The World: An (an almost) endless frontier.
These are the adventures of a lone vagabond. She is on a lifelong mission—to seek out new cultures and ideas; to boldly go where she has not yet gone before…and maybe make a few return trips to the places she has been before but really loved.
Travel Date 11 20.15
The destination is the city of Amsterdam. The plans are last minute and the trip begins with that wonderful mix of chaos and excitement that only comes from travel.
13:00 : Language school ends and I head home to finish packing ( I attempted to pack the night before, but I got sleepy!). On the way to my room, I drop by the front desk and asked if they can call me a cab.
Me: “Konnen sie ein Taxi fur mir anrufen, bitte?”
Super nice front desk lady: “ Aber sicher. Um wie fiel uhr?”
Me: “Um 2:15 ,bitte”
Kind Maintenance Man Standing Nearby: “You mean 14: 15. If you ask for 2:15, that means very, very early morning”.
Whoops, almost ordered a cab for 2:15 am because the rest of the world uses military time. #NotFromAroundHere. But whatever, I totally had that conversation, minus that last correction, auf Deutsche and I’m feeling good about it. I head to my room and finish packing.
14:30 : I arrive at the train station. I have not actually purchased my train ticket to Frankfurt yet, but I’ve looked up the route, and I know there are multiple trains going there so I’m not worried. Until I look at the ticket buying machine…so many German words…so few that I understand. I flag down a random woman attempting to buy her own ticket and ask her for help. She doesn’t speak English, but I think I manage to convey that I need to go to Frankfurt.
She purchases a ticket for me, says something about this option saving me money, and heads off to catch her train. I thank her profusely, wait for her to round the corner, and head straight to the information desk to make sure I actually bought the right ticket.
Me: “ Hello, I must go to Frankfurt. I have bought this (waves ticket) . I don’t understand what I have bought. Can I got to Frankfurt with this.” (It’s hard to be direct speaking in another language and having only a limited vocabulary)
Ticket Lady: Why did you buy this if you what to go to Frankfurt?
Me: I don’t know. I’m confused. I must got to Frankfurt
She tells me to pay her another 8 Euro, hands me an itinerary and the correct ticket and sends me on my way.
(Fun fact : Heilbronn is a lovely town, but unfortunately the closest airport is 40 minutes away by train in Stuttgart. Even more unfortunate, the Stuttgart airport had no flights to Amsterdam, so I had to take the train to the next closest airport, Frankfurt. Hello, 2.5 hour train ride.)
15:30-18:00 : I enjoy a scenic train ride and get recommendations for places to visit in Germany from the person sitting across from me. At one point he attempts to explain to me that I can’t be full black because Obama is mixed and he’s darker than me. Okay, sir.
Eventually: I make it to the airport, catch my flight, and arrive in Amsterdam. I cab to my friend’s house and enjoy a casual evening of catching up and fall asleep early after hours of travel.
Travel Date 11 21.15 (Saturday)
Brunch Time Ish/ Later Than We Wanted to Start the Day: We head to Staring at Jacob for boozy brunch. It’s an “American Style” Brunch restaurant started by a displaced Brooklynite currently living in Amsterdam. The food is amazing and it’s boozy brunch…in Europe…can you really ask for more?
Some Time Later: We head to a local bike shop where I rent a bike, complete with bike lock and bell , until Monday morning for only 20 euro.
We hit the town and I learn a few things about Amsterdam:
- Everyone bikes everywhere.
- I’m more scared of being run over by a bike than by a car/ or getting into an accident with another bike.
- I would totally be really fit if I lived there because we logged some serious miles.
On Our Wanders: We drop in on an Amsterdam street market and I snag some awesome Christmas gifts and manage to lose a glove.
Dinner Ish Time: I discover coffee shops don’t actually sell coffee. O_O. Then we grab a quick dinner before docking our bikes and heading to the red light district.
20:00 or 21:00 ish: We head to the red light district. I’m glad I went, to say I went, but it was actually strangely uncomfortable. We walked and looked in all of the windows, but whenever I made eye contact with a woman in the window I felt like I was objectifying her.
We also discovered this “black corner” off the main drag with only black women in the windows. I was not a fan of that.
On a more amusing note, I did witness a dude actually asking a woman if she took credit cards. He was really excited and kept holding his credit card to the window—she sent him to the ATM.
22:00: We pregame with my friend’s friends and I almost die navigating the steepest pair of steps I’ve ever walked up, while wearing heels. Amsterdam has a weird love of dangerously steep steps.
We head to Jimmy Woo after and I am in heaven. I was out and hearing current hip hop and pop music in Europe with a diverse crowd. It was everything.
Travel Date 11 22.15 (Sunday)
4:00 : We leave Jimmy Woo at a time I think is ridiculously early. I then get home and realize it is actually 4 am and happily head to sleep.
13:00 We’re up and ready and leave the house to head to Foodhallen. If you’ve ever been to Chelsea Market in New York, it’s basically the Dutch version. There are food stands everywhere…and they have an underground garage for bike parking. One more time for the people in the bike: AN UNDERGROUND GARAGE FOR BIKE PARKING . When I say biking is life here, I mean it. After lunch we wander through the artist fair happening outside of the dining hall.
15:00 :I head over to the Ann Frank Museum and wait in a forty minute line in the cold. Although I do hate a line, the wait was totally worth it.
18:00 I eventually make it back to my friend’s house after briefly getting lost. I grab a train and make it to the airport just in time to catch my flight.
Travel Date 11 23.15
1:00 : I arrive home and briefly contemplate the struggle that will come tomorrow.
Did you read all of that? I’m impressed! I hope you enjoyed the recap of the amazing adventure that was Amsterdam. Check back every Wednesday for the newest adventures.