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Author Topic: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?  (Read 4453 times)

Thrillho

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What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« on: 25 Jul 2014, 01:42 »

Hi folks. I'm going to Amsterdam in late August (not specifying the actual dates methinks just because I am paranoid). First of all, forumites in and around Holland, anyone fancy meeting up? I threatened a coffee or something with me, my lady and BeoPuppy but I know we have some other European forumites who may be close enough to come in and hang.

But I'd also like some tips. I've not been abroad since my age was in the single digits so any advice would be great. I'm going for five days, how much money will I need? What is there to do there? Are there any customs I need to be observing, lest I offend anyone?

Thanks all!

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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #1 on: 25 Jul 2014, 01:52 »

I have nothing to suggest, but I'd like to point out your thread title is kinda clickbaity..
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jul 2014, 02:05 »

The Anne Frank museum is worth a visit. I don't really remember doing a lot else when I was there - but I spent the entire time in a feverish haze from a virus so that's not surprising.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jul 2014, 02:58 »

I would also recommend the Anne Frank House. I haven't seen it myself, but heard some very good accounts of it.

Also, I am jealous. I have only been in the Netherlands once (and not in Amsterdam), but I liked it a lot and I really want to go to Amsterdam, too! The canals in the Dutch cities give everything a great atmosphere and the old town houses are very pretty. I would go boating on a canal if possible (maybe rent a canoe if that's possible?). And Dutch is a very nice sounding language, I think - I would like to learn it some day.

I know that lots of tourists come just for the pot, but that is really a shame because the Netherlands have so much more to offer (not sure whether you can even still buy marihuana as a tourist - I am not interested in drugs at all myself, but I know that the imposed some more regulations for foreigners).
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jul 2014, 03:07 »

I have nothing to suggest, but I'd like to point out your thread title is kinda clickbaity..

Forumite Goes To Amsterdam In August, And You Won't Believe What He Does Next!
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jul 2014, 03:08 »

I was planning on getting stoned off my ass as well in fairness, but that was more for the evenings than the days. I was hoping BeoPuppy would know the rules for tourists for such things.

Thanks for suggestions so far folks.

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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jul 2014, 03:30 »

I really liked the van Gogh museum. Also, just strolling around the city is nice. They have CANALS. CANALS, dammit.

Also, getting stoned off your ass is nice as well.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jul 2014, 03:49 »

I put the 'anal' into 'canal.'

But yessssss good suggestion.

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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jul 2014, 04:18 »

I might, and I have to stress the might part, be able to meet up with you there, depending on the exact date, my financial situation at that point and whether or not I find a payble option to get there.
Maybe we should talk about this on the book with the faces?
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jul 2014, 04:38 »

^Same. For me, it also depends on how my exams go. I might not know until mid-August if I can make it.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #10 on: 25 Jul 2014, 04:58 »

I have no proper suggestions. Just take lots of photo to show when you get back!
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #11 on: 25 Jul 2014, 05:01 »

Rijks-, Van Gogh-, Stedelijk museum. Anne Frank obviously.

Rules considering drugs are stupidly simple: walk into a coffeeshop, order from a menu, light-up. Consider this, though: stay inside. Consuming outside is still an offense. Not that I know that anyone is policing this but I think it's a good rule. Also: be smart. Don't do all the drugs, all the time, all at once. There's been a surge of tourist's deaths because they just couldn't deal. Don't be like them.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #12 on: 25 Jul 2014, 05:36 »

As somebody living in the Netherlands you almost certainly know this better than me, but I seem to remember a rule implemented a while ago that coffee shops aren't allowed to sell pot to tourists anymore. I'm not sure though, maybe you have some more info on that, Beo?
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BeoPuppy

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jul 2014, 05:53 »

There was some discussion about instating a weedpassport. But that has gone away. Some cities on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium and Germany have rules that make it illegal to sell to foreigners. Amsterdam does not. Yearly there's some 1.5 million people that come specifically for the dope and that's a huge chunck of change. There's some talk about stricter rules but I believe it when I see it.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jul 2014, 05:56 »

1. Are you not allowed to take it back to your hotel with you, Puppy?

2. I am a relatively seasoned drug user and don't generally smoke more than one joint in an evening regardless, let alone when it's some regulated and so presumably reasonably strong shit.

BeoPuppy

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jul 2014, 06:02 »

You can take it with you. The hotel might be completely non-smoking, though, so, you know, there you are with your ounces of stuff and nowhere to light up. Just don't smoke outside.

