Stoned in Amsterdam

I was back in Amsterdam on Monday. I did something really stupid and got myself stoned in the city while having all of my money and travel documents on my backpack. Luckily it turned out well for me and I got away with an interesting experience. Here’s the whole story.

On Monday I was meeting my friend at 22:00 to stay at his place for a couple nights. I arrived back in Amsterdam from The Hague in the afternoon. Seeing that I had more than a few hours to kill, I stored my luggage at Centraal Station but kept my valuables with me in my backpack, as is usually recommended.

A couple of weeks ago I smoked a joint for the first time at Paradox, a local coffee shop in Amsterdam, but didn’t feel anything. I probably did it wrong somehow. So this time I figured that I should try a space cake.

I bought a banana cake at Evergreen Coffeeshop. The store owner was helpful and asked if this is my first time. I said yes. He warned that his cake is really strong so he suggest that I only eat half of it and wait 90 minutes.

I found a square nearby to sit down and had my bite. The banana cake taste like a banana cake. Probably too much icing but otherwise I couldn’t tell the difference. I munched down half of it. Waited for 60 minute. Felt a bit hard to focus and started to have some blurry vision. So far so good. I thought, is that it? So I took another few big bites of the cake because I was hungry. Hey, it’s a decent tasting cake.

The square was getting busy so I decided to walk down to a big park at Weteringschans to chill. On my way there, without actually noticing, I lost track of time and direction. I felt the sun strongly on my face. Felt a group of Chinese tourists around me following their tour guide into a shop labelled Diamond Factory. And heard them complaining to each other that the tour guide is getting a commission from this, etc. Everything felt surreal and seemed like a lucid dream. Then it finally hit me that, oh crap, I’m stoned!

I recall being really needing to pee and passed by the Heineken museum to see if they had a public restroom. I recall making it there around the block but it looked to be closed at the time. So for the next 30 min or so I was just wandering around looking for a toilet. I think I was able to walk a block or two but kept getting confused and couldn’t navigate. I don’t remember much. At that point I figured that I’m pretty stoned and should not be walking so much in fear of getting hit by a bike or car. I took a seat by the canal and just sat there for a while.

After not too long, I really needed to pee so I tried to look for a cafe or something to sit in and not be out on the street. I passed by a couple places and all were busy serving dinner already so I kept moving on. After some more wandering the streets while stoned I found one of those public open toilet and made use of it. I remember it was quite disgusting and weird peeing at a booth at the side of a street.

Everything were just snapshots of moments for me at that point. I sat beside the canal again for an hour or two. For the first hour I wasn’t sure if I actually went to the restroom yet and kept looking over to see if the toilet booth is actually there and not dreamt up, or that I didn’t actually pee’ed in my pants. Nope, I was dry and the booth was still there.

I recall just watching the boats pass by while sitting beside the canal. At a couple points I had some deja’vu experiences and saw the same boat pass by vividly twice in front of me. Pretty sure I’ve been hallucinating.

By then I realize I shouldn’t be stoned high in public while carrying everything valuable on my backpack. Yet I figured that I couldn’t get too far away. I kept having the same thoughts: I should find a cafe to sit in and did I pee in my pants.

Sitting at the canal seemed natural enough and there were people doing the same around me. So I figured that I’m safe for now and tried to understand my condition.

By then I’ve woken up a bit and was able have logical thoughts. My sense of time and coherence is still off. It’s like I can function in the presence only and everything plus or minus 5 seconds is out of my grasp. I was also able to retain ideas. Like there’s a group of people hanging out on the bridge across from me. There were like 6 of them. I was able to keep that thought in my head and keep checking them once a while to make sure that my mind is still there.

I sat at the canal for a good 90 minutes. Time passed by really quickly since I didn’t have much memory of those times. Then around 20:00 I noticed that the foot traffic seemed to be dying down so I didn’t feel as safe with just me sitting there. I’m still stoned but I’ve passed the peak already. I also understand my condition more and figured that if I just focus on one mission, I could do it.

I recall some Eastern European man came sitting at the bench beside me just as when I stood up to relocate to a safer place. That moment was probably the most dangerous for me as I’ve been sitting there for a couple hours and perhaps I’ve become a target to some ill-intent people. Or perhaps he’s just another tourist. I’m glad I didn’t get to find out.

Fortunately I bookmarked some places on my phone that I can sit out to wait until my friend arrives at 22:00. One of which is the Central Library. That’s a 30 minute walk from where I was. I knew that I want to get there for safety as it’s getting late out. I knew that I had my basic functions. I just need to relax and go.

Somehow following the map on my phone I navigated through Amsterdam while my high was wearing off. I found a nice sitting spot in the library but by then I’m 80% back to my conscious self already.

I took a few selfies during my mental trip but there weren’t any of such pictures of my phone. I might have dreamt doing that too.

Moral of the story is, don’t do drugs out in public alone while having all your valuables on my back. That must have been the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

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