Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Amsterdam

Cute serviette

DHL Service Amsterdam style.. did you know 37% of all traffic in this city is by bicycle?


We spent 7.5 hours on the train from Berlin to Amsterdam. On the way, we had a compartment but shared it with a lovely Australian couple. The lady was Vietnamese while the man was Australian. They were such a delight to talk with! I spent 6 hours talking with them and then had a nap for about 45 mins.



They were a refreshing sight.. because you know, usually a couple where the wife is much younger and is Asian - well you tend to assume things but this Vietnamese lady, she brought in the money too, worked hard, wasn't subservient to the husband and was independent. I really liked her!

Biggest jumper I've seen, photo doesn't justify it but just look at the number of X's


We finally got to Amsterdam and it was such a coincidence that we were catching the same tram to our hotel. They were to get off the stop after us. We bid our farewells. We checked into the hotel then went out and had Argentinian grill for dinner. It was pretty delicious.
Got this Ralph Lauren blouse for $10! WOOT!



We were feeling a little run down, my nose was dripping like a tap! So we stayed in our hotel. Though, we couldn't sleep because the air was muggy so mum and I chatted and rolled about until midnight.



We woke up and we both didn't feel our tip top shape.  So we stayed in the morning and had a few more cat naps. We had fresh bakery for breakfast, then napped again. I think we caught a little virus but its not too bad yet.



Then we headed out. First to Albert Cuypmarket which is a really long street market. We had fresh juices, waffles, poffertjes, satay rotisserie chicken etc. Boy were we FULL!
Mum is so cute

Condomerie, who'd think they'd make money off animal condoms……?

Creepy sex booths. I didn't wanna take a photo of the ones with women in them

Then we trammed up to the red light district, where we enjoyed ladies in windows and sex shops. It was so funny explaining to mum what hemp and marijuana was, and we laughed at some of the stupid and vulgar shit we saw in the shops. I didn't really take much photos because I felt awkward. By the way, streets just reek of weed.



We quickly saw the sea of men devour the streets with their sexual hunger as the sun fell into the night.. so we ran back to Dam which is a city square with gorgeous buildings. From there we enjoyed a few hours in department stores and then walked down the shopping streets of the usual big chains like Zara until we reached close to our hotel area.



We found a very cute Dutch cafe and enjoyed our dinner there! Gosh it was so yummy, even their simple salad was was so intricate that I jotted all the ingredients down on my tourist map hehe!



Wow my hotel just smells like weed. I think people in other rooms are smoking up.
By the way, I LOVE ALL THE TULIPS! Its my favourite flower hehehehe!



The next day of Amsterdam started off with muggy skies and rain. It was so super windy, it felt like Melbourne. It was actually cold too. We had pastry for breakfast then headed our way into one of the last windmills in the city area. It wasn't on any tourist recommendations or anything but I knew my mum wanted to see one so I did some research.



I chose this one because its close to caving in to developers as all the tall residential buildings are now straining the windmill's ability to use the wind for work so the owner's wood sawing business is tight. Apparently he's fighting tooth and nail to keep it. Its the oldest one left in the city!



After that we headed to De Looie antique market and I got myself a beautiful creepy ivory skeleton necklace handmade from Nepal which I got for a lovely $45. Another antique market owner came up to me and said, "Dammit! I was just going to buy that for my own stall because he's selling it for too cheap! You see those around for $200 or so!!" But he said it suited me well and its a lovely purchase. I was happy with it too, though I'm sure if I ever head my way over to Nepal it'd be much much cheaper. Mum got me a lovely eagle pendant that she thought was unique, and I really like it!



It was getting cold so mum wanted some tea. We strolled into the first 'coffee shop' that mum just went into before I could tell her that its not really a 'coffee shop.' I found her in there asking the man, "Does 'haze' mean coffee??" and he's like, "You want marijuana??"



And I'm like, "Mum this is the special plant shops I was telling you about…" Haha it finally hit her and she's like SORRY SORRY! Hahaha the man laughed at us as we ran out. We found a cafe that served coffee and a whole range of teas, it seemed normal. We looked through all the teas and couldn't decide on one. Mum finally told the man, you chose! He went to go for some Jasmine tea when mum said, "Oh no we'll take this one!! Earl Grey Green!"



He was trying to convince us that the Jasmine tea was probably better because there's less spices and herbs in there but mum said she felt like Earl Grey. Yeah it didn't taste like Earl Grey at all. We thought that maybe it was a combination of Earl Grey and Green tea but the taste was still strange and strong. We said thank you to the man that was trying to explain something but we didn't understand.



The caffeine hit me first but that soon lulled over as the hit from the green kicked in. That's when mum said, "OH I FEEL SO FUNNY!" I won't go into details but I guess we got to try Amsterdam's finest. Its even funnier that mum got to try it haha. I'll use her words, "So relaxing and dizzy but not really dizzy. Like you're off balance, maybe like walking on clouds."



We had awesome lunch. I had this amazing chicken truffle cream sauce with rice and cucumber dressed with wasabi yoghurt as the side. Forgot what mum had, I was so into mine!

I thought this lady was gonna scream, "NO PHOTOS" so I took it quickly but she ended up striking a pose and I missed it :(

Strangest frog statue ever

After that we strolled over to 'de negen straatjes' (the nine little streets) where there are… nine little streets with boutiques and small shops untouched by the big chains. Mum got herself some leather goodies, I also hunted in vintage shops and got a dress that MUM actually found. Their vintage shops are way better than Australia. I tried on a cute black velvet dress as well but when I went to take it off the zip wouldn't budge so I was hyperventilating and freaking out that I'd never get outta the thing.
He stared at me like that for like the 30 minutes that I was in his area hahahhaa

CRANE ON A SMALL BOAT!


I was too scared to call mum for help because the fitting rooms are buzzing with people waiting to try on their finds so I just went to take it off slowly. I looked like an umbrella that had been inverted in the storm. Can you picture that? Yeah, I was so scared I'd never get outta that. Mind you, cute dress but I didn't get it.



We looked at House boats of all shapes and sizes then found ourselves passed the Westen Tower then finally to Anne Frank House. We have all heard of her right? Mum didn't know who she was so incase you don't, she was a little Jewish girl that hid with her family and 4 other fellow Jews in the back of their factory business called a 'Secret Annexe' its a small home that's established at the back and it was perfect for hiding in as this one was hidden from the eyes of all four neighbouring buildings in a quadrangle.



Anyway, they successfully hid for 2 years until they were anonymously dobbed on and the Nazis came and whisked everyone away. Only her father, Otto Frank survived. His friends had gathered a few of the belongings that were left (most were taken to give to German war families). One of those few items was Anne Frank's diary, her father piled up selected parts into a book.



It was going to be threatened by developers but a newspaper campaigned for it to be kept and they were successful. Otto established an Anne Frank fund and managed to buy next door no. 265. Sad story, really.



I didn't get to go to the museum. The line was so long and it wasn't budging at all so we left.



We went about the city area, Spui and Dam then went back to our hotel area. We flustered about trying to find the post office to send off some packages and then enjoyed some fresh juice. Dutch people are the nicest so far. They're really friendly and English is like their second language! On our way home mum was like, "ALL THESE COFFEE SHOPS ARE NOT REALLY COFFEE SHOPS, ARE THEY? I CAN SMELL IT!!"



1 comments:

lalaaaanita said...

I had a terrible day and managed to laugh the whole way through this post :)