Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sex & drugs & rock n roll - in Amsterdam

[Mini update]: An Italian couple was caught having sex in a church confessional box while morning Mass...

This is an anecdote about a trip to Amsterdam...


I was in Amsterdam for a few days with two others some years back, two others that I'll call NorthKoreanTerrorist (NKT) and OldCat. Now many of my peers go to Amsterdam, they go to the Anne Frank Huis, other museums, have a canal ride, etc. Not my group.

Me, NKT and OldCat pretty much scoured the city for the vices - we'd already

  1. blasted through the Heineken beer factory (a tour, 3 half pints and a Heineken half pint glass souvenir for 10 EUR, very good deal)
  2. gone for a strip peepshow (1 EUR to see a bored lady waggle her ass half-heartedly, not a very good deal)
  3. and checked out the red light district (many girls and guys in flourescent underwear promising us a very good deal)
It was really surreal to see prostitution treated like any other random trade - people queuing for good deals or for quality, some really fugly ones getting none and a terrible spot, a huge bald guy coming out of a room and the girl going 'Thank you, please come again!'... list goes on and on.

So anyways, NKT then announced that it's time to go for the only vice that's left:

NKT: Let's get high.
Me: No. Drugs are bad for you.
NKT: Come on, we've seen the whores, we've done the peepshows, that crazy dude even tried to sell us heroin! It's time to do the natural.
Me: Drugs diminish your braincells.
NKT: You don't need that many anyway. Brains are overrated.
Me: Drugs are overrated.
NKT: Wimp.
Me: Alright, you're on.
OldCat: Not me, I heard that that stuff stays in your system for months and I may have a dope check before I start my new job.
Me: Come on, let's get high, you too ancient? Your wrinkled aortic system too fragile?
OldCat: F**k you, you're on.

Now, being the anal asses we are, we were insistent on getting the best bong for our buck. We went around the city centre asking for the finest and most potent stuff, and eventually ended up in a place which I forget the name, but featured an Eye, very much like the Eye you see in dollar bills (the Eye in the triangle thingamajiggie). So I'll call it the Eye.

Everything in this place was topsy-turvy, very Alice in Wonderland ish. I supposed these all make sense when you're high, I don't know.

There are actually a myriad of choices of methods when you wanna get stoned, apparently. The multiple-pierced dude behind the counter (with a knowing smile I didn't really care for much, at least at the nervous state I was anyway) rattled off the ways and effects in a very scientific manner, and here's what I remember:

1. The method most Americans like is smoking, which is the least effective and most harmful, but apparently looks the coolest. Smoking is 3 times less effective than ingesting it. EUR 2 or something like that.

2. You can eat it in a 'space cake' (also called 'funnie brownie', 'special biscuits' or some other cute phrase), of which 14 grams of marijuana have been baked into a fruit-cake, and 14 slices cut from it, giving an approximate 1 gram per slice. A proper 'dose' per person is approximately half a gram when ingested, so you'd expect people to share a slice. This was going for somehting like EUR 3.

3. There is also a variant to ingestion in the form of a 'chocolate bon-bon', which looks somewhat like the kind of plastic-foil cookies I used to get from mum's friends as a child. Like above. This particular happy morsel contains half a gram, which is as you remember, one dose. This was going for EUR 2 ish.

The dude also told us, quite clearly, that it's a very bad idea to try and take this with alcohol. We (or rather I) duly noted this as only weed-virgins can. I still can't say from personal experience if this is a bad idea or not, I'll let others find out.

Now NKT, OldCat and I are many things, but 'moderate' may never be one of them, especially when we're together. We decided that, being the superior beings we are, we would need more than the recommended doses, especially when they weren't all that expensive to begin with. 2 space cakes and 1 choc bon-bon between all of us, which is 5 doses. We took our cakes and bon-bon and sat down in the coffeeshop and regarded them - I felt a wave of unreality pass me: My-my, here we are in Amsterdam, looking at 2 slices of cake and one chocolate snack like they might sprout an arm. And a leg.

OldCat took the bon-bon whereas NKT and I started on the cakes, eventually eating half a slice each. They were actually quite alright cakes, nothing really remarkable except for a distinct bitter taste, like they put some herb into it. Which effectively was what they did.

15 minutes passed and we felt nothing, except a slight worrying feeling that we've been had, and all these Dutch guys were sniggering at us. NKT and I finished up the cakes, tallying our doses as such:

1. NKT: 2 doses
2. Me: 2 doses
3. OldCat: 1 dose

We decided to leave, mainly because we were feeling more and more stupid waiting for something that seemed less and less likely to happen, and we decided to visit (on my suggestion), a popular tourist spot, Singel 7, which is supposed to be the narrowest house in the world. Yes, boys and girls, when you're travelling and never want to go to tourists areas, you probably don't want me hanging around.

Suggested example of NKT, me, and OldCat at Singel 7. Or maybe not.

No, we didn't take any lame pic at the place. We did ring the doorbell and run away though.

NKT then whispered conspiratorially to me "Hey, we're not feeling anything, wtf? Seriously I'm going to be really pissed off if I leave Amsterdam and we don't get high. WTF is this? We keep eating this crap and nothing happens!"

NKT's solutions to life's problems aren't the usual ones employed by most people. Most people would consider one of these options:

  1. Go back to the Eye, and ask if this is supposed to happen, and whether we're supposed to feel anything after taking what we took.
  2. Wait it out for a while to completely make sure we've been swindled, go to another place and contemplate getting more bitter thingies to chew.
  3. Simply forgetting about the whole thing and spending our next Euros on peep-shows instead. Or nice girls/boys. Or whatever.

