Day 22 – Amsterdam

Woke up briefly at early morning so that Mohammad could give me his email, then went back to sleep.

So after waking up a bit later I spent a lot of the day in the room updating my journal. I didn’t get too far, but I was able to leech internet off of some neglecting or generous neighbor. Eventually I realized that I should reserve a ticket for the train and I went out to make that, which was interesting since the only train that was available for Paris left at 6:56 a.m. and there was only first class available. This was a bit of an issue since I was planning on going on a pub crawl that night, and I’d probably be up for quite a while. Reserved it anyway since it was my only choice so that I could meet up with Mode and not have him wait a couple hours.

I was not going to back down on drinking on the pub crawl so instead of drinking less I decided to eat more. Seems like a good idea. So Brandon and I went to the Wok to Walk (have I ranted about this before? Yes on day 19). Had an amazing dinner/lunch, got really full, and headed off to the Pub Crawl while Brandon headed off somewhere else.

At the pub crawl I found two Canadians to talk to, and then we found two girls (one from South Africa and one from Hong Kong I think) and we chatted. And then guess who I ran into again? Daryl from Brugge! Which was a bit strange, but we were all sorts of pumped to go Party Makken (as we have termed it). The catch about the pub crawl is that if you get your free drink at every bar the price is worth it, but they keep you at those bars for an hour each, meaning you get a small drink and then you’re dry for 45 minutes. So many people are pressured into buying more drinks from the bars, which were absurdly priced. I was determined not to do that, and only took the free drinks. The pub crawl was alright, but like I kind of expected they just played pop and rap music and that kind of sucked. I danced a bit anyway, trying to rely on the drinks to remove self consciousness in dancing which is always the difficult hurdle.

The night went on, and I witnessed a true subversive fight for male dominance. The South African girl was really putting herself out onto the dance floor, and she seemed to be the only girl really worth hitting on there (there were some other cute girls, but they were fairly generic looking). So I witnessed about five different guys all taking turns dancing with her and trying to make out with her. And all of them succeeded. One after the other they all got a turn with her trying to get the others to go away. I felt sorry for her because I had been talking to her earlier and she seemed like a completely awesome and mature person, yet she got really drunk and just seemed to be going with the flow of the night. Amsterdam will be Amsterdam. And everything that happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam. (Good thing I don’t know her name). Meanwhile, at some point I found a box mostly full of cigarettes on the floor. Thinking it would come in handy, I pocketed it.

The party was ending and Daryl and I thought to go find something else to do. We walked down to the red light district and hung around. Got some food and headed back uptown to Daryl’s hostel which despite it’s curfew, he was able to get in. On the way we ran into some other folks who were just walking along, and we chatted with them. After Daryl left we walked a bit more and eventually ran into some Scottish kids I had also seen at the pub crawl. We sat on a bench somewhere and just talked a lot. One of the Scottish guys had found a bike handle, and this seeming like such an awesome souvenir, I offered to trade him two cigarettes for it. He agreed, and I now have a rubber bike handle. Awesome.

Oh speaking of trading, now that I remember… In London I found a box of matches somewhere, and one of the Estonian girls really wanted it since her mother or someone wanted a box of matched for some weird reason. She gave me in return a very nice lighter. Later in the trip, I lent this lighter to Mode and he managed to lose it. He said that he left it on my bed in Paris and I guess I missed it. Later Mode bought me a lighter from a 99 cent store and as of now (on the ferry from Civitavechia to Barcelona) it is lost again.

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