I recognise that you are a seasoned drug user. I just feel that if I did not issue a warning I'd be remiss. Also, there are scores of seasoned drug growers in the area who have selected over the decades for extreme fucked-upability of their wares. Is that a match you would like to enter full of over-confidence?

I don't do this stuff. It renders me catatonic.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jul 2014, 06:31 »

We're in an apartment with an above ground balcony that's enclossd., would that work? And I appreciate the concern :D

BeoPuppy

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #17 on: 25 Jul 2014, 07:43 »

Yeah, that might work just fine. Just don't jump off any buildings.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #18 on: 26 Jul 2014, 12:47 »

Depending on when exactly it is, and very much depending on my financial situation (would cost about 150 to get there and back) I might be able to come as well.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jul 2014, 14:39 »

Disturbing things to your girlfr5iend. Or the other way around.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #20 on: 27 Jul 2014, 05:03 »

Right folks, I am thinking Friday 22nd would probably be the ideal day. Could hang in a coffee shop (or meet there) and then show you guys the apartment we'll be staying in while we're over there.

Probably be for a few hours in the afternoon, we'd probably want the evening to ourselves. What do people think?

hedgie

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #21 on: 27 Jul 2014, 05:16 »

Don't forget (Oblig Yelling Bird):
http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1566
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #22 on: 27 Jul 2014, 13:23 »

Right folks, I am thinking Friday 22nd would probably be the ideal day. Could hang in a coffee shop (or meet there) and then show you guys the apartment we'll be staying in while we're over there.

Probably be for a few hours in the afternoon, we'd probably want the evening to ourselves. What do people think?

Good news everyone!
I can likely do that. I'd have to check out whether I am going to stay overnight, and if not, if going to Amsterdam for only a few hours is worth it for me. I shall do that tomorrow - it's half past 10 pm here.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #23 on: 27 Jul 2014, 14:01 »

This is not final yet, but I can probably make it as well.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #24 on: 27 Jul 2014, 14:10 »

Literally two weeks later and I would have been back there too. Oh well.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #25 on: 15 Aug 2014, 03:52 »

So I just booked the connection. This is happening!!! *giddy*
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #26 on: 15 Aug 2014, 04:39 »

That leaves ChaoSera *threatening look*

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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #27 on: 25 Aug 2014, 13:11 »

So we went to Amsterdam, and things occurred!

Tuesday we flew out, which made me squee like a kid having not been on a plane since I was like 7 and as such not remembering anything about it. It was a real novelty for me taking the flight, but the flight was only 45 minutes long which was hilarious because it meant that we spent like 15 minutes going up in the air, 15 minutes up there and then 15 minutes landing. We didn't do much on day one except find the flat, settle in to watch a movie and eating at our first Amsterdam restaurant - Burgermeester, a place that makes the very odd choice to have photos of live cows on the walls and menus. It's a strange choice. 'Look at the adorable animal you're eating!'

Well, not me, because I had a lamb burger. And it was gurrrrd.

The next day was mostly sightseeing, then the Sex Museum. It was entertaining (and surprisingly erotic) but a lot smaller than I expected and profoundly dated. There was loads of lesbian porn (let's face it lesbian porn is just straight porn) but only the tiniest bit of gay porn, from the Victorian times. Seeing quite explicit pornography from all these different eras was fascinating because we were so used to people in photos like that, with the proper broom moustaches and everything, just being in very regal poses. This was a real look at what went on behind closed doors in these times. Also it was interesting seeing the different standards of beauty - the Japanese erotic drawings mostly featured women with small breasts and even typically pot bellies too. It also had a really terrible 'exhibit' about Marilyn Monroe. And it led to one of my favourite photos of myself:


Then we got super high. Was really nice. Lasted for ages.

Thursday we went wandering around a quite nice, big park. Lots of herons in Amsterdam, and the most absolutely disgusting public toilets I've ever used. They were just big plastic moulds of urinals, open to the elements (but with a fence around them) and no sink. Really, really gross. God help any women that use them.

Then we got high again. Smoked a bit more this time. Was verrrry strong.

Friday we met BeoPuppy and Loki!



Was super cool. Loki had some funny stories, and Puppy was all around hilarious. Pretty much in real life exactly like they are on here, in a good way, in both cases.

