Archive | January, 2012

January 28, 2012

28 Jan

Well it’s been a month since the holidays and I’m finally getting around to blogging about my interesting/amazing trip to Amsterdam and Istanbul over Christmas and New Year’s.

Every year my company gives us the entire week off between Christmas and New Year’s, so naturally I go somewhere that’s the opposite of home since obviously I’d rather spend $500 to go somewhere awesome than spend it to go home to Dallas.  Last year I went back to Rio by myself, but this year friends M&W were up for some international love as well – so after brainstorming a few warm vacation spots that made sense like Belize and the Caribbean, we somehow ended up deciding to go somewhere totally not beachy like Istanbul.  Since M&W actually care about quality family time for the holidays, our Istanbul trip was to start post-Christmas and go through New Year’s.  I, however, wasn’t about to waste Dec 24, 25, 26 just sitting around jerking off by myself, so I decided that this year I would spend Christmas by myself in Amsterdam, a sensible choice since they’re not uber Christian and they party all year long, unlike somewhere like Greece where the entire country shuts down for Jesus.

After taking an overnight flight, I arrived in Amsterdam on Christmas morning, excited to start my Christmas day stoned alone and visiting Jewish places like the Anne Frank Huis.  After reading several websites talking about how Amsterdam for Christmas gets “so lively” and there are “numerous Christmas markets open for tourists,” I was a bit caught off guard to find literally no one in the streets on this dreary Christmas morning until well past noon, when maybe a few people started showing their faces in the streets and I guess there was one stand in one of the squares selling hot chocolate.  So on my first day, I just ended up aimlessly wandering the streets of Amsterdam, eating a rum raisin pancake and getting drunk off that for breakfast (which was actually really amazing), eating some Dutch fries, poffertjes and bitterballen throughout the afternoon, then doing things I hated like going to museums because those were the only things open.

Rum Raisin Pancake

Dutch Fries

Poffertjes

Bitterballen aka fried mashed potatoes and gravy

After a day filled with staring at art I didn’t give a shit about at Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum and not being impressed, followed by visiting the Anne Frank Huis (which I did in fact find fascinating, reinforcing my love for Judaism over Christianity), I had planned to meet a friend’s friends at a bar called Durty Nelly in the Red Light District for a nice Christmas dinner.  The dinner was, in fact, very nice, especially after hitting up a few coffeeshops, where you can just walk in and order any kind of weed or hash or pre-rolled joint you want.  Here was my Christmas dinner, and my Christmas pot menu.

Christmas Dinner

Coffee Shop

Day 2 was a little better once I decided the kind of museum I needed to visit was somewhere like House of Bols, which is a museum showcasing the history of Bols, the #1 brand of jenever liquor.  Jenever is a junipery gin-like liquor, which I thought would be disgusting since gin is my least favorite liquor, but it’s actually really good.  I absolutely loved this museum – there was a taste testing station, a scent tasting station, and then at the end of the self-guided tour, you’re led into a bar where you can choose your own Bols cocktail that the bartender will shake up for you,  and you also get two shots of any flavor Bols you want to taste.  Given my love for Disney, I picked the Little Mermaid as my Bols cocktail, and Lychee Bols and Yoghurt Bols as my two shots.  They were all maybe the best gin drinks I’d ever had in my life.  The Yoghurt Bols sounded repulsive, but one sip and I was hooked.  It tasted just like really fresh drinkable yogurt injected with booze.  If I actually ate breakfast, this is what I would want to have every morning with my cereal.

Little Mermaid

After I got a nice buzz going after my morning museum trip, I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city, got high by myself again at a different coffeeshop, then enjoyed some great Indonesian rijsttafel (rice table), which is a must-do in Amsterdam.  I was starving (duh) so I ordered the rijsttafel for myself, but got turned down by the waiter who told me that dish was “for two people only, too big for one person.”  I glared at him, told him “that’s what she said,” “does it look like I have someone else with me,” and then demanded he bring me the fucking rice dish because I can most certainly eat for two people.  I sure showed him.

Before

After

On Day 3 I continued my trend of visiting alcoholic museums only and spent the morning at the Heineken Brewery, which is an interactive museum where you learn all about the history of Heineken, go on a simulation ride where you experience what it’s like to be brewed like beer, then end the self-guided tour with the freshest glass of Heineken I’ve ever had in my life.

Heineken

I loved it all.  I ended my Amsterdam trip at the Pancake Bakery with a delicious split pea soup with huge slices of bacon and an Egyptian-style pancake with minced lamb inside.

Split Pea Soup with Bacon

Egyptian-style Pancake with Lamb

Now on to Istanbul to go meet M&W.  Little did I know my next 6 consecutive days would also be filled with lamb.

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