Bugs. Mosquitos. Heineken. Weed. Happiness. Those are the five words I’m going to use to describe my arrival in Amsterdam last night. As I walked out of the Amsterdam Centraal, I was absolutely blown away by the atmosphere on the street—everyone passing by seemed so completely at ease and oh so content. In comparison to the busily rushing streets of London, I had to readjust my pace. I got on the metro and met Ferran, a Londoner originally from Barcelona. He is travelling to Amsterdam for the first time and is hoping to take some awesome pictures. As we were approaching the Diemen Zuid stop, we realized that we are staying at the same hostel.
I wasn’t expecting a DJ at the hostel, but that’s what we walked into – a party. There were people hanging out, dancing, and just having fun. I went upstairs to put my stuff away in the 8 people mixed dorm. No one was there, but I was immediately disappointed by the lack of curtains around the beds. Even though my hostel in London was not nearly as nice, I could use the bathroom whenever I wanted and I didn’t have to lock eyes with the dude sleeping in the bed across from me. At the very least, the shower here is more like the one back home.
I met Ferran downstairs at the bar outside and he told me he must wake up early, something like 5 am, to take some photographs. I said “ha ha!” to that because it was already midnight and there was no way I would function. Then, I quickly met a group of girlfriends from Ireland. Joe, a Londoner, was enjoying a Heineken right next to them and so we all engaged in a lively conversation about where we are from.
With the smell of ganja filling the air, Joe pulled out the joint he purchased earlier. He said it was supposed to be rather mellow and frankly, it really was — yesterday was the best marijuana experience I’ve ever had. Joe and I really clicked and we laughed our asses off.
Not everyone speaks fluent English here. After the girls went to sleep, a Russian couple joined our table. We made conversation the best that we could and also laughed our asses off. Vlada took a picture of us and she caught me cracking up. That is the first shot I have of me genuinely laughing. This almost made me tear up because the photo is just so precious. I thanked her for it twice over. They are from St. Petersburg and they highly recommended the city. Apparently, it’s definitely budget friendly.
At the hostel in London, I haven’t had any issues sitting down in the morning and just writing away over a cappuccino. Here in Amsterdam, I am writing, meeting more friends, writing, and meeting more friends. I am not complaining about that. I love meeting new people and I’m looking forward to exploring the city later.