We arrived in Amsterdam from Munich via the overnight train, which although our sleepers were quite cramped I got a good night’s sleep. Throughout all of my trip it had not rained on me even once, and here I am nearly at the end of my trip and it is an absolute downpour.
We leave the train station, Amsterdam Centraal [sic] and catch a tram to our hostel only about 5 stops away. However not all of us had umbrellas/raincoats, but luckily some friendly Canadian tourists donated us their rain ponchos on their way back to the airport. I guess what they say about Canadians being super nice and friendly is true!
Despite my best efforts to keep dry I end up soaking wet by the time we arrive at the hostel as the wind and rain is hitting us from every direction and the visibility is quite low and I end up stepping in a few deep puddles. Yay Amsterdam! Worse so, I discover my backpack got quite damp (would later smell terrible). After contemplating what to do indoors, we decide to go to the nearby Heineken Museum. Its too bad my only change of clothes are a singlet and boardies. My shoes are also all wet so all I had left was my pair of thongs.
As we start walking to the Heineken Museum, I am unsurprised by all the weird looks from locals staring at a guy (me) who has nothing but a singlet, shorts and thongs on while it is pouring buckets. All I have to say is ‘Straya cunt.
For about 20 euros, The ‘Heineken Experience’ so it is called takes you through an interactive exhibit of the history of the Heineken Brand as well as the brewing process (including a 4D ride). I did learn a few fun things though, that the layer of bubbles/foam is to protect the beer from going flat, and that when air gets mixed in it actually changes the flavour of the brew.
By midday the sun is back out! With hardly a trace of cloud in the sky we head back out to do some exploring, but first its time to hit the coffee shop (mum & dad if you are reading this, feel free to stop anytime now!)
If you are unfamiliar with the term in Amsterdam, ‘coffee-shop’ means a place where they sell cannabis/marijuana along with coffee & other treats; whereas a ‘cafe’ does not and is actually just for coffee/tea. As most of you know, the Netherlands has a very liberal society and differentiates marijuana from hard drugs and is thus decriminalised. It’s my first time smoking weed in Amsterdam and wow the stuff they have here is much more potent. After a few joints and trying out different strains we head to Vondelpark with a pretty damn good high.
We tried looking for the Red Light District that night but to no avail and ended up in Rembrandt Square. At this point we were pretty hungry and wanted to try some cuisine from Holland. Turns out the cuisine is pretty bland and boring and so there are hardly and traditional restaurants around. Instead there are plenty of Thai and Japanese restaurants as well as Argentinian Grills and bars with the regular pub fare. We opted for Indonesian.