a layover in amsterdam
We boarded the plane in Atlanta about 10pm. By 2pm the next day, we were entering the Grand Amsterdam Hotel in all its 2-story, complete with bidet, glory. But more importantly, we were next door to the Greenhouse. And if you’ll recall from Vincent Vega’s and Jules Winfield’s discussion about Amsterdam, you know the importance of remembering that it’s legal, but it isn’t 100% legal. You’re only supposed to smoke in your home or certain designated places. And the Greenhouse is one such place.
But first, we had apple pancakes and beer by the canal.
Then, time for some coffee and greenery.
We picked a blend after a detailed consultation with the proprietor and a review of the options posted on a bar menu where one would find varieties of sandwiches at a deli in the States. It was called “mind eraser,” I think. Being health conscious, we opted to vaporize the plant instead of smoking it. The bar tender showed us how to pulverize the leaves, insert a few into the top of the pyramid, turn it on, let it warm up, watch the balloon fill with vapor, and then inhale its contents. Then, the magic began.
I looked up at the wall and saw several of my countrymen who’d been right where I sat.
And I heard their voices in my ears, telling me I could float. So float we did.
I saw Rembrandt, guarded by a bunch of soldiers in armor.
I saw bourbon.
I saw absinthe. And Marilyn Mason.
I howled at the moon.
Then we ate a bunch and found a speakeasy called Door 74, which was hard to find because of all the pretty colors everywhere, but it was next to Door 73, and there was a note on Door 74 saying the club entrance was the next door over, since these doors were actually residences, and then the door opened (after I knocked), and I said a certain someone sent us whose name I can no longer recall, but we’d met him at the bar where we’d had dinner a few minutes prior, and they let us in, and it was awesome.
But the colors subsided, so we returned to the Greenhouse to vaporize some more of that special blend of amnesia in the little clear plastic bag riding in my right coat pocket.
Then the colors re materialized, but their glow was red.
Photography was not permitted in this area of red lights, so I had to shoot from a distance, but in person, the bodies illuminated by red were inches away, separated only by glass like animals on exhibit at the zoo. Unlike the animals at the zoo, these creatures banged on their side of the glass and called out to me to enter their glassed cages and join their subjugation. One even escaped her glass prison, opened the door, and begged me to come inside.
Me: But…my friends will miss me! They’re right down the street. And I’m…
She: Fifty Euro. Come inside now.
Me: Fifty Euro? For what?
She: A suck and a fuck. Come. You come in now.
I felt uncomfortable. My companion thought I was actually considering this exchange and grabbed my coat sleeve to drag me away. I told him he was being ridiculous, but that I appreciated his concern for my marital well-being.
Then, it was off to a bar called De Stoof. And then it was 1am, so time to wind things down at the Cooldown Cafe, since it stayed open til 4am. I’m told it had a pole on a stage, and that my sore arms came from my tremendous (and completely unaccompanied) enjoyment of said pole during numerous musical scores, bouts of confetti raining from the ceiling, and the passing out of Santa Claus hats. Apparently, I even shot videos.
Finally, the club closed, and it was time to sleep for 2hrs before boarding a plane for Munich. Oktoberfest 2013 awaited us.