Amsterdam: day 11 of adventures. Frites, romance & boat rides

Day two in Amsterdam and I still cannot get over how amazing this city is. Even though our hostel is in the very heart of the Red Light District (which means there are mostly-naked girls in windows as we walk out the door…(I guess nothing says “good morning” like a bunch of titties in your face, and there are “coffee shops” everywhere we look so if the tits don’t wake you up, the “wake-up weed” certainly does) I find this city enchanting. I still love the topsy turvy buildings and the bikes everywhere but yesterday I found a new love: the locals.
P.S./FYI: (in Amsterdam) coffee shop = weed shop, cafe= coffee shop or bar.

Jeff and I have found that the very best travel advice is from locals. We met a great young lad from the UK who was our server at one of our favorite places whom we talked to on and off for the better part of 3 hours who recommended we check out a Thai Restaurant called The Bird (don’t start singing the song or you’ll get it stuck in your head the rest of the day, not that I would know), which happened to be incredible and cheap Thai food AND where we met another local who told us to check out the most romantic city we’ve been to yet called Jordaan (every street is named after a flower….how Dutch, right?…Tulip Bubble anyone? Econ majors where are you…) where we met another local who told us some street markets to check out tomorrow. Wow Rick Steves, betcha didn’t know any of that huh?!

Anyways, the thing I love about the locals is that Amsterdam people are conservative and quite friendly. They are not jaded by tourists as much as Londoners and the way they seem to approach life is with the mentality that being ordinary is being prudent. They are not flashy like Dubliners and Londoners but they have a feisty passion for the freedom of legalized weed and prostitutes. Every culture seems to have pointed and bizarre passions surrounding certain freedoms: for the Germans, it’s their right to no speed limit on the Autobahn; for the French, it is their right to sit at a cafe as long as they damn well please; yada yada yada…and for the Amsterdonians, it’s weed, hash and hoes. I guess I love it…

…but one thing I don’t exactly love is that if tourists are cultural beach combers looking for cliches, Asterdam is a sandy beach just after a storm. What I mean is that Amsterdam really plays up the XXX and sex and weed everywhere you freaking go. And I know it can be done tactfully because let me tell you Dublin has just as many cliches they could play off of (leprechaun, four leaf clovers, Vikings) but you really don’t get much of that unless you seek it out on purpose. Good heavens, half the U.S. seems to have roots to Ireland and have a family crest of some sort or a pub named after their family or at least a street and Dublin certainly does not go whoring themselves out to tourist…but then again Amsterdam is the queen of whores.

ok sorry. Tangents. So we did not go to the Corrie Ten Boom house because it was a 4 hour walk and the tattoo museum has apparently been shut down BUT we did go on a canal cruise and go to Jordaan. Pretty delightful day I’d say. Oh and we got Frites which are basically thich cut French fries with sauce poured over them (or if you’re like us you’ll ask for it on the side because jeff doesn’t like as much sauce as I do. I think I basically eat things for the sauce) AND we got Dutch pastries…or maybe I should be calling them Danishes. Nonetheless, I got a wonderful cream filled, whipped cream and chocolate topped croissant thing which blew me (away).

Ok if any of you actually read this, I realize it’s a courtesy (thanks) but what you really want is pictures so here we go…

Morning coffee…as in cafe coffee…



Fresh squeezed OJ from a street market

Walking around during the day…




Rest for a minute


Leaning houses




The amazing Danishes





Boat Ride










July 11, 2011. Uncategorized.

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