August 2012

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

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August 2012

Postby worldcitizen1723 » Sun Aug 12, 2:29 pm

New York aug 9/aamsterdam aug 10

the traffic to the airport was insane.  but we had left plenty of time,
kept just reminding ourselves to chill.   this trip is a big deal.  three weeks in the city we love and quite possibly the last trip in a string of yearly and biyearly trips beginning in 1997.   we did the unthinkable, empty of frequent flyer miles for an upgrade, we  paid for business class tickets. yet another once in a lifetime choice.

  I asked the mate the time, he opened his phone and said 4:20 (really!). We laughed and felt good after a bit of free food and wine in the lounge, the announcement for boarding came and we dutifully found the gate.

then our cheery smiles quickly vanished.  First thing a computer glitch was announced so boarding had to be stopped.  As we stood in line, an attendant came over to me and requested to see my ticket,  two minutes later, I was pulled out of the line (oh yeah at security I had been pulled out of the line to have my hands and clothes checked for bomb making materials). No explanations and I am now up,against the wall behind the flight attendants at the boarding gate.   A large gentleman comes over and explains that dogs are not allowed in first class?!

He says they changed the rules in January.  Huh?  Why were we not informed?   Why did they confirm our tickets and seating with the dog 48 hours prior??  Then he explains that if he was an emotional support dog, he would be allowed.  They say that the seating configuration has changed and it is not safe for my dog.  I totally do not understand.... if I had the emotional support papers it would be safe for him??   My head is spinning.  Corporate double speak at it's finest.  The irony of this is that we actually do have papers saying he is an emotional support dog, but did not bring them with us, as there was no reason for them.   Hell at it's finest.   The entire plane boarded.  I mean the ENTIRE plane is filled.  We are still,standing there, uncertain what exactly is gonna come out of all of this.  The head agent promises us refunds and on top of that, he says before the plane takes off we will both have $200.00 checks in our hands.  We are then ushered on to the full plane.  The 2nd to the last row in the back.   We are seated in a row of three seats with an empty middle seat.
The flight attendants are over solicitous.  As the plane leaves the gate, I look to the partner and note - hey there is no check in my hand!  Yeah, another lie
I absolutely have loved KLM, for many years - but since delta has taken over,
I am afraid my relationship is rapidly deteriorating.  Was angry the entire trip - I dislike being lied too more than anything else.  Was not good sleeping or relaxing energy, attempted to meditate, could not focus on a movie Oh and the kid directly behind me had some nasty fulminating respiratory infection, with thick coughing and plenty of phlegmy mucus.  Great.  Oh and I did not mention that it was insinuated that we did not have tickets or seats on the return flight.
I am a wee bit tense and even feeling a little beaten.

Once we landed,  we decided to put it all aside, deal with the plane issues and our return  on Monday and just start our vacation without carrying around so much frustration.

Went directly to the houseboat.
First reaction - it's a little small, the pictures made it appear larger.
Last years apartment was fabulous.  Two entire floors of a brownstone
Huge windows, great breezes and views. (no canal)   Great I think, the residual negativity still lurking in the  corners of my psyche,  three weeks in a cramped damp moldy  place.

Was I wrong!
It is fabulous!
Takes staying in Amsterdam to a whole new level.  Feels like being at a beachy vacation.   The houseboat has a covered porch that gets the morning sun.  Lapping water and sparkling reflections.
You are eye level with the boats passing by:
There are the tourists who blankly gawk or shot pictures, creating narratives about those they spot on the houseboats.  There are the locals who smile and say dak, with a twinkle and a wink - communicating that yeah, we dutch know how to live and enjoy life - AND this is the best place in the world.   Locals are extremely friendly on the boats (mostly high or drunk, undoubtedly).   And the young tourist boys in the paddle boats are extremely flirtatious to this silver streaked  chick.

Went to Barney's uptown for breakfast
Yogurt for me, lox and bagel for the mate.

Got the utopian haze to start the day from across the street.

This Haze is the kind of pot that I would not be impressed with, had it not been for jet lag and exhaustion -but it was perfect for this day   Not that pushy, almost speed like quality that some sativa's present when you are exhausted.
Nice gentle high.   The day was a muddle of dream state, half asleep, half awake 
drifting thru Amsterdam. The sun was shining!    Couldn't focus on the idea of food, so went to la perla and picked up a couple of pizza's to go, brought them back with salad fixings and wine.  Had the perfect meal on the balcony.  The pizza remains as good as I remember.