NKT simply opted to 'lather, rinse, repeat' as needed. He promptly went back to the Eye and ordered up another slice of cake for himself and a bon-bon. OldCat grudgingly went for another bon-bon, and after rolling my eyes at NKT, I bought a bon-bon.

Feeling ridiculous (at least I did), we ate our bon-bons together, yam seng style.

1. NKT: 3 doses
2. Me: 3 doses
3. OldCat: 2 doses

We started playing cards (for some reason the coffeeshop had them), and NKT slowly worked through his last slice of cake.

Then it started happening. Final tally:

1. NKT: 5 doses
2. Me: 3 doses
3. OldCat: 2 doses

The first clear memory I have of it was when I was shuffling the cards. I was suddenly aware that it seemed like it was happening at a very faraway place, and I was somehow controlling my hands 'via remote control thought' (i.e. I consciously had to will my hands to shuffle the cards). I tried shuffling them some more, but it got very difficult. I semi-dropped them on the table, turned to NKT and said "Hey, I'm feeling something."

NKT picked up the cards, fumbled and dropped them. It took him very long to push all the cards back to the box, and after that he got up and returned them to the counter. I wasn't noticing all this - I've been staring at the wall for the pstt 5 minutes without realising I was doing it. I suddenly snapped out of it, and tried to tell NKT. However, he seemed to know what I was gonna say because he started giggling. I found it gut-bustingly hilarious and giggled like crazy too.

Between fits of giggles NKT choked out "Hey, shit, shit, let's go home. Fuck." I shared his sentiments - the idea was to try and rush back to our hotel where we could be stoned without causing damage to society/hurting ourselves/ending up in jail etc.

The next 5 minutes were a blur of random streets - we were crossing quite a number of them and to this date I'm not quite sure how many near misses we had - I certainly can't remember. Also, who the hell led the way, I'll never know as well. We sure didn't have a map - NKT keeps losing em.

Anyway we were on our merry way when OldCat has a brilliant thought. He remembers we haven't had dinner. He yells out "I want BEER for DINNAH!" and runs for the nearest supermarket. We run in right behind him.

Picture this: a trio of giggling morons running top speed up and down the aisles, literally grabbing whatever catches their eye. We spent quite a long time in the supermarket - here's a collage of memories -
  • Me spotting a cheese counter, looking at the many 'wheels' of cheese and proclaiming to the attendant "Man, those sure as fuck look like tyres!"
  • Running past an aisle, I spot OldCat trying to grab a six-pack of beer of the shelf. I run up to him, grab his shirt and yelled in what must have been as loudly as I could "THERE IS NO MIXING OF MARIJUANA AND LIQUOR, STUPID". The horror.
  • Grabbing about 3 tubes of Pringles and some ham - I had the newfound, irrefutable theory that they were brilliant together.
At the counter, somehow we manage to pay and count our change. I remember that quite clearly, and being pretty proud of the fact that we could still count. I announce this to nobody in general.

I'm pretty sure there were many people in that supermarket (I remember queuing for a significant amount of time), but for the life of me I could not recall what their reactions were. Were they shocked to see 3 retards who could only move and talk in top speed and top volume? Or were they simply just used to stoned people in the randomest of places? I dunno. If you were one of those people do tell me.

The interesting part ends about here - because I can't remember most of it. I do remember:
  • Munching my way through two Pringles tubes, ramming in ham slices in between mouthfuls, watching the news of some earthquake, and thinking idly I was going to give myself sandpaper for a throat the next morning. That was probably the so-called 'munchies'.
  • Watching the wall-lamps in the room swim in the rippling ocean that was the wallpaper.
  • NKT going into the bathroom "for a shower" and not emerging for what seemed like 4 hours. He has no recollection of what he did in there, I can only assumed he fell asleep in the bathtub or something. I don't wanna think anything else.
  • OldCat trying to open a beer bottle (he did get some beer in the end, but wasn't smart enough to get a bottle opener) with some keys, he kept saying IT'S POSSIBLE, IT'S POSSIBLE I'VE FUCKING SEEN IT DONE BEFORE.
We all slept until the next afternoon, so that means we slept about 18 hours. Lol.


Findings and conclusions:

Some people have the notion that being high is similar to being drunk. Now this was quite a few years ago, but I still remember this clearly: it's nothing like being drunk. When you're drunk you:
  1. Feel wondrously dizzy
  2. Sometimes kinda sick around the back of your throat and your stomach
  3. You think a lot of dubious things are a good idea
  4. You wake up the next morning with a funny digestion system, a headache, and a bad taste in your mouth (not always all three, but often a selection of the three)
When you're high you:
  1. Feel like everything is disconnected, like you're controlling your body remotely (like in a dream)
  2. Feel perfectly healthy
  3. Still think a lot of dubious things are a good idea though
  4. You sleep very soundly and wake up perfectly fine and ready to run out again
Which puts being high better in terms of experience since it doesn't have any apparent side effects! Anyways for the record that was the last time I tried weed. So far.

Just remember - the crap takes some time to take effect, and you feel nothing in between, so wait it out completely before you decide to enthusiastically chomp down more.

So yeah, go to Amsterdam, but forget about the tulips and windmills - just buy tacky souvenirs depicting them so people will think that's all you were up to.


mangokiss said... you were at the home to the Red Light District and legalized marijuana!!
I almost got excited with the picture of the three peeps you posted..obviously, I got disappointed.

junkie said...

Hahaha mangs

Apparently not many of the resident Dutch actually take advantage of the legislation, it's something like 95% tourist supported.

We should all do our bit for Dutch tourism...

Serena said...

Lol, sounds like something I've been wanting to do. Hahahahahaah!!!!