I spent the remainder of last week pretty much just relaxing - eating, going to the movies, watching Game of Thrones, and hanging out with friends. Sid, Brandon, Hong Kee, Lindsey, and Nate took me to a typical Dutch bar/disco Friday night and bought me Dutch beers as well as a very interesting drink called Flugel that comes in a tiny bottle. It tasted like candy and I highly recommend it. It's rare that alchy tastes good enough for me to not have to chase it down with a large soda. We left fairly early to go back to the apartment to watch more Game of Thrones. However, since it was a Friday night, we made a game out of it. For every gory scene, nudity, and the line "Winter is coming." we had to drink. If you've ever watched Game of Thrones, the show is nothing but gore, nudity, and winter.
Over the weekend, Sid, Brandon, and I spent it over in Amsterdam. We got to see Jerry and Anna, a couple other friends we had met during my stint in Shanghai 3 years ago. Congrats to the newly engaged couple!
So Amsterdam is a city filled with museums, beautiful architecture, and coffee shops. Now, coffee shops in the U.S. usually mean a cafe or Starbucks. Not in Amsterdam. Coffee shops are where you go to get your weed brownies and joints, and there are as plentiful as Starbucks in the Bay Area. There is also the red light district. I now know why those areas are called red light districts. In Amsterdam, prostitutes are displayed through glass doors and above the doors are red lights. There are also blue lights. The prostitutes under those are transgender. I guess they vary the options to cater to their international clientele. While we were walking around that area, I saw a Chinese tour group consisting of old Chinese men and married couples. I really hope my tour guide didn't take the remaining half of the group to the red light district..though I wouldn't put it past him.
Other activities in Amsterdam included the canal cruise, paddle boating, and the Van Gogh museum. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get into the Anne Frank house. The tickets can be bought online, but are sold out for days. If I ever go back to Amsterdam, I will definitely buy tickets a week in advance.
It feels like I've been in the Netherlands for ages now and that I've become part of Sid and Brandon's household. I'm like Owen Wilson in Me, You, and Dupree, except not as annoying and my stay not as indefinite. I'm so happy that I was able to get to see everyone. When I left Shanghai 3 years ago, it was sad because I didn't know when I would be able to see the people that had become some of my closest friends. 3 years later, I've been able to attend Sid's wedding, and this trip will have been the 3rd time I've seen her. That averages out to once a year. Not bad!
Thanks Sid and Brandon for being such great hosts, and thank you to Lindsey and Hong Kee for taking me around as well! You guys always have a place to stay with me wherever I may be in the States. :)
|Horsedrawn carriage in Amsterdam|
|Paddle boating in Amsterdam|
|More paddle boating|
|The cat pose inspired by the Japanese|
|Break dancers in Amsterdam|
|Nate fell asleep playing the drinking game of Game of Thrones. He doesn't look too happy about being woken up. HAha|
|Anna, me, and Sid|
|Brandon and I overlooking one of the many canals in Amsterdam|
|Sidney focusing on pedaling and Brandon focusing on steering (the paddleboat)|
|The historical museum in Rotterdam|
|Amsterdam Centraal train station|
|Seeing lots of gore and nudity on Game of Thrones|
|Brandon's natural face|
|Roaming Amsterdam at night|
|Sid and Nate the disco/bar|
|"Burger Bitch" Not sure why it's named that.|
|ALMOST better than In n' Out.|
|Matt and Anna. We're at a "coffee shop"|
|Most of Amsterdam looks like this. So pretty!|
|Butt plug. It's actually supposed to be a Christmas tree but no one calls it that in Rotterdam.|
|I got his hand! MWAHAHAH|
|I got a gold tooth. :D|
|Enjoying the park in Amsterdam.|
|Me, Lindsey, and Hong Kee.|
|Matt, Jerry, and Anna|
|Enjoying pie and coffee on a nice afternoon in Rotterdam.|
|Storm's a comin'|
|Outside the Red Light District|
|Napping at the park in Amsterdam.|
|Listening intently to a video about Rotterdam history.|
|Burger joint in Amsterdam. We came here after eating dinner...at the restaurant across the street.|
|the game of Game of Thrones!|
|Nate and Geana|
|There was a family section in the historical museum in Rotterdam. They had a kiddy table where you could draw your family. I drew my Dutch family. :)|