After dinner strolled over to amnesia, picked up 
critical kush. 
schizandra hash
old school haze

To have something in the house for the morning and knock us out for the night.

It did the trick
: >

The frustrations that begun the day have disappeared
Just a story
No emotional residue.

Boney:  if ya want to take your dog first class, have papers verifying him/her
as an emotional support dog!!!  Not a big deal just need a therapist friend to write it up for you.  ( the way airlines keep changing rules - maybe good to always have these.  Also with these papers, you do not have to pay extra for the pet).   Otherwise there are some forms, that no one ever checks, that you need your vet to sign and the USDA to sign within 10 days before you leave.  There is  fee ranging from 150 to 250 each way.   Sometimes charged, sometimes not.  The dog and carrier can not exceed 15 pounds.
pm me when we return and I will send you links to the forms and everything you need....  Forms and more forms... Gives people reasons for their jobs... 

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Postby alpha » Sun Aug 12, 3:09 pm

Ominous beginnings can very often produce the best of vacations. Hope yours continues to tread that path, but most of all enjoy!

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Postby a bollocks » Sun Aug 12, 3:35 pm

I love the smell of phlegmy mucus in the morning!

that and napalm. Glad you got over your seething.

Have a blast, nice start to the diary.

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August 2012

Postby John T » Sun Aug 12, 6:01 pm

We stayed on a houseboat on our annual trip for the last seven years or so, and I think we will have it again this year. We love it, but when we sit on the deck,with our drinks, in the evening we have to wave or raise our glasses to the boat-people who wave at us. There are a lot of boats on the Amstel. After a few days all the waving gets tiring, but you have to do it, how could you not?
“Feels like being at a beachy vacationâ€￾ is a perfect way of describing it.

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Postby Old Fart » Sun Aug 12, 9:01 pm

Let us know when you are crossing Koningsplein, you can give us a wave.

still "green" here...


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Postby kiwi_in_Oz » Sun Aug 12, 11:50 pm

great to see you all arrived safely WC.

I agree with alpha that sometimes the worst starts produce the best and most memorable trips.

keep those updates coming :)

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Aug 13, 8:03 am

Day 2 -  8/11
Woke to a Morning violin concert
directly across the canal from our boat
Breakfast on the porch
The sun is beaming
Life is a sweet

Tourist boats - strangest sensation watching the boats.  Dare I say, most of the people appear like cardboard cut outs, bored, deadened eyes, staring, taking pictures like they are following the orders from some unknown source.
Every third or forth boatload, there appears a bright light a shining spirit with eyes that glow, like someone who has found a long lost love.  This individual could be 10 or 70 there are no age limits for the inspired soul.

(I think I have noticed this before, don 't know why it surprises me.  Maybe it's the nature of these glassed tourist boats, where they are all herded together,  more poignant, viewing them in cages, than as individuals on the street.

Saturday organic market outside the door.  Quite literally.  Amazingly quiet set up.  Figured it would be quite noisy, I was prepared to relax into the sounds.  But the late night chess players were louder by far.  Stocked up on goodies including the fresh butter, bread, veges and fruits.  Walked over to introduce ourselves to Tak, who sells stones and jewelry.   We were warmly greeted with invitations for further future communications. 

Kudos to ACD.  I have been paying attention to to the coffeeshop  advice on the site for a couple of months now and was surprised that one of the favored shops is voyagers.   Gotta say - i admit to a certain prejudice about coffeeshops - too close to the centrum or central station, I  figure the place is certain to be a tourist trap and a must to be avoided. So without the praise from ACD, we would have never stepped in.  I mean never.  Great weed, so far- with excellent prices.  Good people.  Got the Bio lemon haze.  Nice lemony flavor excellent sativa.  Asked about hash and they recommended other shops: Babba and bluebird. Strolled over to bluebird and picked up the nepapollen for the evening.  (was not impressed with it)

The weed pass?  No concern at all here.  They believe it will never happen, no way no how.  Said even the distance issue from schools is likely to be dropped, as there is one case up now and the coffeeshop owner said no problem, it is a private school, i will buy the building and close the school.  That stopped the courts and has made them think this is an unenforceable law, with more ramifications than originally imagined.  Also pointed out that it is not at all working for the cities that already have it.  

