Have you ever heard of cultural shock? I have experienced it in Amsterdam!
I have booked myself on purpose layover for 1 night in this capital of European LGBT.
Holland is not about mills, tulips and wooden shoes because I didn’t see any of the above.
The Friday night flight from Milan to Amsterdam was packed. Folks were going away for the weekend which is a huge plus of living in Europe: You are very close to at least 50 countries.
A couple of hours in the air and a quick train from the Schiphol airport brought me to stunning Central Station.
A Girl in front of me yelled from the top of her lungs: ‘’I love you, Amsterdam!‘’ at the very second wind hit her face while opening doors to get outside from the Central Station. She scared me a bit but really what is there not to love about this city?
Walking towards Royal Palace, smelling water from canals, passing by Sex museum and famous coffee shops with cannabis products, I made a mental note to myself that Amsterdam is an unimaginable combination of old nice churches and modern leather fetish stores.
If you think it smells like weed in downtown Toronto I suggest you visit Amsterdam.
I do not know why I booked my flight for Friday night but everything and everyone around smelled like weed.
I am pretty sure I got a second hand high because it was nearly impossible not to.
Food smelled everywhere too. Restaurants and kiosks serving amazing pastry and famous waffles all night long. Pick your topping on a waffle, buy Heineken beer and grab a bike from millions of bike stations.
I saw their Christmas tree and I felt their Christmas spirit on the first day of December. Downtown’s stunning architecture cannot leave your heart cold.
The same song was following me from Milan’s Piazza del Duomo to Amsterdam’s Dam Square. Through clouds of smoke I saw a street musician playing his guitar and singing:
“She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah“…
Museum of Prostitution was already closed however I managed to see 1 prostitute in a window closer to the Red Lights District.
If you still didn’t get it, weed and prostitution are legal in Holland so as gay/lesbian marriage. Nice ways of making taxes for the government but let’s not get into politics.
It wasn’t my first exposure to Dutch people. I find them disturbingly straight and to the point people. I like them though.
I minded my own business and went to sleep in hostel with 2 complete strangers’ girls in my room who I saw for the first and last time in my life.
Next morning I was walking brick roads back to the train station and through mist I saw totally different Old Town. Cleaners were sweeping last night’s mess, food trucks were delivering goods, paramedics were trying to save life of probably overdosed guy and an Old Catholic church was ringing its bells for those who can wake up on Saturday morning and pray for their sins from last night to be forgiven.
Overall Nothing But Thieves were absolutely right when they sing I Left My Heart In Amsterdam.
Did I really think that one night was enough in this memorizing city? Silly me!
I have to come back here, in fact I know I will come back here one day…