Debuds Trip Report Oktober 2002 day 1 to 8

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Debuds Trip Report Oktober 2002 day 1 to 8

Postby bas » Mon Jan 27, 10:26 pm

DedBud's Trip Report Day 1
Posted by DedBud on Sunday, 6 October 2002, at 9:08 a.m.


After the aforementioned 24 hour delay to my trip due to an engine problem
with my plane, I finally head out on Friday afternoon. Checking in at O'Hare
went pretty smooth and they were expecting the plane to take off on time
(umm...'cept for the 24 hours they seemed to forget about). No apologies
for the delay or offers of compensation at all. I'll write a letter later
to them later. They gate crew were pretty much clueless. They tried
desperately to get everyone to sit down until their row numbers were
called but then they forgot to call the row numbers so everybody just
drifted in after they had loaded the handicapped and the families with
kids. After sitting in the plane at the gate for an hour past our supposed
flight time and hearing nothing from the crew we finally overhear one of
the flight attendants that we are waiting to load the handicapped passengers.
Didn't we do that already? I was steaming by then and I told her that it
would be nice if they made an announcement explaining our delays instead
of just letting us sit and spin. The crowd mumbled their agreements.
Finally, a half-hour later another handicapped passenger is wheeled
down the aisle (she unfortunately got the brunt of some pissed-off
stares which should have gone to the crew). 25 hours and 35 minutes
after we were supposed to leave, we finally pull away to some sporadic
clapping. I spoke up again and said that a 25 hour delay does not merit
applause and the crowd mumbled their agreement again as the clapping
came to quick stop. The guy across the aisle from noticed that his
seat belt wasn't even connected to the seat on one end but I warned
him that if he brought it up to the crew they would prolly delay us
another 24 hours so he kept his mouth shut and said an extra prayer
that we don't crash. That was soooo selfish of me...hehe.
Uneventful flight except that I couldn't really get any sleep as
usual. As a kid I always wished I would be 6'4" tall and I got what
I wished for. Now that I fly back and forth to Europe frequently I
wish I hadn't gotten that wish. I did notice one thing I hadn't
seen before on the plane. I thought it was a wind direction
indicator on the screen with the map showing where the plane
was at any given time. Suddenly I realized that it was actually
indicating the direction to Mecca at any given time for the
muslim prayers. Then I got worried that an Imam would stand up
in front the of the cabin at some point and start hollering out
the prayers to the crowd. Luckily that fear was unwarranted.
After we landed, the captain findally apologized for the delays
and thanked us for flying Kuwait Airways. Well that prolly
won't happen except for my flight back. Can't bitch about
the $220 fare though. I guess it was worth the headaches.
I decided to take the train this time since my cousin's house
that I'm borrowing is not any closer than the nearest hotel
so the KLM Shuttle doesn't make much sense. They have newer
video screen ticket machines at the airport now but they
only take PIN cards. It's tough to find one that takes coins
and I end up showing a few other people how to use the machines
before I fend off a scottish panhandler and get my own ticket.
A quick express to Centraal Station and I'm finally where I want
to be. It's overcast but not too bad at that point. I walk over
to my cousin's place which is only about 3 blocks away towards
the Nieuwmarkt and unpack and shower before heading out.
It was pouring when I got back out and I got to De Kuill about
3:30 to see if maybe patrick was still hanging out there since
I was supposed to meet him there at 4:20 Thursday. He wasn't but
I had a few beers and picked up a gram of Northern Lights Haze
for 8 Euro and rolled up a nice phattie. A little Zappa and
the buzz was making the jetlag catch up with me so I decided
I better keep moving. Picked up a ticket for the Medeski,
Martin and Wood show at Paradison on Wednesday night and
strolled up to The Doors. After one beer there the sleep stick
was really starting to get to me so I grabbed a salmon sandwich
from the herring stall just around the corner from the Doors
and I walked over to The Blues Brothers coffeeshop and just
had a coffee there. On the way, I picked up a small wood and
brass pipe to use while I'm here along with a grinder which
I can bring back with me. I worked my way back across the Dam
to head towards the Nieuwmarkt and stopped in at Rick's Cafe
since that was one of the first coffeeshops I had stopped in
and hung out at on my first party trip here in 1986. I noticed
a spiral staircase heading upstairs which I hadn't noticed
before but who knows. Got a pint of DeKoning there from one
of several nice tattoed and pierced barmaids and wondered why
it was only 2.40 Euros for this nice Belgian beer. Apparently
I had caught the end of happy hour...wooohooo. I looked at their
drinks menu and they also have a Blood Mary Happy hour from
8:00-10:00 in the morning, Beer Happy Hour from 4:00-6:00
in the afternoon and cocktails from 10:00-11:00 at night.
A quick stop at Temple Bar, an irish-style pub on the Nieuwmarkt
for a pint of Kilkenny before heading back. Temple Bar is nice
and clean but their drinks are overpriced considering they don't
even have any music. I have had a damn good irish breakfast there
in the morning on other occasions. I picked up some sliced meats,
cheese and bread at the Albert Heijn and then went back home.
after a couple of homemade belegte broods I smoked a bowl and a
took a much-needed nap. I fucking didn't wake up until mid-night
and was still groggy as all hell. I hated to waste a saturday
night but I just wasn't really up to it so I decided to spend a
couple of hours planning my next few days and catching up on my
journal and then I went back to sleep at about 3:00am.
Woke up this morning at 7:00, still a bit peaked but much better.
A good long shower helped immensely and then I headed over here
to Easy Everything on Damrak to get you guys caught up. It's mostly
cloudy this morning but the Sun is peaking out here and there.
It looks (fingers crossed) that the clouds are breaking up for
a while at least. I'll be sending some emails and then will be
heading over to Barney's in about a half-hour to see if I can
find Ron before he figures out who I am so he can't clock me
for our previous on-line debate :o)
You think this report is long? You should see my journal...I have
every detail and thought there but I ain't about to subject you
to all that. Catch y'all later.

*************************************

DedBud's Trip Report: Day 2
Posted by DedBud on Monday, 7 October 2002, at 12:08 p.m.


