Posted by: rngerlach | July 20, 2007

Gone Dutch

“Jesus Loves You”  is the sign we read every time we enter our hostel.  Four days and four nights booked up at Shelter City Christian hostel which is located where in Amsterdam? Located in the heart of the Red Light District, kind of ironical indeed. We were invited to many bible sessions after every encounter with the front desk, yet we politely declined as we had other things to tend to.

The four days and four nights spent in the Dam became a blur after day two, just too much going on here to remember all of the minute details.  Our second day, we started out at Popeye’s coffee shop to prepare for a long day, then ventured over to get in touch with our artistic side by visiting the Van Gogh Museum.  After seeing so many of Vincent Van Gogh’s best artworks from the short ten year artist career he had, we were seeing everything in brush strokes.  Van Gogh was a masterful brush stroke artist, so much so that every scene after the museum felt as if we were in the picture.  Day three of our Amsterdam experience would prove to be a long one.  We started at the Heineken Brewery learning how Heineken has come to be the marketing superpower they are.  Little did we know that Heineken owns a ton of brands such as Killian’s Red, Amstel and many more.  Then we visited which ended up being our favorite coffee shop “Free Adam” just because it had the reggae vibe with Bob Marley and Damien Marley lighting up the speakers, we jammin’ now!  Most other coffee shops we visited had the fast house music which wasn’t feeding the moment right.  We ended up at the Doors coffee shop that night talking to a guy from Dubai and Kingston, Jamaica.  The curfew at our Christian hostel was 2am and doesn’t open back up until 7am. Well this night in the Doors’ coffee shop, time didn’t find us until 4am when they closed it down on us.  The Jamaican guy disappeared along with his buddy from Dubai.  I must admit, I missed their funky accent.  Yet, time was on our side as we had three hours to kill. We spent this time in a city plaza feeding pigeons watching the sunset.  The last day spent in Amsterdam was another blur spent at Vondel Park watching the many musical performers just performing their heart out to get by with a few Euro cents.

We saw some of the best street performers in Amsterdam who do it for living.  I think sometimes that these guys should be on television, like the African group doing a tribal dance on the street near Vondel Park or the one guy making his own beats on his occopello (spelling) machine.  I do have to say one thing about the bums in Amsterdam, they have creative ways of earning your money. We’ve seen it all, one guy juggled chain saws on the street just for a couple cents.  One guy told us his life story and how he is immortal because he has been given the holy spirit which he then supposedly passed to me, then followed by asking for a couple cents to spare.  I guess even the immortal need money too.  The banjo player was the best as he followed us for ten minutes playing Johnny Cash and songs about how annoying he was to travelers.   I figured, at least they are earning the money and not just panhandling, pure form of capitalism. My final comment on the Dutch is how tall they are.  I am short dude, but I felt discriminated against.  I had to stand on my tip toes to use one of the urinals.  The people are just real tall here, making me feel quite challenged.  Their accent is incredible too as it sounds like they are trying to hack out a spit when they say something, anything.  Overall, the Dam experience is one every person should try!

See you in Belgium with the waffles!



  1. YES! The entry I have been waiting for! I damn glad to hear you guys enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum. He really was an amazing artist – its easy to see how he was influenced in that city!

    I never got a chance to go to Free Adam but I know the story behind “free adam”, did anyone explain it to you while you were there?

    Cant wait to see the pictures bro!!

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