On the the way to bluebird, a couple approached us on the street, calling out:  hey, we were on the same flight yesterday.   We stopped, and he, proceeded to ask how we made out, since it was clear to the entire plane that, we were having a major problem.  they then shared how they too had been bumped from first class yesterday and it was their anniversary too!
(the mate always uses the "You, are ruining my anniversary" line whenever faced with airline issues.). They were promised  economy comfort seats,  for their troubles,  but instead they were separated and squashed in to the middle seats - in the middle bank of seats!   We both agreed that upon landing the last thing one wanted to do was deal with the airlines- we had all decided to put it off.     as we parted the woman hissed delta is evil.  I nodded and thought to myself, yeah, these three headed serpentine corporate monsters are all evil.  They waved off yelling misery loves company.

Had to ponder those words.  I decided misery deserves to  be transformed and does not want any company.

We put our faces to the sun and turned the attention to the beauty of the day.

Grachtenfest began today. Without planning on it we stumbled upon two separate concerts.  Caught an excellent female violinist dressed in a black body suit and a pink crinoline skirt performing both as a soloist and in duet with a clarinet. They played on a barge near the Neiumarkt .  The sun sparkled.  It was perfection.

Then after the stop at bluebird for our hash  purchase -  along with two games of embarrassingly bad pinball......huh.....the place was jammed and there was little room near the machine, the air was stuffy and smoke filled and the glare was so bad that the ball was difficult to track (yeah, yeah - excuses, excuse)

Strolling back in the direction of the dam, we came upon a large barge/stage with a wind instrument orchestra (probably a proper name for suchness - but damned, if I know.)  How perfect.  The canalside filled with people enjoying the free concert, just the slightest of breezes, to keep everything comfortable, but not enough to chill. On the walk back it was decided bikes were definitely on the agenda for Sunday.

Btw the dog is loving the location, nordermarkt right outside the door, so many available trees.  A huge white shaggy dog with a pink bow and  a medium sized chocolate shaggy seem to rule the area on a daily basis.  I am pleased to report the dog has been accepted without incidence.

Had a lovely meal with food procured from the market.  The veges, greens and blueberries were delicious and reasonably priced.  The fresh gnocchi were excellent, but the pesto from the market was just way too salty.  (geez - note to self, read your old trip reports - you bought the too salty pesto last year.) The reynsenyar VSOP cheese and the Puccini bonboni: ginger and pepper, added to the taste experience.  I picked up a descent itallian  Montepulciano at the Albert heijn for 3.99€

Sat out on the porch.  Got bit on the face, by a mosquito
and went to sleep.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Mon Aug 13, 9:23 am

Day 3 8/12

Ode to the journey  pipe 

This is the most awesome smoke delivery system
I have ever tried.  After 3 hours of it's arrival, the mate declared that he wanted his own.  A friend sampled a bowl from it, went on line, and bought one as soon as i left.  It is that good!  Brought them to Amsterdam.  I swear, we smoke so much less
And are getting so much higher! 
(something I did not think possible, for someone who is 93% thc). 
 It's a screen less pipe that delivers cool smoke and must be cleaned after every three bowls. ( no biggie)  Great for hash  too - no burnt paper in your lungs, no hot smoke - really I think it's better than the vape
I am totally sold on it.

The dog had the best day ever, his heart throb from last year, Whoopie, was walking in the park this morning.  It was a grand reunion, I am told.   I was having my coffee and  muffin, in the sun, on the porch (that I sometimes refer to as a balcony) while the guys were out.

Never thought the experience would be this different 
On a houseboat.  It's a lazy Sunday.  I feel like a cat in the sun,
Why would I desire to change locations?
The carnival of boats is a steady stream.
So close you could pass a drink or a joint.
Sometimes so slow due to traffic that you could carry on conversation

Desired some fresh OJ 
So went to Paradox
Williem was behind the counter
He gave us his warm "hi" welcome

Then he looked up and said - oh
It's you!  He. came out from behind the counter filled with warm smiles
And gave us both big all encompassing bear hugs.
He told us we brought the sun back to amsterdam
We let him know that he could call on us at any time.  
we asked his thoughts on the weed pass
He said no way it would happen here
Said the police had already gone on record stating that they would strike
And not enforce it.  He explained that there were two large gangs one in the north and one in the east.   Or was that in the west and the south?  . Anyway, they are both over a thousand members strong and are geared and ready to, take over the street drug scene, the police do not want more money going  their direction and will do whatever to keep that from happening.  The sense is that the weed pass is just not a threat

He also said that they have had one of their best years ever business wise
Interesting, since, so far, the restaurants seem empty for a summer's weekend.
Easy to get seats just about everywhere ( not that we were trying).   Restaurant economy down,  bars and coffeeshop economy  up.
Guess that's what always happens in a recession.

