Day 21 — Amsterdam (1)
We had a nice 6 hour train from Berlin to Amsterdam. Vinay decided to see of his friends from undergrad that lives in central Germany and to meet us up tomorrow. We got to the train station a little early and I went searching around the whole entire place for a dang waffle. I really wanted the waffle I had yesterday. I spent maybe 15 minute dancing around the station looking for it and I didn’t even get to say bye to Vinay =(.
Anyways it was a good train ride. Jaldhi, Shashank, and I played more games and passed time watching movies. I’ve been rewatching all the fast and furious movies so I got to finish 2 Fast 2 Furious which is probably my favorite of the whole bunch.
We apparently took an illegal subway to get to my friends place so we had to use Ivan’s help to get out of the train station. ( Amsterdam has an interesting policy of checking for stubs on the way out….). I was really excited to see Ivan, a friend I made while volunteering in India. After dropping our stuff at his place we borrowed some bikes from his friends and hit the city!
We did the typical tourist things like visit the IAMsterdam sign and walk around the museum area of town.
I immediately fell in love with the city. It just has a super liberal, open-mindedness, and active mindset that makes it such a progressive city. Obviously weed is legal, but it’s not even a big deal for the locals — just something that exists. Ivan told us there is a running ( or lack of running) joke that there are 700,000 people living in the city and 1.5 bikes. There are literally bikes EVERYWHERE! As dangerous as it was to take pictures/videos on scooters in Rome and ATV’s in Santoori, I couldn’t take any pictures on the bikes because of how much traffic there was. I will say that by the end Ivan granted me approval of being an Amsterdam biker as I could ride while eating food hahah. Jaldhi’s bike was a little too large for her, forcing her to run her bike across streets ( one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a minute).
Just walking around and laying in the grass was quite fun. Ivan and I caught up on school, technology, and differences of cultures around Europe. For a second, we lost Jaldhi and Shashank who got convinced to go into this fancy lotion/soap store ( imagine Bath and Body works but 10x bougier). We got a beer at a fancy place ( I got a fancy Belgium white), got some groceries and went home. Ivan cooked us a fantastic dinner which we shared with his rommantes ( I played FIFA with one and bonded with the other by editing his resume #imanerd…) and before we knew it — it was midnight.
IAMsterdam, Ivan, walking around, Bike master, Ivan’s dinner
Sorry for lack of pictures today. Amsterdam is just a city you really breathe in, not super huge monuments or anything that make it extremely picturesque.