“My Trip to Amsterdam” or “Forget that whore”

Prologue:

 

The events of the past year in my life have manifest themselves into a great desire to seek out adventure and seize life.  Not a ‘seize life by the balls’ type of desire, but more of a ‘stop and smell the roses’.  In this case…tulips. 

By all accounts, I live an amazing everyday life.  My profession, where I live and the people I choose (or have chosen me) as friends have everything to do with making a chap happy and satisfied with waking up everyday.  However, this extraordinary daily life causes a logical yet undesirable side effect…it sets the baseline a little high.  In other words, it  takes more and more stimulation to satisfy me.  Much like a junkie needing a heavier dose to achieve the high to which he has been accustomed.

So for this reason, I have chosen to take advantage of the current economic downturn’s cheap flights and travel to seek out new experiences.  I couldn’t think of a better place to start than Amsterdam.  Not only for it’s liberal views on sex and drugs but because it’s a chance to connect with a far removed past.  So far removed in fact, that my father hasn’t been able to trace when and where the Van **** family came to the states from Holland.  This is a minor detail as I venture into my homeland.  Ok, ok…maybe it’s a big detail but that’s not going to keep me from enjoying a sense of nationality that has been non-existent my entire life.  I am an American and very proud of it but every American at one point came from somewhere else.  Just knowing that gives me a sense of the world that I had never felt to this extent.

 

 

 

Day 1 Tuesday

The flight and arrival

 

Packing for oneself is not a difficult task in my opinion.  Jeans and underwear…one, two, three…five days, five pairs.  Likewise with shirts/sweaters but add a few extra for changing midday if needed.  All in all, about 15 minutes to pack.  If a woman did envy a man for any reason other than lack of a menstrual cycle, this would be the element they would covet.

 

Traffic to LAX was horrible; I’ll spare you the details.  It was very hard to leave Angus behind.  I really wish he could travel with me.  He’s my partner in crime and I’ll miss him.

 

The airport security line is usually something that causes me to grind my teeth.  Not because I don’t feel it is important, it is.  It’s just people seem to lose their brains in those lines.  Does that woman really need to wear the entire stock of Tiffany’s front glass case on her person?  My journey is off to a great start as the agent misread my boarding pass and sent me to the first-class line.  It took me about 3 minutes to get through versus at least a half-hour in the plebe line.  Nice.  I’m all about good beginnings.

Once onboard the flight, I found my seat next to the window and settled in.  I like window seats for much of the same reasons a child does…I can look out and see the scenery.  It’s also because I like to lean my head on the bulkhead to sleep on longer flights.

 

I patiently awaited my forced companion on the flight.  Many an awful flight can be attributed to who sits next to you.  I watched and silently evaluated each passenger walking down the aisle toward me.  “Please God, no…not the fat guy” or “she’s gorgeous, please be her” I thought to myself.  While caught in a daydream about the pretty business lady, out of nowhere a very large and unshaven young man sat down next to me.  He’s one of those guys that looks like a hippie but in reality are just too into computers and gaming to pay attention to personal hygiene.  Great. 

Oh well, I’ll make peace with it.  It’s only 8 hours to Amsterdam from Chicago.  Ugh.

 

Have you noticed how flight attendants have morphed from pleasant and helpful to kind of bitchy?  By default, I think they’re taught to assume you’re an **** until proven otherwise.  Here’s the conversation I had with an obviously gay but still have to prove it to you type of male flight attendant:

 

“Sir, do you really want to sit next to the window?” he said.

“Yes, I booked the ticket months ago and chose this seat specifically” I replied.

“Really?  Why would you want to be trapped up against that wall when you could sit in an aisle over here (pointing to the middle section of seats) and have all that space around you?” he said in a very flamboyantly gay fashion.

“Why are you asking me this?” I questioned.

“Well, the man next to you and this lovely lady in the aisle next to him would like to snuggle and hold hands throughout the flight.  And see, they can’t do that because you’re in that seat.  Would you mind switching with her?”

Ok, in my head my response was “**** them, if it were so important they would’ve booked earlier to make it happen.  Why should the single guy have to make accommodations for ill-prepared lovers.  When I had a girlfriend, I would only book seats next to each other.  This douchebag obviously was more concerned with having an aisle seat than being next to his patchouli scented better-half.”

My actual response was “sure, no problem…who am I to stand in the way of love”

I grumbled under my breath as I collected my things and did the kind thing by switching seats. 

 

Much like most other events in my life, I vowed to see the bright side of moving.  At least this way I don’t have to look out the window as the plane flies directly over my ex’s mother’s house in Scotland.  It did, by the way…right ****ing over her mom’s farm house.  I couldn’t have asked for a better fly by.  I’m glad I missed it.

 

The real benefit of switching seats became apparent midway through the flight when the hippie/IT guy kicked off his Birkenstocks and promptly started to clean the toe jam from between his toes.  Although horrified that I had to witness this from across the aisle, I was relieved to not be sitting next to him.  The smell was bad enough that the pretty business lady that had taken up residence behind him looked over to me and rolled her eyes.

 

After 8 hours, we landed.  I was able to glimpse the windmills and lush green countryside through the window past the hippies.  Absolutely gorgeous view…breathtaking.

 

The airport and trek to hotel

 

Normally, this isn’t something I’d find worthy of writing about but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note the initial feelings of arriving in The Netherlands. Wow, these are really some good-looking people.  Even in Los Angeles, known for appearance being paramount, you’ll see the occasional dud. Not here.  I just about tripped over myself looking at all the pretty faces.  Of course, you could also assume that I almost fell because I was having my first cigarette in 12 hours.  I really had forgotten how light headed tobacco can make a person.

