Amsterdam! Amsterdam is Las Vegas’ wild cousin. While I was only in Amsterdam a mere 16 hours, I attempted to fit in as much as you possibly could. I had taken a train from Berlin to Amsterdam with my travel teammates Big Tex and Lil’ Momma arriving in Amsterdam at the Central Train Station, just before dusk. Walking out of the train station you get a good sense that this is truly a city that never sleeps. The first thing I noticed is bikes. Bikes were lined up as far as the eye could see, thousands and thousands of bikes. The city was a bustling with people, people were in cars, people were biking, and people were on trams, trains and buses. It was a very active city, and all I could think of was how busy it was for a Wednesday.
We began the search for our hostel where we had reserved a room for the evening. Unsure if we would need a room, at least we would have a place to put our backpack’s and toiletry items for those who brought such items. Now let me explain that preceding sentence to you. We were only going to be in Amsterdam for 16 hours so I brought an extra shirt, my camera and a bottle of water. I did not bring any extra clothes, besides my extra shirt (which was a “nice” shirt, in case we decided to go some place classy like a live sex show with an all you can eat buffet in the red light district). No deodorant, no toothbrush, no toothpaste, really no hygiene items at all. I was wearing my typical travel outfit which consist of jeans, a t-shirt, a fleece top, and a pair of brand new chucks (that were a size 14, but you should know that I wear a size 15).
After wandering around and finding our way through the maze of streets and canals we were able to find our hostel: The Hotel Sphinx. This was my first stay at a hostel and let me tell you, I was impressed!!! We got a lovely basement room, with no windows, a broken table, a double bed that Big Tex, Lil’ Momma and myself had the pleasure of sharing, a 13 inch black and white television and a back door that opened to a mysterious junk yard. After exploring our room and freshening up, we hit the town to grab some grub and take in some nightlife, culture and activities.
After leaving the hostel I remember we ate dinner at a pub and past that my memory fades….I may want to run for political office one day people! But what I do remember is a certain feeling, a feeling of pain, a pain that was radiating through my feet. My brand new pair of Chuck Taylor Converse size 14 were eating into my size 15 feet. The pain got worse and worse. After wandering around the city for 6 or 7 hours we stopped at a little sidewalk café to have a beer. I finally had a chance to rest my feet. The café was almost totally empty, our waitress came to take our order. In the meantime, while she went to grab our cocktails I decided to pull a empty seat in front of me and prop my feet up in the chair. The waitress came back and set down my beer and told me that I needed to remove my feet from that chair, that this was rude and was considered dirty to put your feet on a chair in public…..I was unaware of this social etiquette. So my first travel tip for Amsterdam is do not put your feet where someone might sit as it is considered rude, but by all means visit a prostitute, take in a live sex show and do some drugs. I really do love this city!!!
After my social faux pas it was in the wee hours of the morning so we decided to head back to The Hotel Sphinx and freshen up and sleep for an hour or so. As Big Tex and Lil’ Momma were walking I started falling further behind, my feet were killing me, I now had a noticeable limp. I stopped quickly to untie my shoes and loosen the laces thinking that would provide some much needed relief, but I was wrong. We continued to walk and it was a solid twenty minutes before we finally made it back to our room. We came in the room and I unleashed the iron claws from around my feet, only to find a bloody sock. My shoes had rubbed my toes so bad that they had begun to bleed. My feet were so sweaty, from my shoes being so tight, that the sweat smell was unbearable. My travel teammates ask that I put my shoes back on, but I couldn’t, the pain was too much. Travel tip number two, always wear comfortable shoes. Even tough I’m a travel veteran. I made a rookie mistake. I went for something that looked cool and not comfortable. But let’s face it, when you have the opportunity to go to a live sex show with an all you can eat buffet, you got to look cool.
So if you are in the market for a good pair of size 14 Converse, let me know. I have a pair that is like new and only worn once!