So I got to Barney's about 9:50 in the morning and managed to snag my sleeve on the damn card rack on the wall, leaving me a nice little hole in my sleeve. Good way to start the morning. I looked around for Ron wearing a leather jacket but didn't recognize. I guess I walked right past him and took a seat at the counter. I struck up a conversation with an attorney from Denton, TX who was here on his first trip. After a cup of coffee, some fresh OJ and a cheese and bacon omellette, I headed over to Betty Boop for a coke, a smoke, and to watch the poison dart frogs upstairs. On the way over there I saw a camera crew setting up on the Niewendijk with a Lexus GS430 blocking the middle of the road. As I passed them I realized it looked like some rappers or somebody in the car filming a video. I swerved to avoid them and then had to give plenty of room to a drunk wandering down the alley screaming, hollering, singing and waving his bottle of Grolsch.

Now that my head was feeling better, I took a tram down to Spui to walk through the Sunday open air art fair. There were some nice works but all beyond what I had even brought with me for spending cash. On the end though a guy had a stand selling sculptures made from tools and spare parts. You know, the motorcyles and cars you've seen before. These were bigger and heavier duty than most of the ones I've seen. He had some small 18" ones for 45 Euro so I may check back next Sunday if I still have money to blow. It only took about 15 minutes to get through there and I wandered up the street to the Amsterdam Historisch Musuem to buy my Museumjaarkart for 35 Euro. It's good for admission to most of the museums in Holland and is good for a year. Last year it paid for itself in about 3 days, but I still used it as an excuse to come back 2 more times in August and December. I had been to this museum last March but I kind of rushed it then. This time I took 90 minutes and saw every last display. It's a good display of Amsterdam from day 1 through today.

The sun was really shining when I came out and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. I walked over to a restaurant called ARC, which I had read about and had a very nice pasta with brandy cream sauce, parmesan and truffles. The place is very modern and lounge like with a garden in back and a big fat cat wandering around through the plants. Most of their lunch items were from 5-10 Euro. I think my choice was the most expensive at 13 Euro but it was very good. Just down the street I stopped into a coffeeshop called The Other Side for a coffee and another bowl. It's kind of small and crowded but nothing spectacular about it. Oh yeah, I guess it's supposedly the only gay coffeeshop in Amsterdam but you wouldn't know it. I headed from there towards the Rembrandplein/Thorbeckeplein and stopped in at April for a couple of beers. Looks like a big bar but it was almost totally empty. They must have just opened up. They have a revolving bar in back and even an old ski gondola set up for a table for two.

At Thorbeckeplein there was another Sunday art fair and again they had some nice stuff that I wanted but didn't want to spend money on. I did find a nice abstract oil painting which I might pick up next Sunday for 40 Euro. I could hear some very loud cheering and singing coming from one of the bars off to the side so I wandered over there and I guess it was a soccer crowd either watching a game, cheering a win, or maybe it was just another Dutch sing-a-long. Either way it wasn't my crowd so I moved on and just went to Coffeeshop Smokey for a beer.

I ducked into the Easy Everything on my way back towards home and made a couple posts before moving on to Choice Exact on Oude Hoogstraat. I've always liked this place for kicking back and watching people while catching up on my journal. Most people just pass it by but it's a coffeeshop with the old brown cafe feel. Carpeting covering the tables, heavy timberwork and split levels. Even a pooltable and pinball if you dare to tackle the tiny spiral staircase. I always wondered how they get those pooltables up those spiral staircases :o) They also have some great artwork in the form of beercoasters that people have sketched on covering one wall. It's a must see and there is no admission fee.

After freshening up at home for a bit, I was just about to head out when John and Norman from Scotland, a couple of my cousin's other guests arrived. They were actually renting an apartment next door for a couple of months but they had to vacate a couple of days early so they're here till Tuesday. I left them to unpack and I went down the tip of the RLD to have a couple of beers at In't Aepjen, one of the oldest, if not the oldest bar in town. It's small and dark but I was really expecting to see monkeys hanging from the ceiling everywhere as the legend of it's past led me to believe. Really just a few locals hanging out in there. Not really good for more than a quick visit. It was getting close to NFL kickoff time so I stopped in at Conscious Dreams Kokopelli to pick up a pack of shrooms, just in case I wanted to do some today. They have the best couch view of the Damrak and Centraal Station from their back lounge. Grab an energy drink and get off your feet for a few minutes here.

I went to the Globe Hotel and Bar to watch a little american football but we had to watch the end of the Liverpool-Chelsea match first. Liverpool pulled it out at the last second to break the 0-0 tie and the place broke out in applause and hoots and hollers as most were Liverpool fans. I rooted them on too because of a group called The Beatles. As soon as that was over all the Liverpool fans disappeared and all the Americans came in and took their seats to watch either Atlanta/Tampa Bay or Pitssburgh/New Orleans. I rapped with a guy from Green Bay via Calilfornia on one side of me and another guy from Virgina via New York on the other side. I had their Steak and Kidney pie for dinner and took off at halftime to see what my new neighbors were up to.

Another friend of theirs had shown up at the house so we all went out for some drinks. I let them lead the way for the night. They took me to one of their hangouts, The Cockring which really wasn't nearly as daunting as it sounded. Actually it was pretty empty when we got there and even after some people showed up they were just standing around staring at the dance floor with nobody dancing. I nearly jumped out of my seat when I heard this rushing sound of a gas nozzle by my head and noticed the bartender filling a balloon of nitrous oxide. LOL....something else I didn't expect to find in a bar. I bought myself a balloon for 5 Euro and took a few good hits of it. I'm not sure if it was the nitrous, the steak & kidney
pie or too much beer but I started to get really bad heartburn. I tried to tough it out for a while but even after switching to Spa Blau waters I thought I was gonna hurl so I bid them farewell and took the most direct route back through the RLD to home. Some ugly old skank almost blocked my way trying to draw me into a sex show and I almost threw up on her before getting by. Twice more on the way back I thought everything was coming up but I finally got home without incident and got to sleep about 2:00.

Still felt rough this morning and it was raining so I slept in a bit and didn't get out the door till about 11:00 and here I am. Anyway...time to get me some more culture. Cya'll tomorrow. Same time, Same place.

Tot ziens,

Dedbud

********************************************

DedBud's Trip Report: Day 3
Posted by DedBud on Monday, 7 October 2002, at 11:53 p.m.


Since things seem pretty dead here on a Monday night I'll post this update before heading home. I want to get out early tomorrow morning anyway. I guess I'll meet up with (try anyway) Ron at Barney's again. Then I think I'll munch a couple shrooms and spend a few hours at the Rijksmuseum.

I think I might have figured out a way to get around Easy Everything's cash that won't refresh. It seems when I respond to one of my own posts it updates (sometimes). Haven't noticed it happen yet on this stop.

