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Amsterdam and what happened on the way

OK, up and shower and ready to go to A'dam. mess around. do email. go to train. get ticket. no ticket. no plane tickets or passport either. Oops

24 Apr 2000

OK, up and shower and ready to go to A'dam. mess around. do email. go to train. get ticket. no ticket. no plane tickets or passport either. Oops

So, what the fuck do you do in a state like that? retrace your steps wearing 3 tonnes of backpacks and records. Then go find a policeman (with a gun). Actually the german service industry could learn something from its cops (speak softly and... no no) they were actually very helpful. Pretty soon i was plodding off to the Australian embassy who were also very helpful but couldn't do much except say go to the NZ Embassy in Bonn. 600ks away.

Well what to do? On the train (Mr Visa coming in very handy). All the announcements were in German of course, so when a particularly scary one came across I has to ask a friendly person reading Die Bibel if she spoke english. she did. With a south carolina accent.

Somone had jumped in front of the previous train, topping themselves. We would have to transfer and catch another train. She was pissed about this, cursing DB (the rail system). Even more when we were told to get on the original train and proceed to Bonn.

Turned out said Bibel student was very nice and after explainig my situiation said there was a guest house in their dorm. For all of DM7.5 a night. cheeeep.

Stayed in Bonn. Went to NZ embassy. My passport had been handed in (!!!!!???) at the Austrailian embassy pretty soon after I had been there ($$
Koln had a nice vibe straight off (so did Bonn - no Berlin fuck off attitude here) and has a massive 1000 or so year old Gothic Church. Really scary. Like tomb raider or some scary CG except real. Fractal deamons and saints climbing up the walls. The history of the dark ages in stained glass. You can see why the peasents were scared of God.

After waiting a second day for my passport and tickets (Deutchpost is about as good as the train system) I was on my to Amsterdam, which was good because I was sick of watching CNN/BBC/MTV (36 channels and still all junk) and bumping in to these guys that looked like 22 year old jesuses (All 40 or so in the dorm were studying religion). However, Bonn was very nice, and Koln would be worth a repeat visit. SOunds like Koln has a really nice scene and dance/arts/media action.

Soooo. finally I arrive in Amsterdam. A pretty quick train ride since Bonn was kinda on the way. Feeling travel-scoady I find a scoady place to sleep (a dodgy backpackers) swearing pretty soon I'll find somwhere better tommorow. I end up looking that night.

This place has a really cool feel to it - kinda buzzy - people are friendlyish. Thing is there are lots of burned out looking kids. Look like they've been here smoking too much pot for to long. And worse. But there are lots of record shops. The only place with a visible dance scene where I've been yet. Pretty typical music, but a big free local dj party on the weekend. Oliver Ho and Steve Stoll playing in a week. No sign of The Residents who were playing in Bonn the day after I left.

And of course the coffee shops. Which of course are not coffee shops by speciality. Their coffee is average and they don't really have cafe style food. But they do sell pot. You smell it everywhere. It's like every frustrated stoner in the western world has descended here and is consuming. Hmmm. No New Zealand blend so I settle for Jamacian Buds.

Super Hamo said something about the vapor trails crisscrossing the sky here. which indeed they do. Lots of planes. A'dam airport is a central hub i think.

The Internet here is fast. Lots of Internet cafes. Lots of IT work it seems. and they use normal (US) keyboard layouts. SO now I can unlearn that swap the Y and Z trick.

Found a better place to stay. A dodgy 1 bit hotel. But I have a room of my own and no scoady Pantera T-Shirt kids to share it with. That's more like it. I think i got spoiled at the hostel in Bonn.

Righto I'm off to walk around in the sun a bit and maybe get a bicycle. Did I mention the Bikes? There are millions of the. Big piles of them. More bikes than people the literature says. They're not lying. So I'll get a bike and ride around Holland for a bit.

I know you're dying to hear about the love parade and Tresor and the Ost Gut party in an old East German warehouse/factory, so that'll come later.

Psi, Saturday 28th August 1999.