Sin City


The capital of mad young tourists, greets me after sunset. It is seven o’clock Friday evening. People are out and their desire to party later is written on their foreheads. Bicycles, people, more bicycles, crowd. “Hello Amsterdam! I have heard a lot about you.”

The modern, out of the ordinary, buildings are injected into the falling behind the times classic houses and the authentic historical establishments, but I am distracted by the spider web of canals, which amazes and involves me watching the play of the coming night lights. The bright blue, orange and yellow glows reflect in the water, making the most frisky rainbow I have ever seen. The red is exceptional here, bringing amorous smell from the exhibition windows of the public houses. No boundaries, no tension, but freedom. The vibes are good, the atmosphere fresh and the pace, coming from the unstoppable bikes around, convey you to an alternative world. This magnetic environment does not let you alone even in the underground. Every train is painted inside and you can discover masterpieces such as provocative red lipstick talking to a full of honey jar about the posh brown leather suitcase next to them. It is funny and catching, perfectly suited for the people who want to feel the spontaneous energy that the area brings.

It is half past seven and we are ready to try one of the bizarre things that the city suggests. I have always been wondering of people visiting Amsterdam with no curiosity to legally try the pot. While walking, we pass by small shops – some of them selling cheese, others – bongs, but both types have a multicoloured windows attracting the eye from a distance. We reach the Coffee shop. “No smoking” welcomes us. It is a small dimmed but overcrowded place. The costumers are situated in groups – there is a gang of five young clearly open-minded guys; one of three middle-aged men, who are behaving like they are having the best experience ever; and, of course, tourists like us, teased to dive into the surrounding atmosphere. Everyone is fulfilled, relaxed and enjoys his drink accompanied by a smoke, or two, or three. “Only weed”. Now it makes sense. Every sort of weed has different name which provokes you to taste it – “NYC Diesel Confidential”, “King Kong Bud”, “AK 47” and the more popular “Amnesia Haze”, “Purple Haze” and “Lemon Haze”. There are around twenty sorts, which I find with no obvious difference between. Moreover, if you are not in the mood to smoke you can try the “green” lollipops or the gluten free chocolate “space” brownies that can “make you laugh until you die”.

However, what sends us to the dark side is the meal we enjoy after the experience in the Coffee shop. A small snack bar on the road with two lovely ladies serving it is the place where we commit our eating crime. Although it has only four tables, it is a place where you are likely to eat well without the additional hustle and bustle of the restaurants. It is completely empty and both women seemed to be our grannies with the greatest aim to  perfectly feed us with their specialties. We find ourselves sitting in a round table full with plates and a special homemade lemonade made by freshly squeezed lemons in a pitcher. All smells tempting, so does it look. We start with crunchy but melting in your mouth waffles with liquefactive chocolate; continue with doughnuts with strawberry mascarpone cream inside and tiny sugar canes on the top; and leave the soft thin pancakes with blueberry and raspberry jam for the end. I am just done touching my bulging tummy, while my head is screaming: “Gosh, Amsterdam, I am in love with you.”


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