HEY AMSTERDAM, I DIDNT LIKE YOU! CAN I GO BACK TO BARCELONA NOW?

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

 

Linda Hartley and I wait for the connecting train at Sloterdijk for Schiphol Airport reminiscing over our weekend. There were no drugs, no one was intoxicated and there were no incredible restaurants for me to brag about. Yet, a surreal thing happened along the way- I burned through 500euros on essentially nothing within three days. This does not include airfares, accommodation and transfers- that 500 was my petty cash, to have a good time- Live a little as I would say. No bag snatch incidents either, it was all spent legitimately.

Dok Linda i ja cekamo vlak za Schiphol aerodrom, prisjecamo se našeg vikenda. Nije bilo droge, nitko nije bio pod utjecajem alkohola a ni nema restorana kojeg bi mogla pohvaliti. Ipak, sam potrošila 500€ za tri dana na ništa. To ne uključuje karte, smještaj i prijevoz – 500€ za dobar provod i uživanje. I što je dobro, nije bilo krađe. Tri dana smo izbjegavali bicikliste i jeli Gauda sir.

It was three days of dodging cyclists and eating gouda cheese samples. People are not joking when they tell you to watch out for the cycling lane, cyclists are more dangerous than cars and they will run you over with no remorse. It’s not that Amsterdam isn’t a beautiful city to wander around in, its picturesque and the Dutch are much nicer than their German neighbours. I just did not connect with the city, much like my time in Berlin. I don’t think this end of Europe is for me and I find myself more prone to love softer cities like Budapest.

Ljudi se ne sale kad kazu da trebas pazit kad hodas na biciklistickoj stazi, biciklisti su opasniji od vozaca automobila oni ce te pregazit. Nemogu reći da Amsterdam nije lijep grad i nizozemci su ljubazniji od svojih njemačkih susjeda. Samo se nisam toliko povezala sa gradom kao npr. sa Berlinom. Mislim da zapadna Europa nije za mene, više volim nježnije gradove poput Budimpešte. Čak smo imali i osobnog vodiča, lokalnog i poznatog DJ-a koji nas podučavo o mjestima i stvarima koje trebamo izbjegavati: da ne kupujemo kokain, tamo je “serija” koja ide okolo, a zapravo je heroin, da ne idemo na krstarenje kanalom jel je to gubitak novaca. Mi smo završili na takvom krstarenju a ništa nismo o gradu naučili, a sljedeći dan pjesacenjem od 3h naučili smo sve.

My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them.
Terry Pratchett

We even had a personal tour guide, a local and well-known Dj, educating us about the places to be seen and things to avoid ie. Don’t buy cocaine, there’s a batch going around that’s actually heroin and don’t go on the canal cruise, it’s a waste of money. We ended up doing one of those canal cruises, learning nothing about the city, resulting in a 3 hour walking tour the following day and learning everything.

You’d be shocked to hear that The Red Light District is actually a posh neighbourhood by day and British invasion by night. Is it as seedy and unsafe as people assume? No. Infact, I never felt unsafe in the city. Linda and I also did a walking tour of The Red Light District on Saturday night and paid 2euros to perve on a couple in a peep show. Don’t even judge us, when in Amsterdam…

Bili bi sokirani kad cujete da je Red Light Districkt zapravo otmjeno susjedstvo danju, a britanska invazija nocu. Nesigurno je kao sto ljudi misle? Ne, zapravo se nikad nisam osjecala nesigurno u gradu. U subotu navečer, Linda i ja smo pješice obišle tzv. Red Light District (dio poznat po prostituciji, sex-klubovima i erotskom kazalistu). Tamo smo platile 2 eura te kroz staklo gledale par koji je izvodio sex show. Nemojte nas osuđivati, to je ipak Amsterdam.

