A Conversation for Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Just Say Maybe, Kids

Post 1

Bas

Okay, I'd like to give a little advice to all cannabis-smoking tourists that are planning to go on a trip to Amsterdam (yes, I live there). First of all, Dutch-grown cannabis (a.k.a. as Nederwiet, which roughly translates as something like Netherweed) is in my experience a tiny bit stronger than imported types. I did my share, and one thing that occurs twice or three times a day in every coffeeshop (which in The Netherlands is a place where you *don't* buy coffee smiley - smiley is that a group of tourists enter, order a large pile of the green stuff, roll it all in one joint, and smoke it. Three out of four tourists then become completely pale in the face, and are not able to move for a few hours. (This is what we usually call 'passing out'.)
The space-cake is another thing. Space-cake is a cake made with cannabis. Do not eat too much. Start with one piece, even if you think you're tough. Wait for at least one hour, 'cause it needs this time to enter your blood. Don't go eating half a cake, because you won't be the first tourist that exits a coffeeshop horizontally.

Sorry if this all sounds a bit motherly, but I've seen too much tourists making the same mistakes. Especially Americans.

And apart from these warnings: enjoy Amsterdam, it's a fun place to be.


Just Say Maybe, Kids

Post 2

ZenMondo

Hi Bes. I just wanted to add to your comments, coming from the other side. I am an American who has lived in Amsterdam for a short while.

I hate the stereotype that is prevalent and is represented here in this guide entry as the streets of Amsterdam being populated with people stoned out of their gourd. It is simply not true. Cannabis in Amsterdam is treated much like Alchahol is treated in America. If you want to drink you either go to an establishment for drinking (a bar), or you do it in the privacy of your own home. In Amsterdam, if you want to smoke, you go to the Coffee Shops, or you do it at home. I am sure there is the rare occasion where this does not happen, but this is the exception, not the rule.

As to space-cake. It was my understanding that they did not sell that to tourists anymore...

You know most people get so hung up on the drug culture of Amsterdam, they really miss out on alot of other stuff that is there (and I DON'T mean the red-light district)

There are some glaring ommisions in this article.
* No mention of the canals
* No mention of all the museums (my favorites include the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt Huis, Van Gogh Museum, and the Scheepart museum). The Museum Card is a GREAT investment for tourists!!!
* and most importantly: DON'T WALK ON THE BIKE PATHS!!!!!!!


Just Say Maybe, Kids

Post 3

Bas

What you say about people in Amsterdam using cannabis in the privacy of their homes or a coffeeshop is not entirely true. Especially in summer, you can’t walk five minutes through downtown Amsterdam without smelling cannabis which is being smoked out on the streets. That’s because the coffeeshops are usually rather depressing places. Besides that it isn’t illegal to smoke pot in the streets. (If you ask a police officer for a light, he will only decline if he really hasn’t got a lighter on him.) So it’s not that uncommon.

Since it’s a long time ago I visited a coffeeshop in downtown Amsterdam, I don’t know if space-cake isn’t sold to tourists anymore. It would be wise, though. smiley - smiley

I completely agree about the ommisions in the article. Amsterdam has a lot more to offer tourists (and locals!). Some other additions: it pays to make a tour by boat through the canals in the evening, to take a stroll through the red-light district (although most people do not notice it, the red-light district is one of the most beautiful places in Amsterdam with it’s old houses and small canals; just try to ignore the sex-tourists and their ‘goals’), to walk through the Vondelpark (Amsterdams Central Park, only a bit smaller), to have a beer on a terrace in the Jordaan Quarter, etc, etc.

And the bike paths? Well, they’re made for biking... smiley - smiley

And finally another something tourists should bear in mind: ignore traffic lights. Everybody does. Don’t cross the street if a tram or car (especially a cab!) is heading your way, and do cross the street if no traffic comes your way. The only people waiting for a red traffic light while it’s safe to cross the street are tourists.


Just Say Maybe, Kids

Post 4

ZenMondo


Perhaps my experience is a bit different. When I think about it, I did live in A'dam for a VERY short time, only about 6 months total. I left (checking my passport) August 11, '95. I lived in the Centrum (on the Prinsengracht, near Haarlemerdijk / Harrlemerstraat) And I just did not see alot of smoking in the streets, even in the summer. I'm sure it was there, but it wasn't the stoner-American fantasy of it being EVERYWHERE. Its not hard to get by any means, but I never saw a crowd of people with everyone lit up. I could have just been looking at wrong places. Actually I wasn't looking for it at all. For all I know it could have been all around me and I just didn't notice.

You are right about the red-light district. The first place I stayed in Amsterdam was on O.Z. Woorburgwal ( I know I must be spelling that wrong, but my Nederlands never was good and I don't know where my A'dam map is at the moment) It is a beautiful part of town. I was right across a canal from where Rembrandt went to church.

Man, I really, really, really miss Amsterdam. I was never happier to be anywhere than I was there.


Just Say Maybe, Kids

Post 5

Snafu

Well...all of y'all are right.

I've lived in downtown Amsterdam, and although I moved to The Hague I still work there.

The problem (if it is that) with the tourists is that there's usually two types: the ones who come for the sights (Amsterdam is officially the city with the most sights per square mile of anyplace anywhere...I read that somewhere), who usually abhor the drugs scene, and the ones that come for the dope who usually go overboard on the local weeds and beer and give tourists AND locals as a whole a bad name.

There is a very good reason why the Dutch usually smoke their weed mixed with 2 parts regular tobacco: that stuff is strong! Smoking the pure stuff and adding copious amounts of beer just isn't good for you smiley - smiley

Anyone should enjoy whatever they want, just stay out of other people's faces. I must say that I really don't see it that much, it's quite a friendly place to have a stroll through.


Just Say Maybe, Kids

Post 6

Belgarath

Amsterdam is a nice place to have a stroll and try and treat it like the Dutch, allow each person to do their own thing and relax! (Just as with all large municipal areas, there are some areas I would avoid...)

http://www.russellweb.co.uk


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