After checking out some bike rental places that promised cheaper bikes
( but had none in stock) we ended up at the 'ole standby : bike city
Subtle, sturdy and well maintained rentals.   We had fancied buying bikes and leaving them as bikes to pass off to others - but once you add locks and lights, it was still a better deal to rent than buy.

spending a good amount of  time Sitting on the porch
Enjoying a whole different Amsterdam 
it really is difficult to pull ourselves away
from this little slice of paradise

Rolled down the street to spirit
To play a little pinball
I am abysmal.  Guess my iPad pinball has made me worse in real life.
The mate on the other hand, got to leave his initials on the star wars game

For me, it seems there is this giant gap between the flippers - and the ball
Just manages to maneuver  with such ease, making no contact with flippers or walls - just these beautiful centerline drops that remove the ball from play.

Lots of singing on the streets in the Jordaan this evening.
Feels so simply human.. Without pretension 

Another expertly executed meal by the mate on the boat.
did an after dinner Stroll with the dog to  Barney's for desert, cappuccino and a smoke
Bartender gave us a cordial welcome
Then about 30 seconds later
One of those omg recognitions, followed by 
big warm welcome  hugs of recognition.
It was a guy we had not seen last year, as he had been a way
So it was like, omg, it's been soo long! it' you, it's you!    We were all happy to see that we were  All still breathing, kicking and enjoying  life 
It is nice to feel so warmly connected  to other life forms on the planet

Beautiful evening, just a slight breeze.  We are enjoying the most incredible weather!   and yes, we are enjoying the best this planet has to offer in the realm  of the human experience.

Het is mooi
En ik ben blij

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Postby sidhe333 » Mon Aug 13, 3:01 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:...I feel like a cat in the sun...

a purrrfect description


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Postby mafuman » Mon Aug 13, 11:28 pm

houseboats kick ass

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Aug 14, 9:23 am

Day 4     8/13. Monday

yeah, John - you have had a great deal all these years and a really unique way to experience Amsterdam - I had no idea!  Feel like I am getting two vacations wrapped in one.
muafmann  you are right!   Who knew?? (obviously you two did!)

OF.  I will contemplate a donnycam wave : >

Overcast. Morning
Another violin concerto from the nunnery across the way

Why do some places on the planet feel so deeply like home?
I knew the first time I visited NYC when I was 10 years old, that that was where I belonged and moved there as soon as possible.   but here- gliding over the bricked streets and sidewalks feels so naturally like home.   

One more thang About the weitpass:' Williem also said none of his customers would sign up for it - they say, man I love ya, but I ain't gonna sign no papers for the government declaring myself a smoker.  He said  the shops would close.

Riding home after dark, heard this screech and a rather loud splat.
It was a viscerally recognizable sound
Human flash, meeting brick

Looked behind me and there sprawled out across the road way
Was a rather Rugged Dutch gentleman filling the pavement  with body and bike.
He took one of those turns from a canal bridge on to the canal proper,
just a little too sharp and fast
He got up, brushed himself off and continued
Witnessed a suited Dutch cyclist lose it on haarlemstraat.  Only the bike went down, he remained standing.

The day was good -

Rode around vondel park stopped for a smoke
And just enjoyed the vibe of the park

Damn that journey pipe is soo green
It cleans up with a leaf!

Lunch at Pancakes!

Leidespein area - French tourists thinking I was Dutch asking directly if i am from amsterdam
And for directions-   Yup that's right - rental bike and all!   : >

1e hulp
Nice decor, big and comfortable
Seems to have great seating for t &t's
We had the place almost entirely to ourselves
Smoke seems to be above par
Got the Kara......
Tangerine dreams
zero zero 
All of them pass the test with highs that stick around.  Another shop  we 
Would not have sampled if not for ACD.

So far most all of the smoke has been adequate
I think the bio lemon from voyagers has been the best sativa
Do not yet have a favorite indica or hash yet

Rode our bikes around the area behind central station and to the west.
Checking out the new dutch architecture 
Inspired ideas that tickle the creative giggle

A Boat smashed into a house boat across the way
While we were sitting outside and eating dinner.
They broke a window..   Geez, ya think you would know how to keep a boat straight with all the practice one gets driving around the Netherlands.

