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January 19, 2010


Greeting from Amsterdam! Or as the locals say it, "Greetings from Amsterdam"... because almost everyone speaks English here... as well as 3-4 other languages.... this is a really long title... just when you think it'll stop I include another... come on!

I landed in Schiphol/Amsterdam at 7am Monday morning. Nothing very interesting happened to me on the flight over. I could't see the ocean, I got some free food, watched some flicks and got a "free" blanket. It felt bizarre when I landed because everyone was getting their day started and I just went 6 hours into the future. The future says hi by the way.

I tried to take a train out of the airport to my final destination - 44 Voorburgstraat, but after trial and error'n twice I just grabbed a cab. After I let go of the cab the driver agreed to give me a ride home. All of the cabs are squeaky clean mercedes benz's that look fresh off the lot. I felt like a Canadian pimp riding in the back of that thing. All I needed to complete the picture was a denim tuxedo and two shaved beavers. But I digress...

I finally arrived at the last stop of this advetcha around 7:45am. I set up shop, sent an "I've arrived" email out to the fam jam, washed up, g'd up from tha feet up, and stepped out into the foggy Amsterdammit! morning. I walked down the canal on the West side of the apt building and that's when I noticed something was strange in Amsterdam. No one picks up their dog's poop here. They train their dogs to poop off to the side somewhere or at the base of some tree and then just let nature run it's course. The trees seem to be doing pretty darn good for themselves too. There are so many different species of trees and they're all covered in fuzzy green stuff. They look like trees that have been taking a lot of performance enhancing drugs over their careers.. as trees...

This whole city smells like Wolsley during the summer time. And by that I mean it smells like burnt marijuanna, to put it bluntly (to put it pun-ly). The official law is that you can buy up to 5 grams at a time from a licenced venue and you can possess up to 30 grams. I think that sounds pretty fair. The group mentality of the general public is enough to keep it under control. You don't need a law to tell you to not light up around children or at a busy place. You just need common sense and a few lingering shreds of decency. And if you don't have that you'll get enough Dutch gangsta grillz to never even think of doing it twice.

The pot here is the same as the good weed you can get anywhere else I'm sure. The only difference is the vendor will sell you the weed, a drink and throw in some free papers and filters on top of that.  And you don't have to pretend to be his friend while watching him beat one last level of Call of Doody. The only time I've endulged thus far was at a coffeeshop that looked like it was run by educated hip hop enthusiasts. The guy running the counter was wearing a set of gold teeth and sounded American. Once I made my selection I walked up a spiral staircase to a room with a large black leather sectional, two flat screen tv's and a few small, circular chairs that sorta looked like the shape of an upright cigarette butt with a cushion on top. Maybe that was the idea...

I sat down on the sectional next to a laid back Aussie and two sour Brits. We talked about football, where we're from, places in Europe to travel and comedies. The two sour Brits recanted a pleasant little story about walking down the Red Light District and getting flashed by a tranny. And I don't mean a top shelf flashing. Talkin' 'bout the nuts n' bolt here. After about 45min I said my goodbyes with these friendly strangers and went back to getting lost.

One of my favourite things about Amsterdam is you can get lost for as long as you want and all you have to do to get back on track is find one of the many bus/tram/street car stops. I got lost all day Monday until my legs were too sore to continue walking. Then I got lost some more. It was awesome.

As a result of travelling for 15 hours and then walking around for another 5 hours (in newly uncomfortable shoes) I fell asleep around 7pm. I woke up at 2am and stayed awake until 5am. Went back to sleep and didn't wake up until 6pm. My sleeping patterns are a little more than a little fucked up. I'm hoping to go for a bike ride around vondelpark tonight and then try to find the comedy club my tourist guide to Amsterdam book told me about. Ciao for now

... Oh no! I'm becoming one of those peoples that visits a different country and then uses words like "Ciao" to sound travelled!...