Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 2 in Amsterdam

Well it's my second day here. And if you're reading this before my day one post (not the - supposed to be short - one, but the real one... Well then, hopefully I'll be able to change the date and get everything back in order. Bear with me. I do so dislike not having my own computer. Big shout out to Gap Mike who sold me his eeepc and made all this possible.)

So what have I bee up to today? Well, why not start by saying that I'm in the library right now at 6.30 in the afternoon. There seems to be a big radius around me, free of people. Do you think it has anything to do with my travellers musk? You could bottle that scent and sell it to the rich, without a doubt. If Tyler Durden could sell them that soap, I could sell that most delightful, rich in what are they called? Those things that make animals like other animals? Well - there you go. I'm sure I could.

Now I will say that it has been three days since my hair has been washed, but by brushing it 100 times on each side, I've given it a most lovely shine. And it's not my fault that my hair hasn't been washed! I've wanted to. Three days ago, I missed out, because I had to make my check out time. And then, I was on a train. Today the shower I jumped into was stuck on "Way to bloody hot, and scalding" and it was all I could do to simply use my delightful neon blue shower gel to destinkify the rest of me. Tomorrow though - tomorrow I will wash my hair (actually, probably when I get back tonight. Because when the smell starts to bother me, then you know there's a problem. Like grade seven students, not yet educated in the wonders of proper bathing habits. Or hobbits, too.)

I headed out on a walking tour of the city today. You know, one of those free ones where you feel guilted into tipping at the end. Well, today it wasn't really a guilt thing. I just really did feel like I should tip. Sadly, all I had was three euros left on me by that point. But couples were giving five euro for the both of them, so I figure I'm ahead, yeah?

The tour started in the main square, and walked us through the red light district. We were warned not to take pictures. A week ago a man from Malaysia didn't listen to that warning. He found himself being chased down the street by a woman who burst from her window, grabbed his camera, and smashed it down into the ground. Make sure your gear is insured - buy it with a Mosaik credit card for one years protection!

In the ground, just outside the alleys - there are always alleys, aren't there? - a brass sculpture had been placed in the ground. It is of a mans hand clutching a breast, with a lock and chain attached to it. When it was first installed, the city tried to remove it, but there was so much protesting by the people, and the workers, that it was put back. There is also a statue erected in support of sex trade workers the world over.

From there we wandered past the various prisons, both men and women. Each had a sculpture of a man or woman being whipped by a nun on it. The men's prison has been turned into a clothing mall, so - still punishment for the men then isn't it?

There a girl was pooped on by a pigeon. Made worse by the fact that our guide pointed it out to our whole tour, as loud as he could. You know, in some ways he reminded me a lot of myself - except more Australian. Should you find yourself here, look for Ryan the tour guide. He'll be in a red shirt, at the central square, 11:15 every day (except on his days off, of course. Others will be there in his stead.) The tour runs in Spanish as well, if that's your gig.

A stoned man just Baahed (like a sheep) as loud as he could. He is being escorted out of the library now.

There were also post offices, and royal palaces, and other such things of importance on the tour. And there were the coffee shops. Apparently the best and safest is the one from Oceans Twelve. I don't know. I've never seen the movie - but if you check it out, you'll know the one. Apparently Matt Damon makes quite the fool of himself there.

The tour ended at the Anne Frank House (closed today form Yom Kippur.) The church bells, which Anne wrote brightened her day, began to play as we heard the store of the Dutch Civil resistance to the Nazi's. The only non-jewish civilian resistance - outside of the various cells - in the history of World War II we were told. Ten died, including the mayor, because of this. over fourteen thousand stood strong.

From there, I set out on a quest to find a plug converter - without success - in three electronic stores. Each sending me to another in a log line that would have, without a doubt, eventually led me back to the opening store. Instead I stopped the cycle by buying a bag of fruity smarties (skittles where I'm from) and heading off.

I toured the various alleys of the red light district once more. During the day this time, and it was much like I said before. Interesting, but more of a show than something lude. It's like they say, when something is allowed, the fun is just stripped right away from it.

This whole town feels like a Disney ride. It feels almost - safe. And maybe that's because it is, so long as you stay where you are supposed to, and obey the rules laid out for you. And if that's not a way to just take the fun out of something, I don't know what is.


  1. Hi.I hope your enjoying Europe. When are you going to India?

  2. i had to cut india from this trip, as i would just be squishing it in. I want to spend a good 2 - 3 weeks there in the future. So I'm honesty not sure when i'll get there. Hopefully not too far off.


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