Now I’m going to talk about a weekend I spent in Amsterdam with one of my old time Justice buddies, Brittany.
Warning: the first entry has some nasty medical talk in it. Maybe skip the first few paragraphs if you don’t want to hear about my UTI from hell. Oh yeah, and we smoked a lot of weed. So maybe skip this whole thing if that’s a problem for you.
Thursday, September 27, 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands
I woke up very early this morning with a rockin’ UTI. I didn’t sleep well the night last, because I’m pretty sure I had a fever. Thank God I was able to trade my window seat for an aisle seat for the three hour flight to Amsterdam.
Once I reached Amsterdam, I said fuck it, I can’t live like this, and went straight to a tourist clinic. They had me pee in a cup. The doctor took one look at my urine and was like, “Yikes.” He prescribed the 5-day antibiotic course, which is for people who are really messed up.
Seriously, thank god for modern medicine though because that was NOT going to get better on its own.
ANYWAYS. Brittany and I stayed at the Student Hotel in Amsterdam. It was so cute! It was so exciting to see her, since it had been almost exactly one year since the last time we hung out (when my dad and I had dinner with her in Chicago on my drive home from LA).
After a quick change, our first stop was to the weed store and café to get our smoke on. Coincidentally, she was also on antibiotics because she developed strep throat in London. So we smoked a joint and just chatted for a while. For some reason, I was SO FUNNY, and I wish we would have written down what I said because it would have been perfect for my standup routine. Actually, it was probably pretty stupid. But anyways.
Next we took a walk and ended up eating burgers at Paz Open Fire Cooking. Seriously some of the best burgers I’ve ever had, right up there with Plan Check in LA. Then we walked around in the dark and looked into people’s houses. I guess that sounds creepy, but believe me, these people wanted us to look in their houses. They didn’t even own blinds. So we fantasized about living in Amsterdam for a while, had another beer at a very cute bar, and then walked home. At the hotel, we smoked some more of our joint and then tried to watch Dutch TV before falling asleep.
Friday, September 28, 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands
We woke up a little late and had a struggle getting out of the door because we both had a weed hangover. I did a little bit of work, and then we went out to brunch at a very cute place whose name I don’t remember. I loved the interior, though I didn’t like how you had to wait on a scary staircase to get a table. I had avocado toast and Brittany had coconut pancakes. The food was delicious.
Then we went on some wild goose chase to find a tattoo artist that Brittany followed on Instagram. I really wish she would have DM’ed this girl ahead of time, because it turned out she was in London (where Brittany had just come from). But in the meantime, we got lost 3 times and went to every suburb of Amsterdam. When we finally found the tattoo shop (which was in a very cool coworking, coliving space), they recommended we try another tattoo shop which was exactly where we had brunch before.
So we took the metro back and then stopped into a shoe store (I had stepped in dog shit at some point and we both wanted new shoes). I ended up buying a pair of boots, and she had them hold a pair of boots while she went to the tattoo shop to see if she could get her tattoo. Well, she couldn’t, and by the time we got back to the shoe store, they were closed. But it all worked out, because we ended up going to a street market and she got a really great winter coat.
Next we went into another café, bought a huge joint, and just got way too high. Like, I was honestly scared for a second. We FaceTimed Whitney and Shelby. Then we went to a pizza place and ate dinner. It was unremarkable. Next, we headed to the Van Gogh Museum where we allegedly had tickets to go in at 8:00pm. Along the way, we smoked more of the joint in a stairwell and then I changed into my sneakers. If you’ve never changed from uncomfortable boots into sneakers while stoned, I highly recommend it. It’s orgasmic.
We showed up at the Van Gogh Museum with all of our bags, only to discover that Brittany never actually bought the tickets. Luckily, we were able to buy them again online at 8:30pm. While we waited, we walked over to the IAmsterdam sign, where some men in banana suits were dancing to “YMCA”. I was too baked at this point.