After I finished posting this morning I went over to the Oude Kerk and walked over the bodies (tombs) for a while. They have about 30 interesting things they point out in the church but the whole floor is littered with tombs. So wherever you walk you're stepping on someone's grave, even Rembrandt's wife's. Kinda creep...even in cemetaries I try to walk between the graves, not on them. They had an exhibition there of architectural models and drawing from dutch architects who built palaces and churches in Poland. It looks like they used to have some nice painted areas on the ceiling but they're pretty dim now. Don't know if they've tried to restore them or not. I had planned on going to Centra, a spanish tapas restaurant for lunch but they pushed back their opening time a bit so I went over to Dread Rock for a bowl and a beer first. If you're over 6 foot tall, you better be ready to duck here as there are a lot of low beams. It's a quiet (at least at the time) reggae style coffeeshop and was pretty friendly. I think I remember coming here a long, long time ago.

I got to Centra just as they were unlocking at 10:30 and a barback who looked just like Don Quixote (sans armor) let me in. I ordered the tapas sampler for 7.50 Euro and I took a shot in the dark with one of the only things on the menu, Lachon, I couldn't translate. It turned out to be roast suckling piglet (from the looks of it) for 18 Euro and it was very good with roast potatoes and gravy. I should really be more careful, expecially after the heartburn incident last night. Both the tapas appetizer of octopus, black and green olives, and chorizo and the entree were really too much for one person so if you come here bring friends and share. Most of their appetizers were 6-8 Euro and the entrees were 15-20 Euro.

Next, I stopped in at The Other Place (no not the gay coffeeshop again...the biker one...hmm, come to think of it I guess those descriptions could be interchangeable). On the way over there I spotted an older gentleman with a moustache that would have made Princess Leia of Star Wars proud. His silver/grey moustache was so long he had it curled up into what looked like vertical bird's nests on the ends. Not quite as tyte as the Honey Buns on Princess Leia but damn close. I also passed a group of 5 obviously loaded Brits leaning on (I'm sure someone elses) parked Porsche Turbo and heckling a working girl in a window. I'm sure she eventually collected some Euro from them. The Other Place has a tattoo parlor downstairs and the bar upstairs. I had stopped in at the tattoo parlor last March but decided against using them because the artist was too pushy and didn't seem to realize that I wanted to be the one to decide what I wanted to add to my skin. The bar is real cool though. So cool I brought my dad and stepmom here last December to smoke a bowl with my dad. Suddenly he realized why I keep coming back. Oh, wonder of wonders. There were only a couple of Aussies at the bar when I got in explaining to the bartender why they couldn't roll joints without their little machine. They had both planned ahead and married women who knew how to roll good joints. I guess they wish they had brought their wives with them. Or then again maybe not. They have pool even further upstairs and lots of cool motorcycle memorabilia including the V-Twin tapper. I lusted for some of their t-shirts so I'll prolly come back to get a t-shirt for 15 Euro or a long-sleeve for 21. If you're a man, don't expect to sit down in their bathroom...the missing ring, and the thought of cold and dirty porcelain prolly will convince you otherwise.

Next stop was the Museum Amstelkring, which is a catholic church hidden in a building when it was illegal to be anything other than a Calinists. I got there just as a small wedding party was leaving and I guess it's not that unusual for people to get married there. Everybody knew about the hidden churches and they were tolerated as long as they didn't look like a church from the outside. Even for a heather I was pretty impressed with the 3 story chapel and all the beautiful artwork they had there. One thing that is a spoiler is a couple sets of modern photography with models shot in the church that is not only lousy but really doesn't fit in at all. I know that if there is a God I'm already going to hell so I don't mind saying that one painting which I guess used to be part of the altar entitled "Descent of the Holy Ghost" actually looked to me like a grey pigeon dropping bloody bird turds onto the faithful.

Shit....a lightning bolt just hit me.

I went back home after that and took a 2-hour nap since I'm still adjusting and I was a bit buzzed and still stuffed from lunch. After I got up I checked some posts real quick and then took a tram to the Leidseplein. I was planning on going to The Noon before getting some dinner but I couldn't find the place. I didn't really look too far down the street but the numbers seemed to go lower towards the Leidseplein and it stopped way too high. I'll try that later. Instead I stopped by Rookies and for the first time ever I could get a seat. It wasn't too crowded at all. Must be the Monday night thing. Anyway, I never really saw that much to this place because I never felt comfortable there in the crowds. Tonight was different though. The bar staff was very friendly and one of them was diligently DJing and playing great tunes. I had a few beers there while catching up on some journaling and smoking some of the White Widow I bought there for 12 Euro for 1.9 grams. Ahhh...that stuff smokes so sweet. Much spicier tasting than the Haze I was smoking. I can't honestly tell that any of those top shelf weeds are any stronger than the other. They all know 'yer socks off. I tried the Heineken Bock beer there (sorry I didn't note the name) and it was really nice. After a few beers all day long they get tasting pretty bitter and the Bock was refreshing and sweet. It's about twice the price but it was a nice break.

I was kind of surprised that my legs and feet still feel pretty good after a lot of walking the last couple days and I think it's because I changed my approach to touring this town. I used to plan my day in what I think of as a "great circle" route where I work my way around the town all day starting from someplace close to home and going all over the place in a big cirlce till I end up back at home at the end of the night or more likely for a quick freshen up and then heading back out for another "great circle." This time I'm doing "small circles" by picking someplace to go (preferably by tram) and then doing a small tour of that area in a small circle. Takes a lot of load off the feets, although I'm breaking away from that by working my way back home past Easy Everything tonight. I should right a book about my "small circles" method of touring. It would be a very short book. You just read it.

I made my obligatory stop at Murphy's Bar across the Leidseplein next. My hangout in Chicago is Murphy's Bleachers Bar so it's sort of an inside joke with me an my friends who do make it over here (most of them also Murphy's Bleachers regulars). They're kind of expensive too considering they don't have much to offer. I think it's a trend amongst Irish-style bars. They do have pool and stuff upstairs but it's nothing special. I talked for a while with an older Brit next to me who was more into American style football than soccer. He was pissed that the London team folded after their first year in the World League. Manchester was playing Everton tonight but he was having nothing to do with it.

Next stop was The Dolphins and it looks like they've finally completed all their remodeling and adding fake coral everywhere. It looks pretty good but I couldn't find the sliding door to the men's room amongst the mural. I ordered a big beer here and forgot that their big beer is about a liter. Time to smoke some more and catch up on the journal again I guess. There is a real perky middle-eastern girl working here who greeted me on the way in and later asked me if I needed anything even though I already had a keg of beer in my hand. I'll give her an "A" for effort. It's a good change from the usual dour staff behind the bar. Now I'm sitting in Easy Everything and that's all folks for today anyway.

