Father and Son In Mokum

A forum where you can read the great
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

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El Tesoro
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Father and Son In Mokum

Postby El Tesoro » Sun Sep 25, 4:59 pm

From early '04, our report:

Arrived early morning in the holy city by the Ij. The trip is my birthday present to my one and only child, freshly turned 21. Original plan was to stow and go from the Station and make quick steps to Barney's, but no, United fed us well on the flight from the States, so we skip breakfast and go buy a 45-line trippenkaart and take the 4 Tram south toward the Rembrandtplein.

Thanks to a bunch of Channelites, I'd gotten lotsa great info on the 'kaart usage tram thing before we left home, so felt confident in the use thereof.

Rode the 4 along Damrak, through Spui, along Rokin, past Munttoren, through Rembrandtplein, over to the Keizersgracht stop on Utrechtsestraat. We'd been on the go for a day and ahalf, but we perked up considerably when we spotted Stix a couple blocks away. Unfortunately it's only 915am and Stix won't open til a bit later in the morning.

We rock and roll our luggage through and around Frederiksplein and it's contruction and a few blocks west we find our home away from home, a City Mundo houseboat on the Singelgracht. We're way early, but a knock on the door brings out the cleaning crew who graciously grab our bags and welcome us into the boat.

They stop cleaning and commence to show and explain to us the intricacies of each piece of bathroom and kitchen appliance. None of their instructions makes the least bit of sense to us, especially not that funny shit-catcher in the commode. We're too dazed to care. I remember their parting words to us when I asked about smoking indoors: "It's your boat now!"

Son and I collapse on the sofa and gaze out the open windows to the houseboats on the other side. There are people moving around in the boat directly across from us. Man woman child. A canal tourboat slinks past our view and the tourists wave at us and take pictures. We wave back and laugh.

My son realizes we're not in Maryland anymore. Me, I've been here and done that before, tho it's been over 30 years since my last trip. Still, it's good to be back. Last time in A'dam I stayed at the Kabul on Warmoesstraat, for 2 bucks a night. Here on the boat, it's more like 120.

The dutiful son, bless him, takes the first A. Heijn run, which if he could walk on water would take him directly across the canal. Instead, he walks east a block and half to the West End bridge, then west the same length along Stadhouderskade to the Heijn. Meantime, I remain affixed to the sofa, shaking a bit, ready for some food and ciggies.

end of part un.

El Tesoro

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Father and son in mokum

Postby GGraphics » Sun Sep 25, 6:07 pm

This sounds like it's going to ba a good one.
...and them?

Save some for me!
-GG

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Postby Banks » Sun Sep 25, 8:54 pm

Great start... damn, 30 years and the first time back is with your son... awesome! Keep them coming!

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Father and Son In Mokum

Postby El Tesoro » Sun Sep 25, 9:44 pm

Part deux:

I was born in Nieuwe Amsterdam 55 years ago. I spent long childhood weeks in the summer with my grandparents in Brooklyn. De Pijp reminds me of my childhood summer habitat.

Small supermarkets existed in Brooklyn in the late 50's and early 60's, but grandma patronised the smaller specialty shops; the butcher, the bakery, the green grocer. Many a day I'd wake up to the scent of fresh donuts. Cream-filled chocolate-covered bombs they were, or sometimes "black-and-whites." I regained the many pounds my parents shed off me during the school year with that awful powdered skim milk from planet Skylak. But this tale concerns Old Amsterdam, the city round the Amstel.

I'd been to Mokum in '70, as a 20 year old, my first time away from home. Spent the whole summer away. Saw Elton John open for Santana, in London. Got Carlos' autograph. Saw Zep, Airplane, Byrds, Floyd, Donovan, at the Bath Festival in England, at Shepton Mallet. Slept there in the cold and rain four nights.

Bussed south to north across Wales. Hitch-hiked across central Ireland and up to Belfast. Got mistaken for Brits in Enniskillen, then paid half price for our b&b once they realized we were Yanks. Got invited to the Orange Day parade, but took the feerry across to Stranraer instead..

Back in London, rubbed Karl's head at Highgate cemetery and bought the Trilogy in one volume at a bookstore closeby.

Spent 5 weeks on a kibbutz in Israel and smoked hash there with the French volunteers, and again in Jerusalem in a cafe in the Old City.