Apparently the Van Gogh Museum is open late on Friday nights. They have a bar and a silent disco. After we dropped off our bags at coat check, we took some headphones for the silent disco. Brittany was SO INTO IT. She has some dope dance moves. I can’t dance when I’m high and I felt really weird.
The Van Gogh Museum was really cool. They have room of his self-portraits and you can look straight into his eyes. I was too bashful to do so, but I think Brittany really had a moment with him.
After the Van Gogh Museum, we took the tram and the metro home. On the tram, there’s like this huge desk where this lady sits and yells at everyone to move towards the ends of the cars. It’s so funny. I wanted to go to the Red Light District, but we had all these bags. Also, I was so high and paranoid that we would be robbed.
We dropped off our bags at the hotel and intended to go to a “Welcome Party” for residents and guests of the Student Hotel. We stopped into the bar/restaurant downstairs for a couple of drinks. Some British girls were already at the bar. They were doing THE MOST. The most makeup, the most outfit, the most hair, the most shoes. Whenever I see people dressed up like that, I can’t help but wonder, “What are they expecting to happen tonight?” Not judgment here, just wonder and speculation.
When we stopped by the party, it looked SO LAME. Like it was just a bunch of kids. Brittany was hungry, so we crossed the street in search of food. At the traffic light, a girl came running up to us and said, “Excuse me! Are you on a date tonight?”
And then she asked Brittany for her phone number! She said, “I saw you at the bar and you’re so pretty, I just had to try.”
I love how Brittany’s first reaction was not to tell her that she’s straight, but that she lives in Chicago. The girl said, “I live in the UK. It doesn’t matter.”
I think it really made Brittany’s night.
We managed to find some Persian place and wolf down some falafel, which ended up making me kind of sick the next day. But such is life.
Saturday, September 29. 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Brittany left at the buttcrack of dawn. After she left, I watched the sunrise from our 12th floor window. It was very beautiful. I was really only up though because I was sick from our dinner.
I managed to catch a little bit more sleep, then packed up my stuff and checked out. As I was packing, I for some reason decided to eat our leftover “space cake”. BIG MISTAKE.
I went down to the front desk and rented a bike, because riding a bike sounded like so much fun and so many people do it in Amsterdam. It was TERRIFYING. I mean, first of all, I don’t usually ride a bike so it’s not natural to me at all. There’s so many other bicyclists and they have so many rules…I couldn’t figure out the intersections. Ugh, it was awful. I was yelled at like three or four times. And of course, I took the bike quite far away from the hotel before the space cake kicked in.
Anyways, I had brunch at a pancake restaurant on the a canal that Alex recommended, then I went to Moco, the Banksy museum. I didn’t enjoy Moco. I don’t get Banksy. I think it’s all quite stupid. Like, it’s a girl with a heart balloon. Who cares? Also, it’s not like it was the “original” art. It was just spray paint on a canvas, which is easily reproduced because it’s from a stencil. What is the art part? Making the stencil? Also, I was so high there. It was just a weird moment. The best part was the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit in the basement.
Then I decided to go to Rijksmuseum because I wanted to see some REAL ART. Like a Rembrandt or something. I spent a few hours there just trying to sober up enough to take the bike back to the hotel. They had “The Night Watch” there which was really cool. I did enjoy the Rembrandts. They were huge!
I tried to adjust the seat on the bike and the latch wouldn’t work on it. I’m not sure if it was user error because I was high or what, but then I had to low ride the bike all the way back to the hotel. I was so happy to be rid of that thing.
The trip back to Lisbon was unremarkable, although it did feel strange to be approaching Lisbon as “home” rather than a new destination.
So that was my trip to Amsterdam! I would really like to go back there and spend more time. It was so beautiful. Actually, it was more beautiful than Paris. It was so clean, and it didn’t feel like it had a huge population. However, it was very expensive, and I wouldn’t recommend renting a bike unless you have some experience riding a bike on the street.