Goedemorgen, from Amsterdam

Posted: February 3, 2010 by jerkmagblog in Uncategorized
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Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Amsterdam. Even Bill Shakespeare’s power of three does not quite do a justice for all that this city embodies. From the moment we arrived, everyone was excited, including your humble narrator. 

Our hotel was better than the tenement we resided in during our stay at Paris, with soap, hot water and fresh towels in the morning- all things that reminded us why we were paying for a private university education.

When a city offers you legalized drugs, an incredible nightlife, and the opportunity to window-shop for women, it is quite easy to see how youngsters can be easily led astray. I am neither confirming nor refuting the actions of my comrades, however, may I repeat, that it is the twenty first century.

I love Europeans. Saturday night. 10:00 p.m. We (other students and I) decided to take a normal, relaxed stroll through the red light district. We were not the only ones apparently. While perusing the windows and storefronts depicting enough vulgarity to make even the strongest stomachs sick, we were accompanied by Dutch families, couples, men, women etc. As if a normal, Sunday morning stroll through the park, the Dutch were proudly walking along the canals while prostitutes winked and tapped on the glass, beckoning men to come to them. There was even a father walking, as his daughter sat high atop his shoulders oscillating her little head in amazement as if they were both a lighthouse. If Europe is the Garden of Eden, then Amsterdam is surely the lowest hanging apple in the whole bunch.

"Tropenmuseum."

 

We also did happen to make it to a few museums. Hooray for education (legitimizing the trip)! We first went to a Dutch colonial museum called the Tropenmuseum. Inside this museum, all the countries that were at one time under Dutch rule, displayed each of their cultures’ food, clothing, history, customs etc. I felt that in order for the Dutch to realize, and accept all of the countries they have usurped at one time or another, they create a museum that shows how ‘culturally accepting’ they are of these places, including Indonesia.

(Read: It was ok for the Dutch to culturally and economically imperialize other countries because they now accept the richness and diversity behind each region. Hundreds of years of colonialism’s tensions can be mitigated by the creation of a museum.)

My last night there, my friend and I wanted to snag a quick beer at a local bar. It was great, there were guys playing checkers while drinking beer. There were guys dancing to great music, and there were guys sitting around and joking with one another, just having a grand old time. The ambiance was absolutely…masculine. Suffice to say we left shortly after my friend alerted me to the specifications, or should I say intent of the patrons. We found another bar.

This time we felt much more welcomed as we sat down, drank beer, and were given free shots by a bartender who explained that his love of America stemmed from his experiences of Spring Break down in Myrtle Beach. Each time he poured us all shots, he raised his little glass, smiled and stated “Life is a bitch, but so am I.”

He laughed every time. We were confused. Confusion seems to be a recurring theme here in Europe. But I guess that is normal. Oh, and I never officially fell into a canal (reputedly).

~Wesley Milillo

Comments
  1. vakantiehuis says:

    Leuke site!. Er zijn nog weinig goede sites over dit onderwerp te vinden.
    Ben blij met jullie toevoeging!
    Ik kan helaas geen bookmark aanmaken naar jerkmag.wordpress.com in Firefox. 😦 Weten jullie hoe dit komt?

    Groetjes Barbara

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