My Amsterdam Birthday

A birthday on the Amsterdam canals. Perfect!
A birthday on the Amsterdam canals. Perfect!

I can’t think of a more perfect place to be on my birthday. Jamillah and I slept in again and when we woke up we could hear that it was raining. According to the weather it is going to rain all day.

The Dutch breakfast place around the corner was open. They really only have one breakfast dish. It is two big pieces of white bread with 3 eggs and cheese on top, along with three pieces of bacon. I loved it. Jamillah hated it though she was unable to explain to me what was wrong with it.

We walked to the Canal boats and bought our day passes. This was all I wanted to do on my birthday, just float along the canal stoned out of my mind – and that wish came true. I didn’t mind that it was raining. I like rain, and it reminded me of Vancouver. The red line canal cruise goes past Anne Frank house and the Hard Rock Cafe, and it ends at the train station.

We got off there to book our seats to Paris. One thing I didn’t like about this new Eurail system is you still have to reserve the high speed train and you have to pay an extra fee.

After that we made the mistake of eating in the Burger King which I have a vague memory of eating in once before with Arnold.

By the way, while we were on the boat we saw another tour boat called the Prins Johann Friso, and another called the Prins Willem. I got a good shot of one of them. I have a childhood friend who is Dutch who has both the names Willem and Friso.

The Prins Johan Friso
The Prins Johan Friso

After my disgusting burger (though the Burger King decor is nice) we got on the Blue Line. Ernest Hemingway was our driver.

Ernest Hemingway was our driver on the Blue Line
Ernest Hemingway was our driver on the Blue Line

We smoked a joint first. This boat went out to the harbour where there were cruise lines docked. Jamillah had a cappuccino which she swears is the best she’s ever had. But Jamillah wants you all to know that since being back to Amsterdam she now thinks that this is NOT the best capuccino in Amsterdam. The best is at Barney’s.

Soon we were the only customers on the boat. It was like our own private cruise. We went around the zoo and we saw Zebras and some exotic birds that were not caged.

A bad photo of the Zebras we saw.
A bad photo of the Zebras we saw.

More people got on at the next stop. I love the little house boats. I can dream, can’t I?

A new place to live? We can dream, can’t we?
I also saw a machine boat whose function seems to be to pull bikes out of the canal. I have never seen so many bikes.
Back on dry land, we had time for one more cruise. But it was pouring rain so we had to wait for awhile in the train station.
We waited in the train station to hide from the rain. This is also where Jews were put onto trains in WWII.
We waited in the train station to hide from the rain. This is also where Jews were put onto trains in WWII.

This boat had a different personality. The driver had a sense of humour and was playing American country music. But it was pretty similar to the first ride.

Soon we were back at the Rijkmuseum (where our journey started) and then we walked in the rain back to our place where we both wrote in our journals and got high (again – hey we’re only here for two days and it IS my birthday after all).

We went out for Indian food. The restaurant was very crowded and we had to share our table with a Dutch couple on a date. We did our best to ignore them (we are so anti-social). The food was amazing. Less spicy than the Indian food I’m used to. I got drunk to Jamillah’s amusement. I started singing Gordon Lightfoot songs on the street. That’s what you hear at night in Amsterdam – drunk people singing songs from their respective countries.

We went to Haagen Daas in the Rembrandt Square where there is a sculpture of the Night Watchmen. This is the second night we’ve gone there. I have become addicted to Belgian chocolate.

The sculpture in Rembrandt Square of the Nightwatchmen.
The sculpture in Rembrandt Square of the Nightwatchmen.

Then over to Smokey’s again – actually this is when we smoked the crappy tobacco blunt. I bought some space cakes as my birthday cake. Needless to say I passed out even before my birthday was over and I woke up several times in the night with the wine, ice-cream, Indian food and space-cakes rolling around my over-indulgent stomach.

But hey, I made it another year. I’m a survivor.

During my trip to Europe I made terrible doodles of each day. This proves that I should stick to music, writing and film I think.
During my trip to Europe I made terrible doodles of each day. This proves that I should stick to music, writing and film I think.
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