 

Most importantly noted during the first hour of landing is the overwhelming sense of “holy crap, what do I do now?”  I’ve always been a knowledgeable traveler.  I can tell you great ways of avoiding lines and getting where you need to go.  Yes, even outside of the States.  However, this is my first time traveling anywhere that I can’t read the signs (Mexico doesn’t count since I do know enough Spanish to get by).  I sat out front of Schiphol Airport wondering how the hell I was going to find my hotel.  The information desk strongly suggested NOT to take a cab as it would cost 50 Euros (about $75).  She said to get on the Amsterdam South tram and then get a train from that station.  Ok great…I can figure out many of the trams displays.  Some are going to Haarlem (I remember seeing that on the map), others are going to Amsterdam Central.  Many of the other trams were heading to specific areas of the city.  My problem was my hotel wasn’t in a ‘named’ neighborhood.  I know the street it is on, Apollolaan.  However, none of the trams or trains listed that street as a stop.  **** it, I decided to have another smoke as if somehow divine intervention would show me the way.  Well, it kind of did.  As I puffed away I noticed a shuttle service.  For 14 Euros, they take you right up to the front of your hotel. Brilliant. 

 

The hotel is very modern and slightly upscale.  Although I believe most European places have that look to Americans.  Since it’s moderately priced I figure it just to be a run of the mill kind of place.  My room wasn’t ready when I arrived but of course the “Executive” room was ready at the time at only a slight upgrade fee.  I’m an experienced enough traveler that I know this is an upsell ploy…but I did it.  I’m really glad I did since it’s closer to the size a standard American hotel room.  I’ve heard plenty of stories about European hotel rooms being the size of a closet.

 

An introductory stroll

 

I didn’t travel all this way to stay in a hotel room so immediately following check-in I ventured out onto the streets.

 

I traveled roughly one city block before I uttered “I ****ing love this place” to myself.  You see, as I was admiring the architecture of this very old city, my eyes panned up down each building.  On the top floor of one building an extremely beautiful woman was basking in the sun wearing only her underwear.  She was sitting on her windowsill letting the warm rays of the our nearest star give her all the vitamin D she needed.  I did not stare.  It was a difficult urge to quell.

 

I past numerous shops selling the daily needs of the city’s inhabitants. There is a large number of art supply shops which reinforces the rich history of art from this region.  I can’t help but believe we could use more of that aspect in America.  Art seems to be limited to the affluent or bohemian in the States.  Here it seems to be celebrated by all.

 

Past a few shops selling kabobs and tea I found myself inadvertently looking into the eyes of a scantily clad woman in a window.  Wait…I’m not in the red light district yet…what is this?  Apparently there are also many brothels located within unassuming neighborhoods.  Even though this was a feast for the eyes, it was nothing compared to the woman allowing me a glance of her tanned body I spoke of earlier.  There was a voyeuristic appeal to that vision.  This is just too ‘in your face’ to be beautiful.  It was an enjoyable view nonetheless.

 

 

Hebt u a Big Mac?

 

Ok, I know some of you will roll your eyes but I always wanted to try a Big Mac in a foreign country.  I’m not even a huge fan of McDonald’s but just had to try it out in Holland.  I think it’s mainly because of the scene in Pulp Fiction where Travolta’s character is explaining the naming difference of the Whopper (I know, that’s Burger King) abroad…I believe it’s called the Royale with cheese.  Anyway I gave it a shot.  I have a few days here to sample the local cuisine so it’s acceptable to try this out. 

 

The consumption of said Big Mac was uneventful.  Doesn’t taste much different except the bun was toasted a little more.  It was the conversation that blew me away.  Ok, let me digress.  It was about 10pm as I sat down with my number one combo meal.  I was about ¼ of the way through two patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese on a sesame seed bun when two devotchkas wandered in from an evening of drinking.  I was a little surprised when they decided to sit down right next to me. The restaurant was empty and there were plenty of places to sit.  Hmmm, I ****ing love this place…have I mentioned that?

 

So the pretty one (actually they were both good-looking, just one was more so than the other) was sitting about six inches from me.  She looked over and pointed at my meal and said “Hebt u a Big Mac?”.  Not knowing Dutch, I said “Sorry, I don’t speak Dutch…do you speak English?”  Her eyes widened and in perfect English she said “Do you have a Big Mac?”  She giggled to her friend and then pointed to my crotch and asked again…”Do you have a Big Mac?”  I of course said “Yes, I do fine down there”  She giggled again and proceeded to make small talk with me.

 

Apparently she and her friend are students working on their master’s degrees. One is an economist and the other is a sex ed teacher.  Once they asked of my profession the conversation turned to legalities of shooting pornography and if it is acceptable to my family and friends.  We talked for at least an hour and they both decided they would show me the sights in Amsterdam tomorrow evening. What better way to see the city than with some pretty female locals?  We shook hands and parted ways.  Hopefully they will not consider the tour as something you agree to only after drinking many glasses of wine.  We’ll see if they show up to my hotel tomorrow evening.  Even if they don’t, it’s been a nice start to my vacation.

Pornstars and Me

When I worked in radio as an engineer, I remember the on-air staff would always have a board with photos of themselves with famous people.  Usually musicians but occasionally actors coming by to promote films they were in.

I’ve always wanted to have a place to show photos of myself with the beautiful women that are in the adult industry.  Now I do.  Is it narcissistic to want to show these?  Fuck you…I don’t care :)