|Frat boys/girls not pictured|
Anyhow, so Baz and I have gotten really good at eating sandwiches on the go. We took a random tram (#25) down to an area south of the belt called De Pijp , ending at President Kennedylaan (cute). Mostly a residential area, has kind of cute and small town feel to it (for Amsterdam, anyhow) and we came across an Albert Heijn, which is their main grocery store here. We heard it was expensive and went in expecting Whole Foods prices...surprisingly it wasn't all that shocking! Somethings were expensive because it's just Europe (meats, some veggies, etc), but we stocked up on bread and cold cuts and some rose cakes (roze koken), which were muy tasty!
This is how we ended up standing randomly next to a giant wooden and iron door affixed to the side of Centraal Station, loading up Tiger Bread with loosies of kipfilet while fellow tourists stared at us. Do you want a piece of my sandwich or something, lady?! I get confrontational when I achieve quasi-homeless status.
Headed back home to regroup, then went to the area by us (Bijlmer Station ArenA), just one metro stop up, and found it was a huge bustling shopping center divided into two areas, one was a newer center which, oddly enough, had a bizarre mall made entirely of stores you'd visit to furnish your $5,000/month loft apartment in SoHo, which is strange because this place is a stones throw from the ghetto. Still, beautiful inside.
Note the two-story escalators
Also, in the Netherlands, apparently you can just go ahead and name your store Sani-Dump if you sell toilets. Not even a joke. Remember, high class mall with furniture in the 1000€ and up bracket.
|Thank god my dumps will be sanitary|
Amsterdam after-hours is INSANE. It's loud, there's bicycles whizzing by everywhere, pot smoke in clouds (technically illegal, from a general point of view and a "smoking in the street" point of view!), people with beers and cigarettes packed into cramped sidewalk cafes, just....everything. We walked and walked and walked, the rounded canals and streets make it so disorienting! Walked through the Red Light district, which is more gaudy than sensual (think blacklights and neon bikinis to go with the red lights), and with many of the booths surrounding an old church, I found this to be quite comical.
|I didn't realie until after that this was part of the Red Light District (taking pics in the district is pretty verboten)|
A fun, yet exhausting first day!