The bus ride from Paris to Amsterdam was fairly uneventful but one thing I did notice was that as soon as we crossed into the Netherlands, there were bicycles everywhere. I’m not really into marijuana or prostitutes, but bicycle culture is something I can really dig.
The bus was about two hours late and I arrived in Amsterdam at Amstel Station at about 10 pm. I was surprised to find that the ticket vending machines only accepted coins, no bills or cards, and that there weren’t really any helpful station folk about. I finally managed to get change and still couldn’t figure out where the toilets were, that’s because they all close at 10 PM. I figured out the coins, found my way to the train to Rotterdam and that was my first experience with Amsterdam.
The train had a toilet, for which I was thankful. I arrived in Rotterdam about an hour later than I had told my friend Laila I would get there. It turns out that since I said I would arrive at 10 and not 22, she thought I was supposed to have arrived at 10 am anyway.
In Rotterdam, not only were there no toilets open but the cigarette shops had closed, and as I searched the station I realized there were no public phones either. Ahhh! Finally I found a burger king and a public phone but couldn’t reach Laila. Tried twice then got a burger and two giant drunk dutch guys came rolling into the door and fell on the floor hitting each other with massive fists.
Hmmm, I thought. This is going to be an interesting night. Finally, third call, I reached Laila and she came to the station to get me.
Over the next few days we climbed the Eurospike, walked in very nice gardens, drank coffee in cafes (rather than smoking pot in other cafes), checked out some art, and in general just caught p on what we had been doing the past 8 years.
We looked at the Rotterdam walk of stars and I took a picture of Bryan Adams hands.
She showed me the Dwarf Buttplug.
We ate shrimp in Dizzy Gilespie’s bar.
We shook hands with warm metal trees.
We looked at the cube houses.
And we chilled out and talked over frozen pizza, ate bagels, and cruised through the farmers market.
Knowing that she had an exam coming, I set out for Brussels since I had to catch a flight from there (I thought) the next day.
This was really nice, a chance to see a new city, renew an old friendship, and have a great time. Plus we got to see a crazy lady in a very short skirt teaching young kids to jump rope. Her bottom looked like it had just been spanked…rosy red! She was dressed like a prostitute. Strange….
(23 April 2009)