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DedBud's Trip Report: Day 4
Posted by DedBud on Wednesday, 9 October 2002, at 10:24 a.m.


OK, here goes...lemme catch my breath before I start rambling again.

After my last post on Monday night, I ran across a great Irish bar called the Tara along the Rokin. It really put the other two ones I mentioned to shame. There are 3 seperate bars in here, along with a couple of pool tables and some distinct areas like a snug area with a fireplace. The prices were more in line here too. No live music normally but the bartender said that they do occasionally bring in an act but the place reallys isn't designed or set up for it. This place was also kind of quiet that night but he said it really picks up for soccer matches, when they lower down a big screen in the back.

The last leg of my small/great circle of the evening was down the Damstraat/Oude Hoogstraat where the falaffel (sp)/ shaorma and pizza vendors were tapping on windows and beckoning from doorways worse than the most eager ladies a couple of blocks away. They were trying to get rid of that last crusty piece of pizza before locking up but I wasn't nearly that desperate for food. I was pretty hungry but that was because I hadn't eaten yet tonight. I notice I don't really get the munchies when I smoke over here. I don't know if it's that I'm too stoned to get off the barstool or I just forget about it altogether. I just grabbed a sandwich when I got home instead.

Yesterday morning the alarm went off at 7:00 again but I wasn't ready to move yet so I went back to sleep for another hour. I'm going to have to remember to push the alarm back someday. My cousin Jim just came in from Boston a few minutes later and after catching up with him, I headed back over towards Barneys. I was going to check posts at Easy Everything but they're closed till Thursday for a system update. No big loss anyway since they're computers don't update the channels.nl page anyway. I had breakfast with Ron and shared some stories about Amsterdam and drug dogs. It turns out he went to school with someone that served on my submarine with me. He rolled a big joint and I think I took a hit or two but I was still pretty buzzed from smoking before he got there.

My big plan for yesterday was Rijksmuseum with an order of shrooms on the side. After bidding farewell to Ron, I hopped a tram to the Museumplein. On the way I noticed a very modern tram going the other direction although it was marked as out of service. There looked to be some dignitaries or something in it so I dunno if it was a test run for a new model. It has the seats lower to the ground, which I don't like because it doesn't offer as good of a view over the traffic. I walked around behind the museum and munched about 2/3 of the bag of shrooms I picked up the other day and got in to the museum right about 11:00. The world started twisting about a half-hour later and suddenly all the artwork really came to life. Everything there is astounding anyway and needs no embellishment with mind-altering drugs but it didn't hurt either. I had taken just the right amount and when I was peaking about 45 minutes into the trip, I was grinning from ear-to-ear while checking out each and every display in detail. There is just way too much to describe but I was seriously amazed by some of the incredible artwork created hundreds of years ago. A couple of things I did get a laugh out of were a cheap gilded-copper crown with cut glass "jewels" that the British traders had brought to Africa to give to an African King to foster trade with them. It's ironic that they got some of the most beautiful jewels in the world from that continent and brought crap in return. Sort of reminded me of the story of Peter Minuit buying Manhattan for $24 in trinkets. Another view of westerners was an inkwell from Japan with a mother-of-pearl inlay depicting Europeans with the inscription "They wear grass, they eat turnips, and they despise their Kings." Well I thought it was funny as hell at the time but I was really flying by then.

I finished up there right about 3:00 and was glad I spent the time to see every last display there. I walked past The Noon (oh there it is) on the way to the Leidseplein and had a couple of beers at Dan Murphy's bar there. I talked for a while with a couple of Irishmen who had to show their passports at the bar to prove they were Irish. They were both raised and educated in Britain and had lost their Irish accents. The bartender was suspicious that they were the enemy. I was starting to come down off the shrooms, so I walked over to the Rokerij I and smoked a bowl there. This is one of my favorite coffeeshops because of how well it's decorated. Candles, incense, a couple of stunning bargirls, and some smooth Pat Methany music made for a great transition. For a change of pace I stumbled over to Global Chillage and had a soda and another bowl there. Another great place to kick back with eerie trance music and awesome alien murals that made me wish I was here when I was peaking.

I walked through the Bloemenmarkt and popped into the Magic Mushroom Gallery there but there really wasn't anything different here. I practically had to walk on my knees to see the displays in the back of the shop as the floor steps up but the ceiling doesn't. Easy Everything by the Rembrandtplein was totally full, probably because the other one was shut so I didn't get onto a computer there. Instead I walked up to Coffeeshop Exstase and had another soda and a bowl. As soon as I walked in the guy at the counter handed me the laminated hash/weed menu but he wasn't pushy or disappointed when I said I just wanted a drink. They specialize in hash here and also have a great corner view of the foot traffic wandering around the RLD. I stocked up on some supplies at the Albert Heijn and went home exhausted both physically and mentally.

After a nap of a couple of hours I decided to barhop in the RLD and headed down the Zeedijk. The first place that caught my eye was a bar called The Queen's Head. The display of Ken dolls in the window looked campy so I wanted to see what the inside was like. There were only a couple of people inside but the campy decorations continued along with lots of red velvet and chandeliers. Sort of like a whorehouse I guess. Anyway, the display of anatomically correct (actually a little more than correct in some areas) Ken dolls in an orgy scene behind the bar was hilarious. Suddenly people started pouring in and the bartender explained that on Tuesday night's they have a popular bingo game hosted by the owner Dusty. Well whether you're gay or straight or somewhere in-between, you have to check out this bingo night when you're in town. It was absolutely hilarious. About 10:30 I see this tall drag queen with this huge dishevelled wig walk in and greet a bunch of regulars. Turns out this was Dusty,the owner. She...errr...he...errrr well whatever explained to everyone in both Dutch and English how the game worked. Cards are 3 Euro and there were all kinds of prizes, like dance tickets, dinner gift certificates, videos (porn and not porn), a Hulla Hoop Sindy doll and I guess the grand prize, a big black dildo. The crowd was probably half dutch, half tourist, half gay, half straight and all laughing. So then Dusty disappears for a bit to "prepare" herself and a few minutes later she rises up out of a trapdoor on the tiny stage, this time with a well-coiffed wig very much in the style of the aliens in Mars Attacks but she's definately a lot uglier. She explained a couple of other rules like if you yell a false Bingo, you have to strip on stage. Apparently this happens quite frequently due to your friends marking up your card while you're not looking. I eventually got a Bingo (after double and triple-checking my card but a girl at another table had won too. So we both get up on stage and Dusty asks us a couple questions about where we're from, what we do, hobbies etc. and then we had to do a go-go dance together (fully clothed of course and I'm sure very scary, the way I dance). To chose the winner we had to roll dice but we tied again. We rolled again and we tied again. Dusty told us that if we tied a third time we had to perform a live sex act on the stage. Ummmm...I wouldn't have minded with the girl but not in front of the crowd please. On the third roll I won and ended up with one of those phony abdominal electrocuters to give me those six-pack abs....RIGHT!!! By the time it was all over it was 1:00am and time to go home and sleep.