Not sure I should admit this
It's day 4.
Tonite we realized that the clock opposite us does not have the correct time.
and is off  by about 70 minutes.

"We don’t have to deny that pleasant feelings are pleasurable. But we must remember that like every other feeling, pleasure is impermanent. Wishing to keep any person, place, possession, or experience with us forever is hopeless!

- Bhante Gunaratana, “Desire and Cravingâ€￾

Working on soaking up all that pleasurable impermanence!

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Postby winnie » Tue Aug 14, 11:04 am

Your trip reports are the best

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Postby FitZerOy » Tue Aug 14, 2:04 pm

Always enjoy your tales of Amsterdam...many thanks...

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Postby NewYork, New York » Tue Aug 14, 3:06 pm

Nice traveloge WC. Can you tell us a bit more about this journey pipe?

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Tue Aug 14, 3:14 pm

NewYork, New York wrote:Nice traveloge WC. Can you tell us a bit more about this journey pipe? ... ata_player

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Postby NewYork, New York » Tue Aug 14, 3:34 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:
NewYork, New York wrote:Nice traveloge WC. Can you tell us a bit more about this journey pipe? ... ata_player

Thanks WC.

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Postby Bohannon » Tue Aug 14, 4:39 pm

WC, you easily win the "Last Hamlet Report Writing" award...the trophy is on it's way, lol.

I've had a Journey pipe since shortly after they were offered (a couple years?); a very handy device. A friend of mine dropped it as it was passed. He was horrified when it broke into three pieces; and very relieved when I picked it up, wiped it off and quickly reassembled it...

You rock!

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Aug 15, 9:53 am

Day 5.  8/14

I'm lovin that y'all are enjoying the reports
Thanx. : >

I am only doing this for the award!
When can I expect it? : >

Extremely sunny and warm morning
This is the most unusual weather I have ever experienced here
Sunny days, no rain, no chill..... What is going on??
Checked the weather forecast 87 over the weekend!!

Guess the planet has warmed up, even here!

Geez found out a friend fell off his roof and broke his back-
He was headed for  Australia and Hawaii next week - not now.......
At least he is not paralyzed.    This life, these bodies.. All so fragile,
so impermenant.  

The gift of experiencing human life on this green planet
Is so overwhelmingly awesome, that I can easily get 
Filled with a teary,  happy, sadness - if that makes any sense.

It is a truly great experience not having that sense of time pressure
while  here.  You know, that over your shoulder pressure, that you gotta keep moving and packing in your days, cuz they are almost over.   Sooo lucky to have future days yet to come

So my job for the day is to Dust and vacuum the place
Tidy up and organize the stuff that needs organizing
Easy job

The place looks great.  Really easy to maintain.

Dealing with the airlines - now that's the mates job!
Could not face it yesterday.  Gotta do it today, No choice.
Like to know where we stand.  Was contemplating putting a complaint 
Into the credit card company against the airlines, but figured we should wait 
Until we were home just in case the airlines decided to pull us and place us on a no fly list or something.

Let's be honest, though,  I really don't have to do anything,
He's making the calls!    All I have to do is keep quiet in the background.
( a task more difficult than it appears!)

Mission accomplished.  45 minutes on the  phone
anger, accusations, silence, more loud voices...

Lots of apologies, I am told.   Supposedly we have been credited something
Or other - I think to the credit card- but I do not even care to check it out
Not while we are here, I just want to be here and not get sucked into an airline hell pit.

Supposedly our return should go off without a hitch.   I am a little leary as we were scheduled to fly back on delta, but that has been switched, so we are on a klm flight again.    Only thing I need to do is get the emotional support dog papers faxed to us.  (what a scam this all is)

Went to our  first ever T&T.
Got the bio lemon haze
And LA confidential

Met some of the kids from ACD
We were referred to as: authentic and the real deal.  Guess to a  certain breed  of 20 or 30 somethings we are impressive. : >
Remnants of a past era.
You know, those entangled histories you create by just being here and showing up for life, they can get pretty darn interesting....the mate was referred to as Forrest gump...  You know, being at Woodstock, seeing jimmy Hendrix play in a bar mitzvah hall for 3 dollars and change....... And so on....

