On the Lamb: Amsterdam 2012 (Part Vijf)
The Bloggist Is Away

It was now late afternoon on our bloggist’s first day in Amsterdam. He flew in with his girl-beard just this morning and lost no time in visiting the city’s attractions. The two hopeless tourists have so far gone to The Albert Cuyp Market, The Heineken Experience, The Van Gogh Museum, and The House of Bols.

The latter was the setting for a rather intoxicating experience for our first-time visitors, where they drank (only) their second round of alcoholic drinks for the day. It closed at exactly 4:30PM, which was just enough time for the two to godlessly drink their libations… like so:

I have found a cure for mortal pain!

One thing about alcohol intoxication is that good vibes can quickly enough become bad, so Joanne was again thinking of ways to de-ear me. Upon exiting House of Bols, we followed the tram tracks to catch a ride to the Western Canal Belt. Understand that we weren’t so much walking then as strategically toppling towards our destination. I was hearing echoes of my footsteps, and it had a Dutch accent. Drunk walking wasn’t a very efficient way to traverse an unfamiliar city, for sure, let alone one ringed by waterways. We were looking for a place along Prinsengracht, one of Amsterdam’s main canals. The address system, we found out, used canals instead of street names, where applicable. This meant that the canal banks qualified as streets, where odd-numbered structures lined one bank, and even-numbered ones the other – going from odd to even required a bridge. Therefore, you should not go looking for ‘one-hundred-something’ Prinsengracht, unless you were sober and on speaking terms with your equally sober girl-beard. Nevertheless, our Prinsengracht topple-stroll showed us beautiful scenery:

I thought I was imagining the rainbows.

The most popular attraction along Prinsengracht would be the Anne Frank House, a museum commemorating the girl behind the titular diary. This was the exact building where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis in a secret annex during the war. Ultimately, only her father survived the concentration camps. He went on to publish the diary, a touching firsthand account of how it means to be human amidst the horrors and tragedies of war. The book, of course, became a bestseller that is now published in over fifty languages. Due to the popularity of the book, as well as its historical significance, the Anne Frank House has been preserved, then restored, and finally, formalized into a museum. It is a must-see for Amsterdam visitors, particularly for the sensitive and learned sort.

Which means we got to skip it.

Anne Frank House receives around a million visitors a year. Seeing a significant representation of those people lined up and wanting to go in meant that we had to pass for now. Instead, we went straight to The Pancake Bakery:

Blurry? Even this photo is drunk.

It was a much-needed break for our feet, heads, and, most importantly, bladders. I also had to remove the three or so knives that Joanne stuck onto my back while I made her walk behind me.

There were five.

The Dutch love their pannenkoeken, and The Pancake Bakery is, quite obviously, a good place for such (I just didn’t have the heart to tell them that pancakes are not baked). Dutch ‘pancakes’ are what we would normally call crepes. I asked for the most typically Dutch toppings and got Bacon and Apple. Joanne was still not in the mood for acknowledging my existence, so I chose Strawberry with Whipped Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream for her – something embarrassingly girlish – to spite her. Also, because we had our Holland Passes with us, we were given free drinks. Would that they were soda or juice, though… we were given cider (something only mildly alcoholic, for a change). At least we paired them with huge pancakes…

Shown to scale with an irate girl-beard in an unflattering pose.

As it turned out, Joanne would find her girly pancake too rich, so we ended up swapping plates. We finished around 6PM, our tropical selves a bit scandalized that the sun was still up. She asked, “Why did you plan today out to be so… intense?”

“I didn’t think it would be so alcoholic. I really didn’t think that the Dutch would be so generous. I mean, don’t they conform to their own idiomatic expression?”

“I’m drunk and I can barely walk.”

“I know. If it’s anything, I’m also on the verge of a stroke. We’re both miserable in a strange land. High five!”

“I hate you.”

“I also know that. At least leave my DNA recognizable for the police, please?”

“Next time, don’t plan all the alcohol on the first day. And leave the heavy walking for when we’ve recovered from the flight.” I can be a hopeless tourist, too, planning for the ‘next time’ on the first day, no less.

“Of course. I’ll do that the next time (that I impossibly win another pair of tickets from KLM).”

“What do we do next?”

“We can take a canal cruise… that’ll be an hour and a half of just sitting on a boat.”

“Can we do that without throwing up?”

“Maybe. Amsterdam canals are relatively still.”

“Sounds good.”

“There’s my sport… let’s go, then. It’s only a thirty-minute walk in that direction. You can hop onto my backpack. What’s that? Yes, a thirty-minute walk. Please don’t cry.”

When we get there, we’ll take pictures with fiberglass cows.


If you want the next day’s cheesy CONTINUATION, please click here.

If you missed what happened immediately before, please click this.

If you want to rewind back to the start of the Amsterdam write-ups, please click this instead.

If you want to go through past TRAVEL pieces, please go here.

If you want to visit stuff about FOOD, please go here.

Categories: [food], [travel]

[No Comments]

No Comments »

Leave a Reply