Amsterdam, of course, is infamous for its Red Light District and open policies on certain narcotics. And yes it was very strange to see police officers walk by with people smoking and even stranger to see girls who looked like they could´ve gone to UNC with me as prostitutes (It may be awkward to say but they weren´t the nasty unattractive women that I expected them to be. When Coop and I came upon the first ¨window¨ I literally thought I was seeing a lingerie mannequin.) But what I was getting at: Amsterdam is so much more than drugs and prostitution. As many say, it is the Venice of the North. Everyone there is so happy and willing to help you, the city is absolutely beautiful with its canals and architecture and there´s a lot of things to do. Coop and I went to the Heineken museum, took a canal tour, went to the Van Gogh museum and generally enjoyed the happy ambience of the city. One warning, however. Predicted forecast: light rain every day you will be there. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this and went from beautiful sunny Rome to Amsterdam where it is quite chilly and I had to wear Coop´s brown sweater and look like a hobo the whole time.
So when we first arrive we´re walking down the street trying to find our HOSTELBOAT and I look like an idiot in a summer dress. The wind is blowing and I´m preoccupied with keeping my dress from flying up, Coop´s finger is bleeding from something breaking on his suitcase and we don´t know exactly where we´re going. Well we arrive at a beautiful hostelboat docked permanently near the train station in a large canal and it´s perfect. Best place we stayed. The bunk beds we slept in were in a room literally the size of a half bathroom but that was okay because we didn´t spend any time there. However there was a great place to hang out on top of the boat and a dining room for breakfast. I know I talk a lot about food but breakfast there was amazing. They had unlimited breakfast with anything you want which was very different from the Spanish breakfast of coffee and toast (which I actually will miss).
We headed out immediately after getting there to look for a jacket for me. Coop´s sweater sufficed. The first day we just wandered around the canals getting oriented to the city and went to bed pretty early. The next day we went to the Heineken museum which was a very good experience despite their propaganda on how its the best beer ever bla bla bla. I´m not a Heineken fan but it was interesting on how they brewed it, riding their ¨brew me¨ ride and seeing all the ads from the past years. I also managed to convince Coop to record a video in a booth they had set up to send back to the parents. Very entertaining. After Heineken we went to eat at Febo´s, a very cheap fast food place unique to Amsterdam and then went to the park. The rain and cold kept us on our toes most of the trip but I think we managed to make the best of it. After going back, took a short nap and went to the Van Gogh museum. I´m so done with art at this point but Coop really wanted to go. Turns out it was a special event Friday night and we ended up with all the sophisticated socialites of Amsterdam enjoying a live band, a special exhibit on night and day artwork and seeing a very abstract performance on who knows what. Luckily I took a video. See here.
So I loved Amsterdam with all of my heart but it all had to come to an end. Woke up really early Sunday to send Coop back to the States. Took him to the airport and it was just too much thinking about three weeks without him and him getting to see all the people and things I miss and me being left here in Europe. Now that I think about it, I prob. have the better deal but it was very heartbreaking on the moment because I really just wanted to go as his carry-on. So in the end, yes I cried which I think surprised both of us because I´m usually not a crier. Went back on the train to spend a half day in Amsterdam solo. It was raining and I had to go to the public library there to study since I had an exam the next day. Really ended up sending emails to people saying I missed them....got on my plane back, found my window seat, sat next to a very large man who made me claustrophobic and smelt a little strange and endured for three hours. Got back, studied nonstop, got up for my 9 oclock class and took my exam at 10.
Thus began THE END OF SPAIN