Now it's time to get out and enjoy the second bright sunny day in a row.

Cya

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DedBud's Trip Report: Day 5
Posted by DedBud on Thursday, 10 October 2002, at 9:07 a.m.


Well this was hump day. Not the good kind where it's half way to the weekend, but the bad kind, like it's half-way to going back home :-( But don't worry, I'll be making the best of my time yet. How many bars, coffeeshops and museums am I up to now? I'll figure that out later.

After resetting my alarm for 8:00, I slept until 8:30 anyway. It was another beautiful sunny day so I was in a hurry to get caught up on journaling and stuff to get out. When I did get out about 11:00, I headed over towards the Allard Pierson Museum. On the way over there I stopped in at Susie's Saloon, which Roland had suggested, and found a very nice and wide with a native american and motorcycle theme. Much cleaner than a biker bar should be though...hehe. I had a beer there and was entertained by one of the barstaff ribbing the Irish cook about how he was so worthless he couldn't even pass a test in English the day before. They also have an email terminal here but it looks like that is prolly all you can do with it.

The Allard Pierson Museum has a small display of Coptic, Egyptian, Roman, and Greek antiquities. There Cretan exhibit was closed for renovation (those damn renovating cretins). It really only took about a half-hour to get through their displays. I headed back up to the Dam Square after that and stole a glance at the 5 living sculptures setting up to entertain the crowd. I forgot to mention yesterday that just as I was walking up to the Rijksmuseum yesterday I was absentmindedly staring at a sculpture in the back of the musuem when it suddenly moved. LOL...I had forgotten about those guys but certainly didn't expect them in the garden of the museum so I was totally fooled and the shrooms hadn't even kicked in yet. Back at the Dam Square there was also a small but heartfelt display of flowers in memory of Prince Claus. The Palace was closed, but I'm not sure if it was because of his passing or because of other reasons so I went to the Nieuwe Kerk instead. They currently have a display of scultptures on loan from the Stedelijk Museum spread out throughout the church. As open-minded as I am about art (I was a starving artist at one point) I have to say that about half of what I saw there was pure crap. I had seen and enjoyed some of the works at the Stedelijk before but I just can't see how a utility sink painted brown or a dirty shower curtain is art, no matter how much the description explains how the artist was dealing with his mixed feelings between existentialism and Keynsian Economics. Sometimes I think the descriptions were more artistic than the sculptures. It only took about 15 minutes to see everything here and walk over some more dead bodies under the floor but the elaborately carved pulpit in the church put all the modern art to shame.

On my way over to Abraxas for a smoke and coffee I noticed that Stereo Sushi is closed and under construction and apparently a new restaurant will be opening there soon. Abraxas doesn't sell beer (loses 1 small point in my book) but don't let the modest first floor fool you into thinking of this as just another small coffeshop/juicebar. You get 20 free minutes on their internet terminals with a purchase but for kicking back you just have to brave the tight spiral staircase and go up one or two levels. I hadn't been to the top level before so I ventured all the way up and sat next to a window on the inside wall of the bar which had a shutter lowered over it. I was just packing a bowl when all of a sudden the shutter started rolling up automatically and lo and behold what was behind the window? Just a few of the most budacious plants you could want to stare at and drool over. They are well into flowering and are due to be harvested at the beginning of November. The lighting on the top floor is also really cool. They have thin translucent slices of geodes (crystals) built into the ceiling and the light shines through them from behind.

Around the corner from there I stopped in at De Bierkoning to see if their beer selection was all it was cracked up to be. It looks to be a smallish shop but you'd be hard pressed to find a bottle of beer that they don't sell. I tested this out by looking for one of my favorite beers from a monastery a couple miles from where I grew up in Germany and sure enough at the top of the German beers rack there were all three types of Andechs beer. They passed with flying colors and you could probably buy a special glass for most of their hundreds of types of beers. Next door to them was an Aboriginal Art shop, highlighting Australian art and the most awesome didgeridoos made of exotic woods. Bring about 400-500 extra Euro if you want to take one of those babies home with you. If you're into them though, you'll slap yourself for not budgeting for one of their beauties mate.

I checked out a shop called Club Wearhouse next to see if they had any interesting party flyers. I think all the clothes here are for women or very very very skinny guys. Next stop was Chocolata for a coffee and another bowl. They have a nice selection of both hash and weed cakes and bon bons here for you to feed your head with. I tackled their treacherous stairs to get to the second floor to chill out and catch up on my journal. When I left there, I almost passed by a place I had looked for on other trips but never quite made it to. In de Wildeman is a nice brown style bar almost across the plaza from Betty Boop. When you saunter up to the bar don't just ask for "a beer" or you're likely to get a blank stare and a hairy eyeball. They have at least 12 beers on tap here and many more in bottles. The tap beer is listed on a chalkboard over the door along with the percentage of alcohol and style it is. I had a glass of trappist ale with a 5.5% count but you can find several 10-11% bottled beers on the menu. Oh and of course you get the proper specific glass for each and every beer they have. Just afer walking out of there I could have sworn I saw Charles Manson passing by De Kuil but then again I think I've seen quite a few Charles Manson's here and Albert Einstin too....nevermind.

I needed to pick up some shrooms for the concert tonight so I headed over to the Emerald Triangle Seed Company. I had talked with the owner on other trips and he has a sister living in Chicago. I picked up a bag of shrooms from him for 12 Euro but I don't think he recognized me. That's OK, I guess he uses some of his products too. I decided to do a little pub crawl in the RLD next but when I tried to get down a small street I found it blocked by a truck who had lodged himself under a scaffoldig which was covering one side of the building. It looked like if he moved any further forward or try to back out again the whole scaffolding (and who knows what else) was gonna come down. I cleared out of there before disaster struck. Hunter's was my next stop on Warmoestraat. I think I remember they used to be on OZ Achterburgwaal by Rick's about 15 years ago but I may be wrong. I've been to this location on several trips though. They're pool table is gone now. The only thing remaining is the rails which are now part of the light fixture on the ceiling. They have some cool Freak Brothers style cartoons on the wall here and they've upgraded their internet computers.

