Wanderlust travel blog

Strolling by the Canals...


Dam Square Fair

Amsterdam by Night

Amsterdam - the city of creative pick up lines... I shall share my top 3 (as voted by me)...

Nb 3: "Whizzo lady!!!... (this in itself is not all that impressive when read, but it was the enthusiastic gesturing which just nudged this into the top 3).

Nb 2: "Oh you're on your own... I will take special care of you.... I have enough sheep" ( - don't ask about the sheep bit).

....and the greatest so far.....*pause here for effect*....

Nb 1: "You don't have to look any further, you found me" (in response to my standing on the street corner examining a map)....

When I arrived in Amsterdam I had an immediate love for the place... Don't understand why, but had a bizarre feeling like I had already lived here for years.

Exploring the city and the Amstel was fairly easy as it is very small and compact. All the streets radiate outward in a circular fashion from Centraal Station.

I tried to get my phone unlocked so I could get onto the local network... apparently of all the things in this city, I managed to find the only illegal activity.

My looking disbelievingly at the chap who told me this with slow blinking eyes didn't bring about any change to this situation... so here I am still roaming on the UK network....

A big fair on in the Dam Square, with hundreds of people squealing with delight as they are flung round at multiple G's. All you can hear, is....


...(the pauses are when the ride had swung 180 and they were out of earshot....) see photo of the Dam Fair (rotating arm at the left) for a better idea... I have video too which is quite funny...

The inner nerd was concerned about the clearance of some of those rides (legs and feet seemed to be within inches of stalls)... but after a few wines...... well... at least I didn't install it.

A visit to the Red Light District certainly raised an eyebrow or two. You can do anything you want/see anything you like here in Amsterdam... it's unbelievable how uninhibited Europeans are... but especially Dutchies (The dam is known as the gay capital).

However, what I saw just made me feel sad... such beautiful women... I can't imagine what their days must consist of and what they must have to put up with. Most of it I didn't even think was possible. What a sheltered existance!

Had a great couple of great nights out at world famous restaurant Pasta e Basta (translates as Pasta and that's it..)... with live performances by the singing waiters/waitresses (really good too - apparently there is a queue to work there as "discoveries" are made when famous people dine there).

Excellent food and wine.

As the place closed I sat and talked with the guys who worked there and found out what it's like to live in Amsterdam. Had waaaay to many drinks and thought I should leave while I still remembered where I lived (although there was some rather funny offers made, and I got my first request for a date since I left home, or at least I think that was what it was?...).

The reason I thought I had had too many.. is well.. when I have I lose all depth perception. My mind is still lucid (relatively), I can still hold a conversation... I still know what's going on... but boy, try and get somewhere and its complete madness. Do you know they even have a small step leading up to the bathrooms at this place? A STEP, who has a goddam step near the bathrooms of a bar? When I eventually left the place, I very nearly pushed the goddam door through the goddam wall.

Anyhoo... Tripping about the town I often walk past a fellow I have affectionatly named "EYOGKW" - (Enthusiastic Yelling of God Knows What), who performs the stately function of being the town weirdo.

He's useful in other ways, as he only walks through the more central bits, so whenever I feel a bit lost, and he strides past yelling (or I can hear him from a few blocks away), I know I haven't ventured too far out. I just head towards the loud rambling.

LOADS of bicyles here, and had a rather funny Sat night involving some locals, bikes, and dykes (no not that kind, my brother informs me that this is an engineering term for part of a canal or something)..... But that is a person to person story... so you shall have to wait until I see you. :)

A local guy with great ingenuity, cycled down the street past me bellowing "DING A LING A LING... DING A LING A LING!" - he had lost his bell, but it seemed to work much better than a normal one. People did move. I have decided to use this tactic next time I find myself in a very crowded area.

If you are bored one day try it next time you are on your way to the market, or to a meeting, just yell it out... Guarantee you get there on time....

After a few too many late nights... I had decided to get an early night and just head out for a "walk".. of course every time I do this I find myself in a cafe or bar.

Tonight I went out and the place I wanted to eat at was full... but after applying puppy dog eyes I was sat down next to this other young single woman. It was weird.. she was so terrified someone might actually try to talk to her she had a book and cellphone on full go. Now that I ponder it, she was probably more afraid someone wouldn't talk to her.

I would of made conversation, but to be honest I wasn't in the mood, and you have to be in the mood for these things. I watched her periodically (as well as most of the other people in the room) and realised how uncomfortable she was, and how most other couples there didn't seem that interested in each other either and might as well of been alone.

She ended up spilling her water all over the table.. and this mortified her so much she fled the restaurant. I was sorry then that I hadn't tried to make her feel better.

Her replacement turned out to be a travelling english mech eng who was significantly more lively. He was quite a funny chap, and related his story about how he became vegetarian (we were at a vegan place).

Apparently he had been in a relationship for 6 years and they had got to the point where "they were doing stuff just to piss the other one off", and he had come home to dinner she had prepared, only to tell her "I can't eat that, I'm vegetarian" (this being the very first she had heard of it)... understandably she then scraped his dinner directly into the bin.

As I have said before, the english really knock me out. They do.

Anyway, they ended up staying together for another year after that, and he didn't want to back down on his declaration, so he said he suffered staying with the vege diet all that time. Pride is a funny thing.

After a year, he found he liked it, so 20 years later there he was.

At this point in the story an enormous cat waddled past the table. Such beautiful colours of deep ginger and pure white, but unfortunately would make a blimp feel slender.

There were about 4 steps behind me... and this cat had decided to conquer them. He did it in two stages.. pausing rather comically on the second step (pause lasted bout 5mins, so fairly significant). When he reached the top, He and I felt such a sense of achievement for him, I almost made him a little flag and got my cell out to phone Hillary. He promptly fell into a very well deserved deep sleep.

Anyway, the english guy asked me what I did, and so I put it in a sentence or two... to which he actually laid his head on his arm and made a snoring noise. a snoring noise!.

I didn't think I was such a boring story teller (please tell me if I am), but this really killed me.

He was very entertaining, and I was sorry to stop chatting in a way, but I couldn't forgive that. I really couldn't. So I buggered off to find a better bar.

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