Met up with randomsham, a really nice guy from ireland and his two friends,  (cousins) who decided just yesterday to join him on his holiday.  Don'tchya just love spontaneity??   They were all so very happy to be here.  Also  had the pleasure of smoking with  the infamous gapie, a kind hearted stoner, ready to help those that need guidance in the city.

One thing is for certain - we can take in a whole lot more weed (even at our reduced intake level) than the kids.

Had a light lunch at the boat, with fixings from a shop called delicious food
On  westerstraat.  It was, delicious food!
Mate drank a glass of wine and had to take a nap...
We so can not handle alcohol!

A little rain this afternoon.  Thunder rumbled, then with little warning,
Like the shower head was turned on - beautiful straight falling rain.
Then it stopped 
And it was over.

Went to play pinball at spirit
The mate is connecting with his pinball  mojo
I am playing like the stupid gurlfriend, who never touched a machine in her life.
Damn humiliating

Notice that the top player on all of the machines is RVG
(Renee - whom we had played with before)
I say a silent thank you, that he is not here on this day,
As he would NEVER share a machine with me playing like this!
and I could not bear the utter humiliation of it all.

Rode around westerpark  and up past those wonderful little vacation houses -
Makes ya want to jump the tiny canal and just peek inside.   I hold myself back from asking every resident i spot, to allow me to wander inside their gated community.

Then back to Proef for dinner
I love this place, but I am a wee bit disappointed this time around
they have changed
Used to be a menu that changed daily, then weekly, now it is seasonal.  So the same meal for the entire season!   Too bad, have reservations to take friends next week, but thinking about changing, since I do not want to eat the exact same meal two weeks in a row.   There was a more exciting vibe to the place and it's commitment to food last year.  Can not put my finger on it exactly, but it is no longer the same.  Don't get me wrong, it was very good, tasty food with, Inspired plating... I think perhaps when you take the edge off of the kitchen staff and they do not have to keep being creative at such a pace, the kitchen energy changes and then the relationship to the food they produce also changes....

Great ride back in the dark
Thru the park

Went to erste hulp, enjoyed the snow white
Rode thru the canal ring and back to the boat
Already  1am
Time.spinning out of control

back to the boat to count the mosquito bites on
The mates legs and back

Yup, the downside to a boat....

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Postby Tall Guy » Wed Aug 15, 11:39 am

Excellent stuff, thanks WT! would love to catch a smoke with you guys sometime...let me know if you're ever in England.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Wed Aug 15, 11:29 pm

Tall Guy wrote:Excellent stuff, thanks WT! would love to catch a smoke with you guys sometime...let me know if you're ever in England.


Likewise if you find your self in NYC..

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Thu Aug 16, 1:36 pm

Day 6   8/15

Hot in Amsterdam 
Who would have thought?!
Geez I packed for cold and rain!
-  I am not complaining,
just flabbergasted 
Getting the full on beachy vacation here in mokum

Can't seem to leave the houseboat till about noon.
But that might just be vacation mode
Also can not get to sleep until 2 or 3 - maybe that has something
To do with the late beginnings.

I do not understand the phenomenon ..
The butter melted in the fridge.  

A big huge brick of  Butter in the butter bin, has melted
Leaked out and resolidified over and around everything in it's path
Kinda like surreal artwork
When opening the fridge door

glad I am not tripping
Cause I think this scene would have been problematic

Only thing for certain-
The next butter will not be going into any bins!
what a mess!

rode over to the
Leidenscplein, first time in the area this trip
It is so crowded, it reminds of Times square in NYC
People wandering without direction, spinning in circles
First reaction is to remove myself  from the mayhem
The mate laments at the loss of the rookerij 
It was always such a lovely retreat

So there we stand.   Mate decides
We should sit at the bulldog and smoke a joint 
(or a bowl or two)

Sitting at the bulldog
Brings back floods of images in the mind's eye
Of the many times we have sat here previously....
It was our very first coffeeshop on our very first trip
When it was just a little place
The sounds around seep in
I realize there must be at least 6 different languages
Being spoken around me.   There is no conflict
Only human beings sharing, laughing - enjoying the gift that brought us all here 

Smokin some of the left over bio lemon
There are 2 women making big Bubbles in the square
 A  guitarist hidden by a truck,  sprinkles sweet music in the air
It is life at it's finest.
Sweet, gentle kindness wafts thru the air
Oh dear, think I am getting all misty eyed again!

