Saturday, August 7, 2010

Amsterdam days 1 and 2

Amsterdam is a city that is as much fun as I think a European city can be. Which in others words means it's fantastic! I've been here for only a few relaxing days, but I'm glad I came, there is tons to do and see, as well as a lot of relaxing places to sit and just chill out.

The first night we got in from Trier we stopped at Schypol Airport where our hotel was, a place called Citizen M. When Sherry was making the reservations for it all of us were raising eyebrows about the strange placement of the shower and toilet in each room. Mainly that it was a glass cylinder in the middle of the room with a sunflower shower head and changing lights. 

Amsterdam was ridiculously full during the time we needed to get a room, so it basically looked like the only available option. We went along with it hoping it wouldn't be too weird. 

When we got to Schypol and exited the airport we walked into Citizen M just down the road. When you first walk in your surrounded by slightly disorienting red tinted glass and then you come to the check in computer kiosks where a representative takes you through the rather inefficient method of signing yourself into the Hotel. Then they give you your room cards and point you down the black, white and red hallway toward the very rectangular elevators that take you up to your floor. 

You simply press the keycard over the door handles sensor pad to unlock door and then you step into a very tiny, very odd room. The toilet is inset slightly into the wall and wrapped in a shield of fogged glass, and the shower is slightly up and to the right of the toilet in unfogged glass! Both have strange rave-like area lights above them that sort of beam down a colored fog of light. The best thing about these lights, you can change them with a universal remote for the room while someone is peeing or taking a shower, much laughter ensues. 

The bed is by the huge shaded window and also inset into the room, and huge! It was also a dream to sleep on, I kind of want one like it. 

The universal remote controls the TV, lights, shades over the windows, and the rooms tempurature. It was a totally different world compared to the hostels that I am so used to now. And I can say that having air conditioning was really wonderful. It's something I will never take for granted again. 

If anything I'd say that Citizen M is the most charming and in your face modern hotel I have been to. Despite the somewhat awkward lack of privacy, fast Internet and free movies plus all the sparkly electronics made my stay there worth it. Well that and Alison, but that's just a given because she exists and is somewhere nearby to where I exist. This often equals a good amount of fun and laughing, which we both agree is a good currency to exchange between us.

The next day Alison and I went to the Sex Museum in Amsterdam to see if it was worth it. It was slightly skeezy and a little more like an amusement park in some ways rather then a museum, but there were some really cool pieces of ancient sculpture and art in there. You just had to keep walking past all the pornographic photos and pretend that you were maybe learning something.

We then went to a coffeehouse and... well... had coffee, yes..... coffee. Nothing illegal and yet readily available was ingested! Stop looking at me like that! Okay, I'm a bad liar, but it's something you do in Amsterdam, and pot is pretty fun on occasion to me. How many times in your life do you get to get high and then go chill out in a park with a bunch of other publically high people? Not many says I! When opportunity knocks, you answer. 

We walked around for a while before heading to the park and grabbed some food and just relaxed. 

At the park Ali and I relaxed and did some drawing. There were plenty of worthy subjects, but the most worthy of all was what I think was a great blue heron that once I started taking pictures of it, coasted down and landed very very near to Ali and I as we chilled out in the park. I filmed it for quite a long time and then did some quick drawings until it scampered off again a little later. It then reappeared sometime later on a favored roost on a nearby tree, which I then used to do more sketching. 

We were going to go to the torture museum, but sitting in the park pretty much won out on fun. We heard and saw a number of people there on their guitars singing English songs, and a bunch of people simply relaxing in the park. 

Today I'm staying temporarily in Dem Haag, and tomorrow I will be going to Leiden to stay on the beach at a Hostel that Ali reccomended called The Flying Pig! I'm excited to basically just go there and get some good sketching and relaxing done, as well as do a few touristy things in Amsterdam itself.


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