Blogger Goes Into The Bars And Has Many Smiles & Small Beers
There’s something about Amsterdam that stirs one’s soul.
What other city lights up people’s faces at the mere mention of its name? Where else can you smoke a joint in a public place, visit a sex museum and drink a beer in a 300-year-old building, all in one evening?
Amsterdam is a place so bold in its presentation of sex that doormen try to lure customers into live shows by saying things like “it’s nice smut here in this place,” and girls solicit guys from windows lining the streets.
It’s a place where a friend was once run over by a car while “window shopping” and hardly even noticed (“I would have broken my legs if I hadn’t been so drunk,” he reported). A place where my friend “Ounce” once dropped $500. In one night.
The pace of Amsterdam is frightening. It’s a blur of drinking, bar-hopping, dancing and yacking that will have your head spinning well into the next day. I was there four days and took five to recover.
In Amsterdam, it’s okay to eat space cake. In Amsterdam, you can watch people having sex for 25 Euros or actually have sex for 50. Girls of all shapes, sizes and origins, all dressed right out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog, line large windows in the narrow streets with a openness that’s amazing to behold. And all adjacent to the oldest church in Amsterdam.
For the PubClub.com blogger, the obvious allure is the staggering (literally!) number of pubs. Dozens are lined up side-by-side like some sort of Dutch Disneyland.
This serves to expose one of my greatest character weaknesses – selectivity. I’m like the kid at Christmas who can’t decide what I want to ask for because I want it all! Where to go first in Amsterdam? That’s easy. Follow the music and the sounds of “Proost!” – or “cheers!” – filling the air.
I was fortunate enough to have traveled with Mr. Amsterdam, a man so familiar with the city he should have his own museum.
Mr. Amsterdam took me through the Red Light District, the “locals only” Red Light District, to the Dutch happy-hour hangouts and the prime party spots. Heck, we even visited a museum while I was there.
Mr. Amsterdam also helped me adjust to the city’s unique drinking etiquette. In my initial trip to the bar, I was handed a couple of 10-ounce glasses that contained exactly one ounce of foam. “What’s this!? Beer in a shot glass!? What kind of party town is this!?”
Mr. Amsterdam hardly seemed to notice. Thirty seconds later, I was back at the bar.
Soon, I discovered that proper socializing here requires adhering to certain local customs.
For instance, I learn that when it’s time to hit the WC, I’m a Heron, not a Dame, that I must leave a small cleaning tip for the Heron room attendant and spiff the bar doorman a euro for the privilege of returning unhindered time and time again throughout the evening.
Amazingly enough, I also begin to appreciate the concept of the tiny Heineys, for no matter what the scene is like in one place, you’re only a sip away from the next. It’s just what The Bartender ordered.
Danka, Mr. Amsterdam.