Hill Street Blues was next on the crawl. I know it's named that way because it was next to a police station but I didn't see the usual fleet of police motorcyles out in front this time so I wondered if they had moved the station. No worries, I went in for a beer (a couple of beers actually since the bartender poured one too many for someone else and made me drink the extra). There's graffitti all over the walls here and a pool table in back. Despite the name and it's connection to a Chicago Police show, this place is more a Brit hangout. They also have a cocktail Happy Hour on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9:00-10:00 (at night I assume). When I was in here last August one of the bartenders from the night before was passed out on the floor behind the bar. They just stepped over him. Further up the street, I went into Durty Nelly's for a pint of Kilkenney. I was getting pretty hungry so I decided to try their Salmon and brown bread for 8 Euro and that hit the spot. If you can't decide what you like more salmon or good irish brown bread like me, then you better order that here. My final stop for this tour was Greenhouse Centruum before heading home. My only gripe with this coffeeshop before was that they had the barstools bolted to the floor way too close together. It seems they rearranged them a little to make more elbow room now. They've got a very wide selection of their award-winning smokeables in the back.

After getting caught up on things back at the house, and getting a little freshened up, I was grabbed my Medeski, Martin and Wood ticket and headed out for the tram to Leidseplein. I went to Rookies for a couple of beers before the show and munched the rest of the shrooms I had from yesterday first to sort of ramp up a bit before taking the ones I had bought today. Actually I think I must have ate less than I thought yesterday as I'm sure I had half of the bag left. Sure enough about a half-hour later the shrooms were kicking my ass again. I was surprised so little was doing so much especially the 2nd day in a row. I hadn't eaten anything since the salmon earlier so I figured I better get something in my stomach to mellow it out a little. I did not want to go to a sit-down restaurant so I figured in the interest of expediency I would get a fast food burger. I waited in line at both McDonald's and Burger King but gave up on both when I saw that the lines were not moving and the people at the counter were totally ignoring everyone. I venture into the SkySports bar instead and grabbed a burger there along with a beer.

By the time I got into Paradiso and checked my jacket I was really flying again and I hadn't even touched the new bag of shrooms. I had a few beers since I still had another before the show and staked out a spot by the first pillar on the right side of the floor. I thought I might need that pillar to hold onto if things got too weird. The show finally started at 9:15 and from the first note I knew I wasn't even going to move from that great spot I had for even a second. I was up a couple of steps from the crowd so I could see the band real good and their music was just beyond belief. If there's only one thing you can do to make sure you die happy, it's to see Medeski, Martin and Wood, and to go one better see them on some good shrooms. I was seriously totally blown away and so was everyone else there and I know they weren't all as doped up as I was. I've been to well over a hundred Grateful Dead shows and they never quite did me like the show last night. If only the Dead could jam half-as good and consistently, they might have become popular :o) I don't think they came to a full stop for a whole hour. Wood was out there for the full hour anyway. Medeski and Martin stepped off for a couple of minutes. Ok, I won't ramble on too much about the concert but I will add one more last thing. Being now that I'm on the backside of my 30's I admit that often when I go to concerts now, I tend to check my watch and think about ducking out early to beat traffic, crowds etc. but I wasn't even considering leaving Paradiso until I knew the band was probably already on a plane. These guys could bang on a rock and groove you to your soul.

I stopped at Dan Murphy's Bar for a beer after that but I was totally exhausted from dancing and didn't even finish it before taking a tram home and crashing hard. Oh by the way, did I mention that I liked the concert?

Well I better get showered and make my way to Haarlem for the BlueBerry bud hunt. Cyas.

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DedBud's Trip Report: Day 6
Posted by DedBud on Saturday, 12 October 2002, at 2:41 p.m.


Sorry I didn't get around to a compter yesterday so here's the next installment.

I caught the train for Haarlem for 2.90 Euro at 10:40 and 15 minutes later I was sitting in Willie Wortel's Sativa smoking a bowl and having a coffee. I picked up a gram of Temple Balls hash here for 10.50 and tried a bit of that too. They have a good map of Haarlem to take with you with all their coffeeshops and other goods ones around Holland listed. I knew it was too early for Wilma & Alberts steaks but I went by there anyway to see what time they opened. The menu in the window said 12:00 so I had time to wander over to the Global Hemp Museum to take a shot at Blueberry's treasure hunt. I took a look around the front of the shop but didn't want to be digging through all the pockets on the clothes and didn't see the stashed baggie anywhere so I paid my 2.50 entrance fee for the museum portion and the girl handed me my ticket, a packet of seeds (don't know what kind but I'm not expecting AK-47), and a cannabis lollipop. They have a wide variety of hemp and cannabis items and news from all around the world in back as well as a mock up of the (supposed) first coffeeshop in Holland, Mellow Yellow. I almost decided to take one of their plants growing in back and play stupid if they tell me that those aren't part of Blueberry's scavenger hunt but decided I better not. I made a couple of quick posts from their internet terminal before heading back over to Wilma & Alberts for lunch. The door was still locked when I got there but there was someone working on the bar and when I knocked he informed me that they actually don't open until 5:30. DAMN!!! I was really looking forward to some escargot and steak. I knew I wouldn't be in Haarlem that long so I decided I'd get something somewhere else that looked good. On to the Teyler's Museum after that and I had to let my eyes adjust when I got in there. It's an older building with old museum display cases that are in rooms that are way too dark. They have rooms with fossils, minerals, scientific instruments, paintings, coins and a special display of stuffed dogs (yeah I know, very strange). Oh yeah and they also have a display of old electrical instruments and generators that would have given Mr. Strickfadden (the guy who made all the electrical toys in the Frankenstein lab) a major chubby. I spent about 45 minutes there but I wouldn't go out of my way for that one unless you're particularly interested in one of the topics they cover.

