It’s fair to say that I knew my trip to Amsterdam would be fairly different to regular ‘beach holidays’. However, I don’t think I quite prepared myself for how different it would be after experiencing five days in what I can only describe as possibly the weirdest place in the world.
First there is the sex. Sex shows, prostitutes, brothels, strippers, you name it, Amsterdam has it. However, don’t get too excited, as I wouldn’t actually describe any of these things as ‘sexy’, but more as ‘weird’.
I was told by numerous people that the prostitutes in Amsterdam were like ‘supermodels’, so after only ever seeing real life prostitutes underneath Manchester Piccadilly train station I was intrigued to see the beauty of these women and also confused as to why they had chosen to sell their bodies, rather than audition for ‘Americas Next Top Model’. Put it this way, the only way these women could by classed as supermodels is if someone was wearing a very over-imaginative pair of beer goggles. I suppose at a push one or two of them could be described as ‘sh**gable’, but that really is at a push.
We decided to visit Cssa Rosso’s show which consisted of multiple acts, all on for around 10 minutes each. The first was a stripper, then a couple having sex, then a woman who resembled a drag queen doing a ‘sexy’ dance and so on. It was all so surreal that it actually felt normal and instead of thinking ‘wow, they’re having sex right in front of us’ it was more like ‘that looked like it hurt’, ‘you’d have to be flexible to do that’, followed by casually getting more drinks from the bar.
Once the show had finished we decided we would go and do something normal, but no, Amsterdam decided ‘normal’ wasn’t allowed. As we walked out Casa Rosso there was a boy stood outside surrounded by police horses staring in to space, looking confused. Naturally we were as confused as him and decided that the only logical thing to do would be to stare at him. After around 10 minutes of staring a police woman handcuffed him, at which point we realised that he had his trousers down and his penis out with a condom on the end. I don’t know if it was more weird that we stood there for ten minutes not noticing, or that we later found out he was on magic mushrooms and tried to have sex with a pole…
If the prostitutes and shows are a little much then maybe the museums might be more of a civilised adventure for you. At under five euros a visit it’s well worth the money as it will provide a few good laughs as well as a few ‘ewwws’. To be honest I think it’s worth going to just so you can take a picture of whoever you’re with sat on a penis… or even a picture of a stranger who seems unaware that he’s sat on a penis.
Now for the weed. We decided to be sensible at the start of the trip and try one of the weaker types, so the guy behind the counter told us to get ‘mango haze’. However, although it may have been one of the weaker types it still sent us in to our own world of laughter and craziness. Instead of staying in the coffee shop and chilling out, like most people who were smoking did, we decided it would be the perfect time to explore the city, which only consisted of us bumping in to a man with a flower pot on his head, who we were all convinced was either made up or a conspiracy sent by the Amsterdam government to make us even more high…
We also bumped in to an older couple, mid 60s, who had helped us find our hotel earlier on in the day, after us politely pointing out we were lost. All politeness had gone out the window by this point with us all in hysterics whilst pointing out that we had found our hotel…. and the coffee shops.
By the end of the holiday we were smoking ‘super silver haze’, which was apparently one of the strongest types of weed. By this point we had managed to convince ourselves we were on sun, sex and suspicious parents, that every English person we met was actually Dutch who was just pretending to be English as well as truly believing that a massage in the red light district would actually just be a back massage and we should get one. Luckily we put two and two together before we did this.
If you really aren’t in to smoking then try a space cake from one of the coffee shops, it will be something to cross off your bucket list. There are also magic mushrooms, although everyone warned me not to try them, so being the sensible individual I am, I listened to them… although this was partly down to not having insurance and being too scared of the medical bills if something went wrong. I wouldn’t recommend trying them though as I have heard some quite bad stories (including the one above), but if you insist then try them in really small amounts. I would also strongly recommend ignoring the countless drug dealers that walk past you at night asking if you want to buy coke, which is probably talcum powder mixed with rat poisoning.
So I’ve pretty much made out that Amsterdam is all about sex and weed, but to be honest, it kind of was. The alcohol was ridiculously expensive and even when we went to a supermarket we were told they didn’t sell vodka, which only meant we had to go back to the coffee shops. How upsetting.
If you are more interested in looking at the history of Amsterdam this would be really interesting as it really is a beautiful city to travel to, in terms of all the canals, windmills, diamonds and tulips. We arranged to do loads of ‘touristy’ things, such as go on a boat ride up the canal, go to Anne Frank’s house, visit the Guinness factory etc. I say arranged because we never ended up doing these things but instead indulged in doing all the things that are illegal or non-existent in England.
In such a laid back city I would recommend everyone to try things they wouldn’t usually do, after all Amsterdam is the only place in the world where pretty much anything goes.