But the highlight was the last two weeks of the trip, in Amsterdam, 1970. Rioting at the Dam Monument. My first prostitute experience. Hash for a dollar a gram. And none of that weird Red Lebanese, just good Moroccan blond in all different shades. Bami and nasi goreng for $2 a bowl. Herring. Argent at the Paradiso. Decent pizza.

In '73 I was married and we came over for a 2-month European vacation. England was fun, saw Pink Floyd do Dark Side of the Moon at earls Court. Did a week in Switzerland with a rental car. Great times. But the best was the last couple weeks in Amsteradm.

Stayed at the Kabul again, and it was still $2 a night. Heineken brewery, Vondel Park, aimless wandering of the streets, stoned and making plans to bus ourselves to Turkey and maybe further east, but we trained to Den Haag instead, and Noordvijk, or was that back in '70??

Next chapter - Father and Son Wake and Bake in 2004

Thanks for the encouragement, gents.

El Tesoro

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Wake n Bake

Postby El Tesoro » Mon Sep 26, 10:48 pm

Part trois:

It's still the first day of our trip. We've had a nice nosh and a quick nap. Now it's mid afternoon. Refreshed and anxious to get started, we rush out the door of the houseboat and excitedly head north down Utrechtsestraat for Stix, our first coffeeshop.

It's a quick march and we're there. Inside we visit the magic menu and order some Kali Mist and coffees. We pick a table at the front window, which means we turned around from the counter and sat at one of two tables (or was it 3?). It's very clean in here.

There are two other customers in. They're speaking Dutch, but after they realize we're waiting on coffees and intend to stay awhile, they switch to English, a friendly thing to do. We join in their conversation about the Madrid bombings, which had just happened.

The coffees arrive, and turn out to be a cappucino and a hot chocolate, which works out fine. I'm smoking Marlboro lights, til the kid completes construction of the first doob du joor. Then we're sharing a pure joint of Kali Mist.

I agree with the Dutch dudes that it's not the Basques responsible for the bombings, gotta be al Queda. We chat a bit, then me and son concentrate on the drinks and the Kali.

Our caffeine consumed and our brains somewhere outside our bodies, we stand up to leave and pursue other times and places. Whoa, I sit back down, hard! The Kali must be hittin harder than I anticipated. Or maybe it's the 3 Marlboros (my first in years). I'm totally wrecked and struggle to my feet. What a tourist!

I stand up again and get dizzy again but resist the temptaion to become one with the floor. I maintain altitude, just barely, and shuffle out the door. We walk over to the Herengracht and I sit heavily in the first available bench. Dizzy and nauseous, it takes me a good 5-10 minutes to regain composure. Welcome to Amstertipple.

Soon my head clears, my stomach settles, and I regain my brain. The son is amused. We get up and gingerly slip on over to the Rembrandtplein and after probing a few nooks an crannies, we head down the Reguliersdwarsstraat to the Muntplein and the Flower market, mingling with the few late-winter tourists and local shoppers. It's Friday afternoon in the damn Dam!

Not seeking anything other than to practice rubber-necking, we do a slow stroll, absorbing sights sounds and smells of this wonderful city. We grin a lot.

Eventually we park our butts and slake our thirst at Balls Bar, Bavaria on tap. For some reason (jet lag?) the beer isn't right, so we head outdoors for additional head-clearing, then on to Sweetleaf and obtain a cheap glass chillum. Now we're properly equipped, so to speak.

I like this part of town, around Rembrandt's Square, the Reguliersgracht, over to the Amstel and everything in between. Doesn't seem the least bit "unwholesome" as some guidebooks and reviews would have me believe. Lots of cool shops, prices ain't bad, that Tuschinski Theatre looks nicely weird, plenty of restaurants, close to the Amstel (Pisces love bodies of water nearby).

We're back at the boat/home by 6 and crash for a solid 2 hours. At 8pm we're up and make a mad dash for those Utrechtsestraat restaurants. They sure close early! Tujuh Maret lets us in, bless them, and we order an appetizer and a mini-rijstaffel, with beers. The waitress watches in awe as we inhale the steamed rice. She brings us another bowl, a bigger one. Bintangs rule!

After dinner, we notice Stix looks open, so we wander down the street
for a get n go. Caramello and Super Pollen hashes are added to our tiny growing stash. On our way to the RLD we add to our cart by picking up some Andalucia #1 at Andalucia and Diesel Haze nugs at Bushdoctor on Amstel. We musta smoked some of this shit somewhere along the way, but my notes are silent.