Then like a knife slicing thru cream pie
There are sirens screeching thru  the center square
Immediately the scene transforms into a still life tableau
Cars, trains and people all stopped their movement
The music stopped
Everyone remained still, immoveable, motionless
Almost breathless 

A train began to slowly inch forward, as it reanimated
So did the entire square


Left for an invigorating couple of rounds around vondel park
So the mate could feel like he had a bit of exercise 
Found a perfect place to sit -
He immediately whips out a joint

I turn and say -
"geez, just give me a moment to relax!"

He stared at me and then,rolled over on the grass howling with  laughter.
declared that the line of the day!

The park is great
Dogs play freely 
People bake in the sun
Others mellow in the shade

Off to Albert cuyp market
Lunch at bazaar
Sadly we were not impressed
Was looking forward to some kick ass humus
Instead it lacked in tahini and garlic.  The partners 
Calamari were, shall we say, very chewy.

More bike riding
It's hot ad sunny
Did I say it was hot??

Got back to walk the dog
Shower up
And stroll over for a barbecue at the Asoka boat
A most excellent evening!
Got to meet up with the expats and locals
Tak and Holly
The infamous Winnie (I always knew I would like her!)
Oracle and his lady 
And gasp, a couple of others who are not on the forum
Good conversation, like minds, plenty of story sharing

"Simply watching also allows us to stop struggling: to stop trying so hard to accomplish, to prove ourselves, to measure up—to cover over whatever sense of lack we might have. It may be frightening when we first stop struggling; we’ve become accustomed to this way of being, and feel anxious about leaving the comfort of the familiar. But when we stop the struggle, we then have the space to be at home with ourselves.

- Ezra Bayda, "Reflect, Without Thinking"

Actually a boat full of people perfectly at home with themselves.  What a treat!

made plans with Winnie for a weekend bike adventure
and got invited out to a local  psy-trance dance event in a week or so

could not stop talking about what a nice evening we had...
As we retreated to the boat to scratch our mosquito bites.

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Postby a bollocks » Thu Aug 16, 10:47 pm

worldcitizen1723 wrote:The infamous Winnie (I always knew I would like her!)

watch out she's a mean one.

worldcitizen1723 wrote:And gasp, a couple of others who are not on the forum

ACDers with Facebook accounts! .. and you talk so lovingly about them.


worldcitizen1723 wrote:made plans with Winnie for a weekend bike adventure

see note above.

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Postby Banks » Thu Aug 16, 11:04 pm

Very nice WC, very nice... thanks...

As for Winnie... I wouldn't believe the mean part at all, but as for the cycling, be keenly aware of your abilities...

When I saw her on Queensday, she looked to be in good enough shape that she could bike to Oklahoma... :)

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Aug 17, 12:16 am

Banks wrote:Very nice WC, very nice... thanks...

As for Winnie... I wouldn't believe the mean part at all, but as for the cycling, be keenly aware of your abilities...

When I saw her on Queensday, she looked to be in good enough shape that she could bike to Oklahoma... :)

Oh dear...
I was kinda worried about that...
: >

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Postby chichi123 » Fri Aug 17, 1:04 am

Enjoy all your new friends!

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Postby Red Pleb » Fri Aug 17, 7:34 am

worldcitizen1723 wrote:Lunch at bazaar
Sadly we were not impressed

Neither was i . Awful . Stale pitta to accompany the most vile hummus ive ever tasted .The cavernous nature of the place, while interesting, does nothing for ease of conversation above the din of other customers ( ordinarily, id use the term ' diners' but dining it wasn't).
Nice travelogue...keep it coming.

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Postby chigusa » Fri Aug 17, 10:14 am

fucking marvellous work, wc.

if you happen to visit tak's boat again could you give the webcam a once over with a cloth, it's all full of bloody spider webs.

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Postby worldcitizen1723 » Fri Aug 17, 4:31 pm

Day 7.  8/16

The Dog 
He will not eat food out of a bowl
He will only eat if it is spread in front of him
the location of his choosing
If it is not the right spot, he won't eat.
He will refuse, he will whine, he will pout
But he will not touch the food.
He had been happy dining on the leather couch
Gazing across the canal.
(yeah, it's dry food)
So thought I had it down.  
This morning, I finally understood after much dissatisfied whining
He wanted to change his spot and eat on the couch facing the street.
I think he has realized, he will see more dogs thru that window, than on the canal side.  Sometimes I think we made a huge mistake listening to every nuanced sound when he was a pup and attempting to decipher,his needs.  Cuz now, he talks all the time and expects us to understand him.

