Holland; Red light district, peepshow, beer and good company
Once Upon a Saga:
I arrived in Amsterdam only to be greeted by 204cm Ruud who drove me away on his push bike
I had barely crossed over the border from Germany and into Holland before I saw the first canals and windmills. Holland is no stranger to me as I did some work in The Hague a few years ago. We were drilling a few geothermal wells and I coordinated the logistics for a while. That was actually my first job after I became independent.
The train entered Amsterdam station and I got out to meet with Ruud who said he would come and get me. Ruud was to be my host through couchsurfing and I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. He towered over me with his 204cm, his hair was true ginger and his smile and laugh was constantly present. This was already good!
We walked over to his bike and as if it was the most normal thing in the world he invited me to jump onto the back. I wasn't sure that this was going to work but he was quite confident and lifted my massive and heavy duffel bag up and placed it on the front of the bike. I slowly got on the back and he started to venture into traffic. It was a laugh and I did a video which I for some reason or the other cannot upload to YouTube tonight. But I will have it done soonest possible. Also I will update the pictures folder for you all.
We arrived at Ruuds place after hitting a few pedestrians with the duffel bag. Inside the apartment we found Fabiane and Dirk waiting. Ruud did not know them but they were friends of a friend so they were also welcome. Can you believe it...because they knew I was coming we had risotto with Danish blue cheese. How classy is that. And it tasted great.
I was the oldest of the lot and it was Friday night so that meant beer. I have not had beer for a long time and 1 beer alone can make me a bit tipsy. 3 will get me drunk and I had 5. We hit Amsterdam Red Light district first. I had to borrow a jacket from Ruud because the Red Cross Emblem doesn't really go well with that concept. Oh, I forgot...another friend, Henrik, showed up and joined us. Fabiane had never been to Holland so that meant peep show (for everyone for some reason). Euro 2,- will buy you a 2 minute window to look at a naked woman spin around on a rotating madras. Not so much my style and when the spinning woman looked me directly in the eyes I felt shy and bad at the same time. Now I am a part of the industry. Oh no.
Headed out of the district and passed hundreds of half naked women who were standing in store windows waving us in like sirens. How can something like this still exists in a modern city? It is like something out of a strange dream. You almost don't believe it as it is so surreal.
While walking the streets Dirk and Rudd would give a small guided tour of the architecture and special sites.
I had some more beer and then around 3am it was time for this old man to get some shut eye.
I woke up early for whatever unfair reason and found that the water in the shower was ice old. That will get you up!! I parted with Fabiane, Dirk and Ruud after having a great time and found my way to Amsterdam station. 3 trains later I had arrived to Brussels in Belgium after spending a little more than 24 hrs in Holland.
I figure that I will come back to these countries some day on a motorcycle and see some more of the countryside. But for now I am just marching forward. I have not seen the sun for days and the rain keeps pouring down. I even lost my hat one time today when the wind took it. Wind and rain - great. I guess I am getting ready for the UK ;)