On the other hand, the nightlife is exactly what you’d expect- loose. Jimmy Woo is as posh as it gets in Amsterdam, internationally priding themselves on their strict door policy. Luckily we found ourselves on the guestlist, skipping the extensive line and walking straight through with the Dj… into a room full of predominately men. Unlike at Opium in Barcelona, they don’t attack you which is actually refreshing. On saturday, we had a quick drink at Escape Bar & Lounge, downstairs to the famous Escape Club that many people recommended. The Lounge area was relatively nice, overlooking Rembrandt Square and depicting everything you’d expect to see on a Saturday night in Amsterdam. We then kicked onto Bar Italia which was a cooler and older crowd. If you’re a smoker, this is your heaven as you are allowed to smoke inside, if you’re like me- there’s nothing you can do but forget the fact you’re in Europe and this is normal. Also, a visit to the toilet will cost you 50cents, so make sure you have those coins handy.

S druge strane, noćni život je labav. Jimmy Woo je otmjen čim dođe u Amsterdam i na sreću smo se našli na popisu gostiju tako smo izbjegli red, prolazeći sa DJ-om došli smo u sobu punu muškaraca. Za razliku od narkomana u Barceloni oni ne napadaju, sto je zapravo dobro. U subotu smo ošli na jedno brzo piće u Escape Bar & Lounge, dolje u poznatom Escape Clubu kojeg su nam mnogi ljudi preporučili. Područje Lounge je relativno lijepo s pogledom na Rembrandt Square i pokazuje sve što ocekujete vidjeti subotom navecer u Amsterdamu. Zatim smo ošli u Italia Bar gdje većinom budu stariji ljudi. Ako ste pušač onda je to vaš raj, jel je pušenje dozvoljeno unutri a ako ste poput mene, nemate šta tamo radit ali to je normalno ipak smo u Europi. Također, WC će vas koštat 50centa, tako da provjerite jel imate sitniše u džepu.

So, we went to Nyx afterwards- a 70% gay and 30% try your luck crowd at around 4am. The first floor (there are 3 levels) is a dealer’s paradise but I can only assume that people come prepared. I couldn’t pick a more perfect night to ruin Adriana Kupresak, Amsterdam my Saint Laurent ankle boots and scar them for life. Nyx is dirt fun. At 6am, my feet are screaming at me and the room continues to fill with party animals, the music is deeper and progressive house. Nyx reminds me of  The Spice Cellar in Sydney. The room is smokey and the minds are smacking out but I love the fact, everyone is here only for the music.

Dakle, kasnije smo ošli u Nyx gdje ih je 70% homoseksualaca i 30% ljudi koji su došli okusit svoju sreću. Na prvom katu (postoje 3) je raj dilera, i mogu samo pretpostaviti da ljudi dolaze pripremljeni. Nisam mogla izabrat savršeniju večer da uništim totalno svoje Saint Laurent gležnjače. Nyx je prljavo zabavan klub-poput sexa koju bi vam majka zabranila, ali u tajnosti bi uzivala u njemu. U 6 ujutro, noge već vriste od bolova, a prostor se i dalje popunjava luđacima željnih partyja. Svira deep house glazba. Nyx me podsjeca na klub Spice u Sydneyju: pun dima, svi su u deliriju i ono sto me obara s nogu: svi su tu samo zbog glazbe.

Sex, drugs & Dirty Dutch Boys– How could I not love Amsterdam? I’m going to say it, you’re not going to like it- I think I’m growing up and what once excited my bloodstream, now leaves me pondering on my luck and fate. Amsterdam is a city for the loud, loose and wild bender weekend- Six years ago, I would have embraced all that the city has to offer but now, I can appreciate it’s character/s from afar.

Canals in Amsterdam

Seks, droga i nizozemski dečki – kako da ne volim Amsterdam? Reci cu, ne ides zato da ga volis. Mislim da sam odrasla i ono sto je nekoć uzbudivalo moj krvotok sada me baca na razmisljanje o mojoj sreći i sudbini. Amsterdam je grad za glasne, razuzdane, pijane vikende. Još šest godina prije, prigrlila bih sve sto grad ima za ponuditi, no sada mogu cijeniti njegove karakteristike i izdaleka.

amsterdamcover

 

 

Amsterdam may love me but I certainly didn’t love Amsterdam. Will I give it another chance? Potentially, just not in a hurry. What have your experiences with Amsterdam been like? Leave your comments below.

 

 

 

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