Tempus Fugit

Time Flies…

   Sep 18

An Amsterdamsel to Ease My Distress

Well… 24 hours in Amsterdam.  Probably not long enough.

Was initially non-plussed.  Arrived.  Caught train from Schipol which turned out to be the wrong train….but transferred to the right train without too much angst.

Walk from Central Station to Hostel was convoluted and involved walking in many circles as I had a dodgy ill-informed map (and possibly because I was tired).  At 0730 the city is almost like a ghost town.  Not a soul or a car to be seen.

Arrived at hostel.  Can’t use room till 2pm.  Ate breakfast.  Walked through town with a 2 euro map that was considerably more helpful than the dodge one I had previously.

Sat in a park for 3 hours writing and watching the world go by.  Very serene.

Wandered into a funky cafe full of people reading books and using laptops.  Ate lunch.  Sat reading a funky book – “Marley and Me” which had me laughing out loud for the most part and almost bawling at the end of it….not cool when you’re in a cafe.  People look at you weird when you are laughing uncontrollably one minute and about sob the next.

Walked back to hostel….THOUSANDS of people around….turns out shops don’t open till 10am but very busy after then.  Wandered into an H&M and found a heap of cheap clothes that I thought I’d like….so wandered back to hostel to shower and freshen up then wandered back to try on clothes….120 euro later and I had more clothes.

Had Maoz for dinner …mmmm felafel….was what I had when I was in Barcelona.  Wish they had Maoz in Australia.

Wandered back to hostel and propped up hostel bar for an hour or so drinking Heineken.  Contemplated checking out the Red-Light district (very close by) but being awake 42 hours with five hours sleep did not make me feel like wandering.

Slept at 2000.  Was petrified I would miss morning flight as I had no alarm clock thanks to leaving phone at home.

Managed to wake at 0300 WITH THE FUCKING FLU.  Snotty dribbling away, I wandered from hostel to central station.  Amsterdam has more people and more traffic at 0400 than at 0730.  Train station didn’t open till five and automagic ticket dispensing machines out the front only took cashcards or coins.  I didn’t have my maestro or cirrus cards with me dammit.  Had a 5 euro note….so I had to beg an old lady standing out the front of the train station to change my note into coins…..I wasn’t sure if she was a lady of the night or just a weirdo…but she gave me the change nonetheless.

Loved the automatic checkin machines at Schipol – you just scan your passport through the machine and then you can check yourself in – choosing your own seat.  I managed to get an exit row which meant a very large amount of leg room.  Very happy.  Not happy with the miniscule “Chicken roll” I got for breakfast that I was able to consume in one mouthful.

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