It’s funny. When I mention to folks that I go to Amsterdam on an annual basis, many of them get a glazed look in their eye, the corners of their mouths curl skyward which is inevitably met by a slow motion head bobbing. I’ve gotten so used to this response that I have a pre-baked answer regarding the trade show I attend, the beauty, history and culture engrained in a city that has lived many lifetimes, survived many events, and how even though I’ve been fortunate to visit this amazing city 10 times now, I have still only been into one solitary coffee shop and I’m taking a Slick Willy on that one. Of course Amsterdam will always spur a distinct visual to a specific demographic, which makes me realize I might be hanging out with too many mental teenagers… 😉
It truly is a beautiful city. For me it is the right balance of historical culture and modern madness with a sharp learning curve on street survival. If I could paint the picture of a drug induced nirvana-like cityscape, it would sure as hell have fewer bikes, trams, crazy taxis and open waterways. Seriously, if you’re not standing in the middle of the road, you’re probably about to get run over by a quickly moving moped or bicycler. Be careful as you step backwards when you realize that you’re playing the part of a human traffic cone as you may very well be stepping off of a ledge directly into a canal. Sometimes I think that there is an office somewhere, run by the shadow society that helped politically facilitate the relaxed culture in Amsterdam while working with engineers to only slightly differentiate sidewalks from bike lanes, where they watch live CCTV footage of stoned youth falling into canals. If anyone knows of such a shadow society that uses such an office, please let them know I’d love to visit. Watching loaded people falling into water from the comfort of an underground super bunker would be both hilarious and awesome.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with it.