The land of the free as many know it. Many tourist go to Amsterdam for the drugs, alcohol and prostitution and it is definitely prominent everywhere in the city center. By no means is it all about those three things. It is a very historical city and I was blessed with the opportunity to attend some of the museums as well as a fantastic walking tour around Dam square lead by Dulcia. I explored the city at night as well as during the day.
Being the independent self I am, I struggle with group activities and group outings. Everyone has different opinions on what to eat, what they want to see, all the way down to little things such as how fast they walk. I’m not saying I get frustrated at how fast or slower someone walks, but I’m just saying sometimes it doesn’t make anyone feel good when you’re on holiday but arguing about what you want to see! Anyhow, I was with a few friends Friday evening exploring some bars and when they headed to the club, I decided not to go because I wasn’t keen on paying the cover charge.Call me a party pooper but I am okay with it.
After wards, I met up with a couch surfer and he bought me to a few local dutch bars. My experience in a local dutch bar? They are tall! Me being short and being in a crowded bar doesn’t really add up to be the best combination but nonetheless, the Dutch people were very friendly. I definitely got a few weird looks because that bar doesn’t normally allow foreign tourists to go in.
One of the most exciting part of the night for me was my trip back to the hostel. Embrace yourself, you might think I’m a little crazy after hearing this story. Firstly, I took the night bus which was very simple and fast but it does not drop me off at the tram station I’m familiar with close to the hostel. I was sure I was only a few streets away as I got off the bus but after walking for about 15 minutes in the cold at 3 in the morning, I did not want to keep walking.
There was no one on the streets to ask for directions. I waved down the first car that came my way, and tried to ask for directions. The driver did not speak any English except for “address?” He eventually motioned for me to get in the car, I got in and we drove down the street. He drove aimlessly for a few minutes as I tried to explain in hand motions the surrounding area of my hostel. The next word he said that I understood was “hotel?” I said yes, and thought to myself ‘this area is not big, my best bet is for him to bring me to the closest place he knows.’ Two streets down, I spot a worn out basketball hoop and knew we were in the right place. I reassured him that was where I needed to go, said thank you and got out of the car. “Goodbye” was the third and last English word he said, then he went on his jolly ol’ way. As I walked up the stairs to my room, I was quite in awe of what just happened.
I hitch hiked in Amsterdam.