What I find remarkable about the people here,
Is that work has it's place.  It is not the entire life, nor does it define
The individual.  It is merely a means to an end - better to work 2 to 3 days a week  and have time for a life then to work so much, that it defines the content of the life.   There is also the belief that work should be pleasurable. I find this idea particularly enlightened - not being a slave to the insidious corporate dogma of faster, better, more...
Refreshing, really.

at least one place on the planet got it right.

Tak visited this morning to see the boat and chit chat for a spell.
I do envy that he jumped over here - he did it, we just dreamed.

Another late start to the day
Strolled over to paradox
With the dog to finish up yesterday's trip report
smoked enough at this point
To begin confusing what is what... 
Too many unmarked baggies

Just attempting to hold onto the golden rule
Sativa in the morning
Indica at night

Dog found his regular spot at paradox
Staring out the window. (glass door)
we plopped ourselves into that wonderfully comfy corner seat
Dog had no interest in people
Even when the glass was tapped in front of his nose
But then,
One dog came by, popped his head in
And was abruptly yanked out by his master

Oh did the little prince get upset
He tried to contain his mournful wail
The dog was gone - and he never said hello!
He plopped down with a heavy head and very
Quietly cried under his breath.

Back at the boat we traded a dog for bikes.

Went on a pipe Lighter chase
The mate had  bought me a fancy lighter to go with my pipe (back in the states)
Well, it never acted properly and was overly sensitive...
Took it back to the store, they said it was me, I was too hard on the lighter.
Took it back
Carefully very carefully, I used the lighter...
It broke after two days here in amsterdam

So we went on a lighter expedition,
One place swore I would get a lifetime guarantee with this properly expensive lighter.  Another told us it was only a 2 year guarantee with the same lighter
I can not wrap my head around paying that much for a lighter (70€).  I am a bic user...
after checking the fancy lighters we left empty handed

The value placed on stuff is certainly strange.

Went to play
at Kandinsky's
Fun machine CSI
Spits out extra balls and multi-balls with a wink
Haha I even finally beat the mate consistently
I like this machine : >
Came close every time, but did not break the machine for that extra game.

Bought deserts from an extreme temptress of a bakery
Brought them home for later amusement.

Traded bikes for a dog and
Took the dog over to 137 and st out front.
He could smell a dog coming from over a block away
He would sit up straight, puff up his chest and await their arrival, most of the time they were not interested in meeting him - something he could really not understand.
Came a 6 month old havanese (same breed as he)

Oh my,
this breed always seem to recognize each other with an amazing playfulness
Something I had not seen with previous dogs.  They had a great time together, rubbing noses and chasing each other around.  He was satisfied with that.  So much so, that when the next dog came over, the dog was met with a growled greeting - a new one - never heard him begin an encounter with a growl before.

Stopped at basilico, the little Italian take out shop in the Jordaan to pick up dinner, since we Already had desert.  Add some veges and salad and a fuss free meal.  Basilico is a fantastic place.

The three of us took a gentle walk and kicked in at about 22:30

Either the indica and hash of recent purchases has not been that great or I have already acquired an extreme tolerance. 

The bites
The mate has many, but just regular mosquito type welts
Me - I got this thing between my fingers that gets worse daily
It is raised, red hard and now even has a blister.  Another bite on my arm, is beginning to react the same.  Stop sting burns like hell and does not help.  Went to the pharmacy, they gave me a cream azaron.  Said if that did not help, I would need to see an MD.  They think it might be a spider bite.

Sure glad it's on my finger and arm  and not my nose.

Speaking of spiders - when we first arrived there were huge webs on the porch which we promptly removed.  They are all back - and the amount of biting insects they catch in their webs may be the reason we got so bit up once they were removed.  

So chig- not sure if Tak will allow the webs to  be removed
from the camera,  at least not  till the season changes.....

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Postby Old Fart » Fri Aug 17, 4:49 pm

Another gem.

As for the fancy lighter...

I recommend waxed hemp string wrapped around a Bic.

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Postby John T » Fri Aug 17, 5:45 pm

Great report, now I can’t wait to go back.
Just a thought on the bites!
Check to see if the boat has bedbugs. It’s best to us a magnifier and examine the seams in the mattress and the couch. I know this because my wife does it when we travel. As soon as we go to a new place she examines before we unpack.

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