficking.  All the girls have to apply for permits from the city government, and they have to be medically checked up every couple of weeks.  All the ladies hang out in the windows in their teeny bikinis beckoning the guys over.  The basics cost you 80-120euro, depending on the girl and location, and the prices only go up from there.  Blue lights are the women with an "architectural addition".  A chinese massage is just a massage, but a Thai massage gets a happy ending.  There are no male prostitutes in the windows, but a local phone book can get you hundreds of listings.  The funniest thing is the presence of a huge church smack in the middle of the Red Light District.  Amsterdam is a port city, and the few days the sailors used to spend on land... they spent drinking and sleepin with women.  And the prostitution industry just boomed from there.  The church made money off this, though!  The Catholic sailors needed to confess before headin back out to sea... 'cause what if they died and they hadn't repented?  So the priests would sell pardons... pretty much a "get out of jail free card"... except for the soul.  lol, hence the ginormos church.  Anyway, I like the concept of regulating prostitution, because its just gonna happen anyway... but the only reason I wouldn't reccomend it is simply because even thought it IS regulated, many of the women are still forced into it.  Most of them are from Eastern Europe, and they get tortured via pressured points... because scars and bruises would show up.

We hung out with Ryan for two different tours plus drinking afterwards.  It was good fun.  =)  We also went to Keukenhof gardens our second day.  I was really looking forward to it for the rainbow fields of tulips.  Except, when we got there, they were all gone!  The tulips bloomed early this year!  Argh.  We saw lots of other pretty flowers, though.  Our third day we also managed to check out the Anne Frank house.  It's tiny... and it's sad... She had pictures of her favorite movies stars glued to her wall... just like any teenager.  Kinda hits home in that respect.  =(

I have to cut this entry short ('cause I'm tryin to get caught up), but Amsterdam was a lot a lot of fun.  lol.  We were pretty tired by the end of those three days.
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