En de Wallen, we stare like yokels at the hotties and not so hotties in de vindows. Most of the ladies are sittin on stools, smokin ciggies, lookin bored. They perk up a bit at our approach, waggle tongues, pull out the odd boob, go back to smokin. The son was smilin but I was feelin depressed and old. Oh well, must be jet lag!

Forty minutes later we've hiked back "home" and we're deep into the couchlock, if ya know wut I mean, and I no u du! The son falls asleep on the sofa; I crawl off to my bedroom and realize before I commence snoring that we've only been here 14 hours.

End of Day 1.

I'm going to watch USA-Netherlands, live, Under-17 Quaterfinals. Til next time!

El Tesoro

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Postby theguest » Mon Sep 26, 11:56 pm

Great reports! Very different, amazing to get a view on Amsterdam before I was even born.

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WOW, Time Travel.

Postby LastHamlet » Tue Sep 27, 1:57 pm

Dam, this story is getting better by the paragraph. El Tesoro, you have been around, and seen the things that make life really interesting.
What a present to your son, and to yourself as well. This is a very interesting read, and I really can't wait to read more.
From the start I knew it had to be good, taking the famed tram #4, my favorite stomping ground, to the Marlboro's, and a history interlude mingled in.. Very Dam Impressive!!! You are a talented writer El Tesoro, keep the parts coming. :-)
Many Best Regards,
LH

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Postby MileHighDenver » Tue Sep 27, 2:24 pm

Way cool man. I also cherish my father/son/mokum experience's.

mhd

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Postby lctricity » Tue Sep 27, 5:46 pm

What a time! When I read the title I instantly thought of MHD and Blackout. After reading the tales it sounds like you two have the same type of stellar relationship.

Young men out there can only dream of havin' the laid back Dads that you set of gentlemen are.

Thanks for sharin' your experiences, especially the "old school" ones! Great reading without a doubt.
Last edited by lctricity on Tue Sep 27, 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby docski » Tue Sep 27, 5:50 pm

MileHighDenver wrote:Way cool man. I also cherish my father/son/mokum experience's.

mhd


I agree with this and the quality of the report comments.

I look forward to a return trip with one of the kids. But the only one who is not married and occupied with little kids of their own I just shipped off to SAmerica for two years of Peace Corps yesterday.

It may be a while.

Doc

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Postby TAK » Thu Sep 29, 4:33 am

MileHighDenver wrote:Way cool man. I also cherish my father/son/mokum experience's.

mhd


I too, cherish my father/son/mokum times.

El Tesoro wrote: A canal tourboat slinks past our view and the tourists wave at us and take pictures. We wave back and laugh.

I love doing that.

Good read El Tesoro. Do we get day 2?

Dag
TAK

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More

Postby El Tesoro » Thu Sep 29, 3:44 pm

Day 2 coming soon, maybe tonight, more likely tomorrow night. Sorry for the delay. Should have had all this posted a year ago!

Sure is fun reliving it all again, tho I'd rather be in Mokum right now taking notes and inhaling deep and slo.

Work sucks!

El Tesoro

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In Eptitude

Postby El Tesoro » Fri Sep 30, 12:59 am

Well shit in my pants! I just spent 2 hours writing Day 2 and when I pressed Submit it brought me to the Log-In page. I musta not logged in or I musta timed out. Shit!

No more time for writing tonite, gotta wait til tomorrow night. Damn! It was good stuff, too.

Sorry 'bout that. Tomorrow then.

El Tesoro

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Re: In Eptitude

Postby MileHighDenver » Fri Sep 30, 4:15 am

El Tesoro wrote:Well shit in my pants! I just spent 2 hours writing Day 2 and when I pressed Submit it brought me to the Log-In page. I musta not logged in or I musta timed out. Shit!

No more time for writing tonite, gotta wait til tomorrow night. Damn! It was good stuff, too.

Sorry 'bout that. Tomorrow then.

El Tesoro


Suggest you write it in word or works and paste it over when done, lol..

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Thanks

Postby El Tesoro » Fri Sep 30, 1:55 pm

Thanks, MHD. I'll give it a whirl this evening. And if that doesn't work (I'm only semi-literate in computerese) I'll chop it up into bite-sized pieces for easier consumption.

ET


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