The Automobilia toy store next door really had a cooler display of just about any type of scale car model you could want. And of course there, everything is for sale. Down the road was Willie Wortels Indica and that's a pretty small and quiet coffeeshop where I refreshed with a Fanta and smoked some more hash. The guy behind the counter was explaining to another American tourist about the idiosynchracies of the Dutch drug laws. I think that conversation blossomed out of why they couldn't sell alcohol in the Haarlem coffeeshops. From what I've heard it's not legal in Amsterdam either but nobody enforces it. From there I made the mistake of following the street signs to the Frans Hals Museum and ended up going in a circle around the place. I think those signs were meant for cars navigating around one-way streets and pedways. I should have just stuck with following my map. I could only manage to kill about 30 minutes at the Frans Hals checking out his works and others. They have a special exhibit of spanish flower paintings and although they're nice it's not really my bag.

One more Willie Wortels to go so I went over to the new Willie Wortels Sinsemilla and almost missed it because it is on the second floor of a building. It's a lot bigger and more modern than the old one but I miss the ramshackle little coffeeshop of old. They have a couple of pool tables and a seperate internet nook but the orange Statue of Liberty was sort of hidden in a corner. Nol was sitting at the counter talking to some other people so I didn't bother him although I did want to hear some of his stories. I was starving so I had a pepperoni and cheese toastie here to tide me over with my coffee. On my way back to the train station I stopped in at D' Theehuis coffeeshop too but they must have had a brand new girl working at the counter. She couldn't figure out what a Fanta was until I pointed it out on the counter. She was also slow as hell at the register so a short line in the tiny shop became a bit annoying. I had some time left before I had to meet my cousin in Zaandam so I took a late lunch at Het Wachtlokaal, a cafe right across from the train station. I had a surprisingly good mushroom, garlic, and onion gratinee and rib eye steak with herb butter here. I'm sure it wasn't as good as Wilma & Alberts but it was well worth the 18.35 Euro for both.

The trains (had to switch at Sloterdijk) from Haarlem to Zaandam cost 3.40 and took about 20 minutes. My cousin had been caught in traffic but they arrived soon after I got to Zaandam to pick me up and drive me out to their place in Westzaan. We had an excellent home-cooked chicken and rice dinner at their beautiful house in the country and then went to the only Hotel/Restaurant/Bar in town for dessert and coffee. It was nice to kick back out of the city for an evening. They're house is right along a small canal with ducks and chickens and a canoe in back. Jim told me that when the water level is high (they are 3 feet below sea level there) you can jump up and down in the back yard and watch the ground swell like on a waterbed. That would be a trip. It's not like his place in the city is noisy but for some reason I slept better there than in town.

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DedBud's Trip Report: Day 7
Posted by DedBud on Saturday, 12 October 2002, at 3:00 p.m.


Wow another day passed already.

Jim's partner Mich woke me up at 8:30 and offered to give me a ride back into Amsterdam at 9:30 so I shook the cobwebs out of my head and took him up on the offer. When I got back, I took the time to start some laundry and get cleaned up. The laundry looked like it was going to take a long time to dry so I went out to the Scheepvart Museum while I waited. I've always liked coming to this one because I kind of like martime stuff and boy do they have a lot here. All kinds of detailed ship models and paintings of old ship battles. They also have a "special" exhibit of VOC history items (I think almost everything else there is tied to the Dutch East Indies trading company anyway so I'm not so sure why this exhibit is special). The replica of the ship Amsterdam is back tied up to the pier so I walked through that also. The last time I was at the museum in March of 2001 it was gone for one reason or another. Some of the decks there were really low so I had to watch my head pretty closely. I was surprised to see how well they routed all their electrical conduit and air conditioning ducts way back then. Oh, maybe those were added later. It took about 2 hours to get through there and although my legs and feet were feeling really dead I went over to the Versetzmuseum since it was pretty close anyway. Here they have a lot of historical artifacts from the Nazi occupation, deportation of the jews, and Dutch resistance. I had been here before and read each and every description so it only took me about a half-hour here to look things over again.

The Joods Historich Museum was on my way back home so that was next and they also have a special exhibit of Marc Chagall's dealing with his Jewish Theater mural and it's development. Their permanent exhibit has some incredible Menorah's, Torahs and other judaica. I spent a little less than an hour in there. I took a quick stroll the Waterlooplein Markt next and saw the usual assortment of clothes, junk, hardware, spray paint and porno videos. Nothing that I needed. The Bluebird coffeeshop was on the way back too and I popped in but the line was too long and going too slow so I just took a look through their two photoalbum dope menus since they're the best in town. One book is for hash and the other is for weed. Each item for sale has a page with a sample and pictures as well as maps indicating where it's from and other info if available. Just don't lean on them. They get pissed off because it flattens all the samples.

When I got home the clothes in the dryer will still soaked and then I figured out that it doesn't discharge the hot humid air outside but collects the moisture in a condensation tank and it was full up. So I guess it had no way to get rid of the moisture. I dumped that out and started everything up again. I took a nap to get off my aching legs for a while and then just decided to take an easy night and went over to DeKuil and sat there smoking and drinking until I went home to crash.

I suddenly remembered that I hadn't eaten at all so I picked up some fried shrimp and a duck,pork and rice dish at Nam Kee to go for 10 Euro. I scarfed that up so fast when I got home that I even forgot I ate it until I saw the bones scattered around in the morning.

OK, that gets me caught up through this morning. Cya's later.

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DedBud's Trip Report: Day 8
Posted by DedBud on Wednesday, 16 October 2002, at 11:23 p.m.


Sorry 'bout the delay but I'm just getting my head together after getting back.

Anyway, Saturday morning I headed over to The Noon to meet NC-Dave at 10:00. I got myself a coffee and had to take advantage of their 5grams of Blueberry special for 23 Euro. It's a pretty small shop with a big Buddha mural on the wall and dragons on the bar shooting flames out their asses....ooops sorry...I mean tails. They have great little seating areas with lots of cushions to melt into. Dave came in a few minutes later with a friend of his, Bill. After smoking a few bowls with them, Dave and I headed over to the Stedelijk Museum. I hit the Stedelijk almost every time I'm here because their modern art exhibits are always changing. Pretty much all their sculpture display is over at the Nieuwe Kerk making more room for their displays of industrial landscape photography and other exhibits along with some of their permanent displays of modern masters like Mondrian. I guess we spent about 45 minutes in there and were starving by the time we got out.