Then we got high again, and it was BAD. We smoked shitloads. Keep in mind this was the cheapest pre-rolled shit you can buy from the coffee shop in question. I was high for HOURS. Not just high, but actually tripping. I've never done hallucinogenics before but this shit was strong enough that I was hallucinating, I was out of it, literally for hours. I was seeing colours, barely existing as myself. Luckily it took a lot longer to hit my girlfriend so she took care of me for the first couple of hours (apparently at one point I was high enough to literally say 'You could be queen of the world and I could be your king!'). Was not good. Bad trip, man, bad trip. And then I just snapped back into sober at 2am like nothing happened. That was fucking WEIRD.

Saturday we went to see the Bodyworld exhibit, which was pretty good and then in one of the staircases we found that somebody found it so pretty good that they'd puked! Also we saw a dick that'd be cut up into pieces. I was crossing my legs for hours.

Then Sunday we had to travel back which seemed to take four hundred years compared to the outbound journey.

Amsterdam observations:
- Some people in Amsterdam do not like the English! But hey, I don't like the English. Some people did not like being spoken to in English. Some other people could tell we were English before we even opened our mouths!
- The entire place is seemingly on a slant. I genuinely think it was fucking with my equilibrium, I felt slightly dizzy like the entire time. (And not just because of the weed, smartasses)
- In Amsterdam, the roads are fucking tiny, there are bikes, mopeds and cars everywhere, they drive on the right, and hey, pedestrians do not have right of way, which meant we both nearly died like 40 times during every five minute walk. Also the entire place is built in blocks like the US, but every street is named rather than numbered which makes it the worst of all worlds.
- Everything is SO EXPENSIVE

All in all, we had a blast, and I loved it.

BeoPuppy

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #28 on: 25 Aug 2014, 22:51 »

Hear that world? I'm hilarious! Suck it bitches!
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #29 on: 26 Aug 2014, 15:18 »

Alright everybody, here's my side of the story. It's rather long, so feel free to skip to the next post where I meet Gareth and BeoPuppy.

On my way to Amsterdam, I had to take another connection than I had planned, because the railway was having some problems and we were kicked out of the train at some station I had never heard of before ('s-Hertogenbosch. Yes, it starts with an apostrophe). I was super worried I had to take an extra ticket or something, but everything turned out fine in the end. So I arrived in Amsterdam shortly before 2pm on Thursday.

After fumbling around to get a local tram ticket (it's an RFID chip embedded into a card), I set off to my hostel. (Ironically, the RFID chip is from a German manufacturer). Checkin was at 2pm, so I didn't have to wait long.
I had to pay extra for the lockers to store my luggage in, which kinda sucked, but everyone at the hostel was very nice. I unpacked and set off into the city.
There was a cat outside my hostel which would come up to everybody and be petted x)



I stalked for a few hours through town. As Gareth said, lots of bikers, relatively few cars. And hella expensive - I spent most of my budget for the day for overpriced food.

Among other things, I discovered an American Book Center and promptly purchased "The World of Poo" by Pratchett. I also considered getting some D&D materials, but they were too costly for my budget.
I also walked into a sweets shop which sold organic candy.



Literally all I said was "Hi".
Suddenly, the salesgirl starts talking to me in German. I must have looked very confused - she explained that Germans tend to speak higher. Considering I don't even have a pure German accent, how she found my language from the one syllable was amazing. She offered a lot of sweets to taste, and I promised to come back the next day.

At some point, I sighted an alien.


To keep up the tradition, the picture is appropriately blurry.

At some other point, I hung out with some backpackers at one of the main channels, where all the tourist ferries were starting. We were basically half-lieing on the floor. A guy from the ferry company came over, but instead of ushering us away like I definitely had expected, he was like "hey guys, there are places getting free at that benches over there, so when they do, could you go over there please? Thanks, that's real nice of you". To someone used to German strictness, this was heaven.

I also walked through some parts of the Red Light District. There, among other things, I encountered a derpy-looking seagull



and a Christian hostel.


And Gareth forces me to tell this:

While hanging out in one of those tourist trap shops, I overheard a guy asking the cashier where to find a midget prostitute.

Yes, really. I can now personally attest this doesn't just happen in movies.

Yes, the cashier did know where to find one (although he had to think about it for a moment). In fact, he recalled two of them.

I also walked into a pub and there was a cat on the counter. I couldn't quite put my finger on why that confused me so much, until I realised this would never have flown in Germany because of the tight food and health regulations. So that was definitely an eye-opener.
I also tried some Grolsch beer while I was there. It was surprisingly okay (I don't usually like beer.) There was an FC Bayern fan sticker in the bathroom, which was quite amusing.

