Friday, 27 May 2011

Ohh, moppie moppie moppie

Last weekend we travelled for 18+ hours each way and spent a ridiculous amount on train tickets in order to spend just over a day in Amsterdam. A waste of time and money? Definitely not!

Amsterdam, we were told, is not particularly famous for any stunning architecture or historical sights; instead it is famous, or maybe that should be infamous, for its liberal take on things, especially the legality of cannabis and prostitution. The city centre is built in the shape of an octagon (with a bit sliced off the top where it meets the water) and has canals running all around it. We spent the morning on a canal ride which was very much like all other touristy boat rides- not much to say there other than that it was very pleasant and watery. The afternoon became very hot and after posing in large letters saying 'I amsterdam' in the Museumplein everyone went for a paddle in a deliciously refreshing-looking fountain.. everyone except yours truly who stupidly decided to wear tights and had to sit out looking sad. We then paid 4€ to go round the Sex Museum and had a good giggle at all of the weird and wonderful phallic-shaped objects it contained.


In the evening we had a wander down to city's the red light district which was massively disorientating and a little bit scary (although I'm not sure how much of this was to do with the muffin I had eaten in a 'coffeeshop' a few hours beforehand) and consisted of narrow streets with prostitutes sitting in glass windows and large groups of men, presumably on stag dos, wandering round gawping at them. My lasting impression of the place was of the scary rubbery appearance of the prostitutes and the horrible leery eyes of the men, and I was glad to escape that area of the city and go and get a chocolate waffle.

As soon as we arrived in Amsterdam I was tinged with sadness that our stay in the city would be so brief, however I think we managed to pack such a great deal into our day that I don't regret it one bit.

By the way, the title is taken from a wonderful piece of Dutch hip-hop (call me naïve, but I didn't even know the genre existed) called 'Moppie', which we heard in the foyer of a hostel. Those interested can listen to it here. Moppie apparantly means 'babe' in Dutch.

Okay, I must dash as we're baking cakes this afternoon! My life has been devoid of banana bread for too long.


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