We ended up going to a cafe on the corner called Eat Palace (or something like that). My goulash soup and wienerschnitzel were nothing short of mediocre but at least it put something in my gut to keep me going. Well, what do you expect from a place called Eat Palace anyway. The Van Gogh Museum was next and you could tell from the line outside that it was a popular attraction on a crisp and cool day. Luckily, being 6'4" I was able to look over most people's heads at the paintings instead of following the slowly shifting line of people moving along the wall from one picture ot another. If you follow the designated time-line patch you can see the slow deteriorations as he sunk into depression and insanity. I remember I was surprised the first time I came here and saw some of the works here of his that were a totally foreign style to what we would expect from Van Gogh. They even have a few paintings of his done in a japanese style. I parted ways with Dave after spending about a half-hour there.

On the way back home I walked down the Spiegelstraat which is chock-full of antique and art stores. Don't go down here right after going to the Rijksmuseum unless you have a platinum card with you to cover all the stuff you'll want to buy. I stopped in at Easy Everything but didn't realize my ticket had expired yesterday with time left on it. I bought some more time and checked up on some posts but was still having trouble seeing what had posted since it wasn't refreshing. I had a beer at The Tara before my last stretch on the way home and took a look through the market which had been set up in the Nieuwmarkt. It was mostly some tasty breads and cheeses. I certainly didn't need to stock up on food being too close to D-Day but I suddenly thought of my 5-gram bag of Blueberry and had a brainstorm, which I'll discuss later.

After getting home and splashing some water on my face, giving my feet and brain a rest I tried to call my friend who is on a work assignment over here. She waw out so I left a message and headed out to the Leidseplein area where she lives. On the way to the trams at Centraal Station I found Molly Malones to be open so I detoured into there. This is a dark and old looking Irish Pub with normal prices and bartenders who will ask you where you're from and really be interested. I talked to a couple from Cleveland via South Carolina and another guy from Chicago for a bit while I quaffed a couple of beers. I thought I spied a bottle of Middleton, my favorite Irish whiskey, above the bar and asked about it but it turned out to only be a decoration. I told the bartender how I usually try to pick up a bottle when I go to Ireland since it sells there for about $50.00 less than if I bought it in Chicago, where it sells for about $125.00. He told me that they sell it and other Irish Whiskeys at Gall & Gall liquor stores for a lot cheaper. He thought I could get a bottle of Middleton for $50.00 here. He gave me the address and a free shot of Black Bush instead and I went out to get my tram.

I took another detour over toward The Noon and ran into another small canal-side cafe on the way called Mankind. I had a beer there and commented to them about how they they refer to pine nuts on their menu as pine-tree seeds. They told me it might have been a translation error but unless I could guarantee that the British called them pine nuts too they would leave it that way. I didn't know so I guess it stays. Just before I left I noticed a couple of triangles and rainbows indicating that this may be a gay or gay friendly cafe but you sure couldn't tell from the rest of the people in there. I got to The Noon and picked up another 5 grams of BlueBerry there. I had some smoke and another couple of beers at Rookies before I going to the Leidseplein to try to call my friend again. I saw some guy walking towards me on the street that just made me think immediately of a professor with his beard and looks and apparently I wasn't the only to think that as a waiter from one of the myriad of Argentinian Steak Houses was trying to lure him in for dinner by calling him "professere." I left another message for my friend and since I was starving I hunted down Iguazu for a steak dinner for myself. I ordered their Dutch Shrimp with Whiskey Sauce appetizer for 8.95 Euro and was surprised to get a bowl with practically microscopic shrimp in it that looked more like maggots or grubs (still not sure t hey weren't grubs). They really had no flavor and even the "whiskey sauce" tasted like Russian Dressing. The Filet Steak with Bacon and Potatoes for 23.95 Euro though was excellent. It was brought to the table with several pieces of steak on a large skewer with red peppers and big chunks of bacon. They pull it all off the skewer and plate it in front of you. I tried in vain to use the condiments on the table to complement the taste but honestly, the steak was best enjoyed au naturale. That definately made up for the grubs appetizer. I finished off with their Pyama dessert for 8.75 Euro which is a combination of all their other desserts, including flan, ice cream and fried banana. I could come back for that next time I get the munchies after smoking.

After that I finally got a hold of my friend and she met me at Dan Murphy's for a couple of beers while their speakers blew our ears out. After walking her back down the street to her place, I went to The Dolphins to smoke a bowl. I twas pretty dead in there so I didn't stay long before I checked the posts real quick and decided to do a Pub Crawl instead of following my list of places to go. The first place I stopped into billed itself as an Apres-Ski bar but it turned out to be a dance club and I wasn't up for that right now. Next door to there was a small skinny bar called The Musicbar. The only music I heard there was coming from the juke box though and there wasn't anything special about it so after one beer I went to the next bar on the street called Nightlife. It was only marginally better than the last one and was fairly packed. The bartender must have thought I looked out of place there and he pointed out that this bar and the one next door are where male hustlers hang out and suddenly I noticed that the bar was lined by old men with young guys between each of them and I saw the light. Luckily I didn't qualify as an old codger but I was disappointed that he didn't mistake me for a young hustler. It must be that he's just familiar with all the ones that work there. Yeah that's it.

Around the corner, I passed up a couple of places that were way too packed and instead walked into Amstel Taveerne which looked like an old brown bar. They have a lot of mugs hanging from the ceiling and a DJ. The lack of women in here gave it away as a mostly gay bar but it obviously wasn't like the last two I had hit. There was a guy sitting across from me at the bar who looked like he wanted to try out for a Village People video and it looked like he was mouthing something to me. Eventually I figured out that he was just singing along to the tunes the DJ was playing. That was a relief. Next one down the street was Mix Cafe ald although the crowd here was younger they were playing waaaay too much Abba style pop music for my tastes. I found better music at Rokerij III, where I had a soda and some more smoke. Their really cool murals here make you feel like you're getting stoned inside a church. DAMN!!! Another lighting bolt just hit my head.

I followed OZ Achterburgwal on the way to Excalibur and I've never seen the street this packed with people checking out the women in the windows and the bars. It seriously resembled Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. I guess I normally cut across the RLD in the other direction or go this route during the day so I hadn't remembered it being this busy before. Excalibur also had a different crowd than I was used to. It's never been a hard-core biker bar, but the crowd tonight was pure fratboy. It's still a cool place with a bike mounted on the wall and pool tables. About 1:30 I stumbled back the last few blocks to home and apparently got there just in time to find a couple of other of my cousin's guests arriving and trying to figure out the cypher lock on the front door. I helped them get in and get settled and after talking to them for a while I turned in.

I need to go out for a beer before I post my last full day's report.

Cya

continued

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