A Survival Guide for Amsterdam, Bring your wallet!
By- John Spada
Photo Credit o palsson
Think Vegas, but set in a medium sized European canal city. Subtract all of the venue shows, but add a whole lot of sex and marijuana, and a dash of mushrooms, and you have an idea of Amsterdam.
Fun Fact: In Amsterdam hostels, snoring is a large issue because 85% of your roommates have extremely bad cotton-mouth.
We met Das at a coffee shop called the basement. The shop has a very cool vibe, and during our time there played a bunch of American rap remixes that were perfect for the environment. Das grew up in India, then relocated to the UK, and finally now is living in Amsterdam. Das has a medical marijuana license, and for those of you not in the know, medical grade drugs tend to be of a higher quality then regular stuff. Then you have hash, which is a resin type substance, that has a higher THC content than normal marijuana. Das had medical grade hash, and was more than willing to share during our pleasant half hour conversation. He was an extremely nice guy and, needless to say, after we left the basement coffee shop we were all quite stoned. By the time we got out of there, it was around midnight and we decided to head back to the hostel.
John the Regular:
So with our heads swimming and our eyes bloodshot, we returned to the hostel to find our dorm had nine people, with only eight beds. When you check in, you receive a card with your room number and bunk number, so my natural inclination was, "Everyone show your card for your bunk, if we all have one, I will go ask the manager what to do". Everyone in the room was close to our age and in a similar backpacking situation, except John the Regular. Every person in the room except for JtR held up their cards. We proceeded to ask JtR, do you have a reservation? Do you have a bunk? A card? Don't you think as the 46 year old (admitted pervert), you should maybe move?
How to identify the guy trying to squat in your hostel dorm:
1. John would essentially only say three things, I assume because he was a bad liar, and really didn't want to double back on one of his lies.
"I'm John, I'm a regular"
"I'm here until the 30th"
"I've been in a couple popular American movies, such as independence day"
"I'm not here for the weed, I just like the offbeat sex stuff"
2. You must have a card to get by reception, so the guy that comes into the room around noon, and fails to leave for the rest of the day is probably a squatter.
3. He has an outright creepy demeanor, and admits he's a pervert.
So after attempting to get John the Regular to move without having management intervene, we were unsuccessful, and I had to unleash the Canadian bulldog known as Sheldon. Sheldon was one of our traveling partners from Paris, and he's the type that you send to talk to management, because he refuses to take any solution but the one he desires. The manager came to the room, went through the same card process as before, and established the same results. The managers first solution was that I would move to a new room, as I was the last one to return to the room, and was therefore without a bunk. We explained the situation once more to the manager, and in the end John the Regular was moved. It was a very sketchy situation.
Photo Credit Comunicati
How to identify the guy you should follow to the coffee shops:
When you check in around four, he is the American guy still napping in his bunk. This was Bryan, from St. Louis. Another extremely nice, good natured guy, who had an in depth knowledge of which shops were the best, and how to hit some of the crazy bongs that became available. He was our guide in Amsterdam while we became aquanted with the area.
Overall a very enjoyable city, but it also presents a high risk situation for spending a lot of money, as Marcus (aussie friend) did when he became intrigued with some of the more sexual aspects of the town.