Amsterdam is best known for its beautiful canals, the famous red light district, and of course the ability to smoke marijuana legally. I spent my Memorial Day weekend in Amsterdam with my friends Elliot and Aspen, it was absolutely amazing! Amsterdam reminds me of the Las Vegas of Europe, I definitely wouldn’t spend more than a few days there. Although there are a lot of “touristy” things to do, I believe you can get everything done in one full day and the rest of your days would be spent smoking marijuana and drinking beer.
We arrived on Friday afternoon around 1pm, after spending about 30 minutes looking for our uber driver Adam, we were finally headed to the place we were staying at. We were greeted by the the owner of the flat, her name was Luc, upon arrival and she gave us a full tour of the place, made us cappuccinos and most importantly introduced us to stroopwaffles. Stroop waffles are a dutch snack that is two thin layers of baked dough held together by caramel, they look like mini waffles and are the most amazing snack you will ever eat. Before we headed out into the town, we decided to stock up on food and champagne. We bought our stuff, went back to the flat to freshen up, made some mimosas, and then headed into the town. We got off at Central Station and started walking around until we found a cool little restaurant named Sanders where we ate a small but fulfilling snack that included nachos, cheese cubes, and a dutch snack named bitterballs which is basically beef in a deep fried, breaded ball. After we ate our weight in food, we ventured off to find a local coffee shop. If you’re unfamiliar with Amsterdam and would like to visit, my advice is don’t be like us and search for a coffee shop for an hour. There are many phone applications that can help you find the nearest one but be sure you’re searching for coffee shops, not cafe’s. Cafe’s are real coffee shops that don’t sell any marijuana or edibles. The rest of our Friday night consisted of the three of us wandering around Amsterdam lost, walking into random bars for drinks then continuing our venture to find two of Elliot’s friends and the famous red light district. Now, we eventually did find the red light district and his friends but that is a completely separate post because it was A LOT to take in. We walked through the red light district and it was something I had never experienced before, I would definitely recommend a visit for everyone because it’s just something you would never really see in the United States. After our visit to the red light district, we went back to the flat and grubbed on stroop waffles before going to sleep.
We awoke early on Saturday because we thought it would be fun to go on a bike tour around Amsterdam. The bike tour lasted about three hours and we had a chance to visit a local brewery but the entire time I was just worried about crashing into someone or something. It was awesome to see all of the cool things Amsterdam has to offer but the natives from the country are absolutely crazy on bikes so we definitely had to utilize our principles of detection and situational awareness during the bike tour. People came out of nowhere on bikes, on scooters, on foot and even in cars so I think it’s safe to safe I am very happy we were sober during the tour. After going back to the flat to take a short (but kind of long) nap, we got ready for our night. We started the night by eating at a great restaurant that was recommended to us by a friend. After dinner, we randomly passed a canal boat tour that was only 15 euros and served alcohol aboard so we hopped on the boat. The tour was awesome, it’s called the Friendship Tour for anyone visiting Amsterdam. There were a group of guys visiting from Belgium on board that liked Aspen a lot, she told them her name was Amanda and when we got off the boat we could hear one of them yelling “I’m in love with Amanda” at the top of his lungs. That quickly became one of our many inside jokes from our trip. After the boat tour, we headed into a coffee shop named “The Bulldog,” also known as the first legal coffee shop in Amsterdam. We grabbed some stuff from the coffee shop and headed to a gay bar named The Queens Head which is where we spent most of our night before going home. While trying to call an uber, we heard this guy yelling “Claudia!” at the top of his lungs and clearly trying to get into one of the flats. I have no idea why we found it so hilarious but it really was. The poor guy walked over to us and told me I had the best ass he had ever seen then proceeded to yell for Claudia while we proceeded to look for Anaas, our uber driver. I started yelling his name because let’s be honest, uber is so much harder to use in other countries where you are depending on Wi-Fi and he actually found us! We headed home and all we could talk about was food and Justin Beiber’s song “Sorry”. That’s when Elliot brought up the amazing idea to cook two of the frozen pizzas in the freezer, except somewhere in the mix of trying to figure out how the oven worked he disappeared into his room and knocked out so Aspen and I settled on eating two undercooked pizzas. We also ate cheese, crackers, and some type of Dutch bread we had in the house and all of that definitely caught up to us the next day but we didn’t care because we were on vacation and we were starving. I couldn’t even tell you when we knocked out that night, all I know is I facetimed my parents and ate all that food and knocked out somewhere after that.
Sunday was essentially our last full day in Amsterdam and to be quite honest, we were so tired and chill on that day. The one thing Elliot wanted to do all weekend was go to this brewery that was inside a windmill. When we arrived, it was really busy but we found a table to sit at and the beer was delicious. The view from the windmill was amazing, it was right next to one of the many canals. After leaving the brewery, we hopped on the metro and headed back into town for our last dinner and a few more drinks. My mission this day was to smoke as much of my stash as I could because I didn’t want to waste any marijuana, I spent most of Sunday extremely quiet and VERY hungry. We decided to head back to the flat around 11pm because we had to leave for the airport pretty early in the morning. Honestly, I was 100% okay with this because I was exhausted and just really, really high. When we got back, we finished the last of the champagne and tried to smoke as much of our stash as we could before knocking out and going to bed.
Memorial Day weekend was spent in a beautiful country with two of my amazing friends. I would definitely recommend Amsterdam to anyone who is planning a trip to Europe in the future. The city is extremely clean, everyone is so nice when they are not riding a bike, the food and drinks are great, the bars are open late, and the marijuana reached our very high expectations. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather in Kuwait and I think it’s because I am so bored in this country. There are some things to do and I have great friends here but living in America my entire life has really made me appreciate the freedom Americans have. There is nothing better than feeling like a real adult, being able to drink a beer or a jack and coke whenever you want because you can, having the freedom to wear whatever you want, no one asking you to cover up your tattoos, and so on. As John Green once said, “some people think Amsterdam is the city of sin, but in truth it is the city of freedom and in freedom, we find sin.” My weekend in Amsterdam was exactly what I needed and it was even better spending it with friends from back home who understand me as a person and can relate to things happening in America. Having the freedom to drink, smoke marijuana, wear what I wanted to wear, and just do things I can’t normally do was so liberating! Freedom is a beautiful thing, never take for granted the freedoms you have no matter what country you live in and travel often because you will learn more and more about yourself and the world each time. Until my next post, inshalla.