All of the pictures in the previous post are from my first trip to Amsterdam. I went with a fairly large group of friends, and we were very much the typical tourists, visiting the “I amsterdam” sign and the Rijksmuseum, as well as several other places that my parents wouldn’t like. We went in February, so it was all grey days and freezing cold, but we had a great time.
Looking back, that’s pretty shocking, considering all the weird crap that happened.
We stayed in the Flying Pig Downtown (http://www.flyingpig.nl/hostels/flyingpigdowntown.php), which was a little filthy but a lot cool. The picture of the blacklit ceiling is from the common room/bar, and they also had a really wicked smoking room with all of these pillows for lounging. We were pretty pumped, and because there were so many of us we figured we’d end up getting a room for just our group. This did not happen. Instead, in the early hours of the morning a couple came in. At first, I figured they were just late arrivals who happened to be completely wasted. Then, they started to have audible sex.
The next morning everyone walked out of the room and just stared at each other. Then, we broke down laughing and trading stories. One guy had been in the bunk directly across from the couple, and was telling us how he put his headphones in and tried to ignore them, but then dropped his phone down the space between the bunk and the wall and had to get it back without opening his eyes. My other friend pointed out that it was actually the hostel bartender who had brought a girl back to our room so that her roommates wouldn’t hate her. Frankly, I was hoping he would be working that night so that we could try to con some free drinks off of him, but he disappeared for the rest of the weekend.
The first day wasn’t any more relaxing. We were walking to the Rijksmuseum and wandered into a gift shop, mostly to get warm. I was browsing when I heard a huge crash and crunch of metal, followed by a woman screaming from the front of the store. The outer walls were huge windows, so I could see a massive truck had stopped right in front of the shop. When I walked outside I could see the woman, who was now yelling “Call 911!!” as well as screaming. The first thought that crossed my mind was “What a stereotype,” because of course the person losing would be an overweight, middle-aged American housewife, and of course she wouldn’t realize that the emergency number in the Netherlands is 112. Then I realized that there was a person under the truck. Thankfully, one of the kids in our group actually went into the store to tell the clerk what happened, instead of screaming in the street. We stuck around to make sure an ambulance was on its way, but then we left. None of us had actually seen the accident, so there wasn’t much more we could do. I found out later from a Dutch friend that it is actually very dangerous to ride a bike in Amsterdam, because of all of the traffic and the tiny streets.
Thankfully our trip was much less exciting after the first day, and we managed to make it to the Rijksmuseum without being permanently scarred.