I eventually decided to head home, because I was really tired. Bought myself some proper food in a grocery shop and had some cocoa and crisps at the hostel bar.

END OF DAY ONE.

Second part to be added tomorrow, as I can already tell it's also going to be lengthy and I'd like to sleep sometime.
« Last Edit: 26 Aug 2014, 15:23 by Loki »
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #30 on: 26 Aug 2014, 20:57 »

so did Gareth enjoy his midget prostitute?

:D  :B lol
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #31 on: 26 Aug 2014, 22:44 »

I'd say that was low, but...

nevermind. 
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #32 on: 27 Aug 2014, 15:58 »

*applauds Carl*

Second day. I took the time to have some breakfast in the hostel. They had cutish organic cups for jelly; also, peanutbutter for breakfast. The liat of choices was so-so for a vegetarian, but the food was actually quite good.

Then I set off into the city again.

It rained like shit.

I ended up walking around town until the aforementioned candy shop opened at 12. Picked up plenty of candy.
The salesperson this time was a guy. He mentioned he had gotten used to the weather in his ten years of living in Amsterdam.
"Oh? Where are you from?"
"France. Terrible country. Terrible people".

I was amazed at finding a Frenchman who would speak English.

By the time I got out, it was half one and I was hungry again. So at the recommendation of the Frenchman, I ate at a wok place nearby.
I killed some time by walking towards the coffeeshop Gaz and me were supposed to meet and entering every shop that looked remotely interesting.

Then of course I got lost.

See, there were two parallel streets with very similar names, one of which was where Gaz and me were supposed to meet. In my infinite wisdom, I picked the wrong one. (Did I mention it was still raining cats and dogs and the umbrella helped only so much?) I was worried I'd miss our appointment.

Eventually, I arrived at our meeting point at five to two - just in time to see Gareth approach from the other direction.

He already told most of how we met.
We headed back to his appartment. It was a lovely thing, with a rug, a fireplace (which noone seemed to know how to start, including the landlady), a terribly slanted floor and a chair that looked straight like the throne of Game of Thrones.



Eventually, we tried watching a movie. I could pick from the suggestions, and I was torn between "Black Swan" and "17 again".

Being the sophisticated people you all know and love, we put on "17 again", but we didn't get far - BeoPuppy messaged he had time to come over. So we walked, through the rain, back to the coffeeshop and picked him up.

He didn't have an umbrella (did I mention it was not simply raining it was *fucking* raining). I kindheartedly let him use mine along with me.

Then we sat and talked and sat and talked, until BeoPuppy and me decided to hit the road.

Gaz and me hugged. I felt exhausted and went to my hostel for a rest amd change of clothes (as I may have mentioned in this post, it was raining).

Then I walked through town some more and had fun.

After returning at eleven pm or so, I woke up in the night. I was staying in a six bed apartment and one of the guys had started hitting on one of the girls, without much success.
I watched their conversation for a while, than fell back asleep.

Third Day!

I had breezed through most of my budget for the two days. I also really wanted home, so I left Amsterdam more or less at 11am and arrived home exhausted, but happy :)
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hedgie

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #33 on: 27 Aug 2014, 18:52 »


Eventually, we tried watching a movie. I could pick from the suggestions, and I was torn between "Black Swan" and "17 again".

All "Black Swan" is is "Perfect Blue" adapted to live-action, with all the gaslighting and going crazy and whatnot.  It really had nothing to bring to the table on its own merits.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #34 on: 27 Aug 2014, 19:23 »

it was half one

Those are the brief moments which make me remember that you're German. :mrgreen:

But really, great report! I'm sad that I missed it. It might even have been worth the money it would have cost me, but I just didn't have it. I know that Loki's fun to spend time with, and I seriously doubt that Beopuppy is any different in that aspect. I won't even consider that thought about Gaz. Barely anyone in this forum seems so much like fun. (I love you all nonetheless)
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BeoPuppy

Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #35 on: 27 Aug 2014, 23:08 »

I'm more than fun:
Hear that world? I'm hilarious! Suck it bitches!
Just to get the record straight.
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Re: What should Gareth do in Amsterdam in August?
« Reply #36 on: 28 Aug 2014, 01:43 »

Until you pointed that out, Ankh, I assumed he meant 1.30 but then remembered he must mean 12.30. I did think it was a long time to spend in a sweetshop!
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