I went on a soul journey to Amsterdam recently, which was one of the craziest, most spontaneous things I think I've ever done. It was for just one day, but in one day I learned so much about who I am, immersed in a totally different world than what I'm used to.
My friend works for an airline and she was scheduled for a work trip to Amsterdam with a one day layover. When she asked if I wanted to come along, I didn't hesitate.
Of course, when in Amsterdam, do as the locals do. Yes, I did smoke weed, which was the first time in awhile. It was the first thing on my To Do list, so after we landed and had a quick nap, my friend and I walked around until we came across a coffee shop aptly named "420 Cafe". Sounds of 80's pop music filled the air along with the familiar sweet smell of marijuana. We grabbed a table next to a group of guys watching a soccer game on TV, smoke rising up from their table.
"Oh, we don't sell marijuana here, but you can bring it here to smoke," said the bartender. So we sat and enjoyed a coffee instead, taking in the amusing art pieces on the wall.
We ended up finding another coffee shop where you could go upstairs and buy just about any type of weed. I just wanted one joint, so I was directed downstairs where I could buy it at the bar. Should I do the hash...or the strong stuff that makes you stare off into space and see unicorns prancing on rainbows?
I stuck with the hash. As my friend hunted down some makeup in a nearby store, I smoked and pondered the meaning of life. Or maybe I just thought about what I was in the mood to munch on.
|Outside the 420 Cafe|
It's amazing how one day could feel like weeks when you're mind is altered. I was able to get a small glimpse of what could happen in a place like the U.S. if people were allowed to smoke marijuana freely. People are so much more relaxed and friendly. It was a completely different energy, and even though I was in the city where there were people and bike riders everywhere (Maybe that's why everyone there is skinny?), I still felt relatively calm like I had been there in a previous life.
Prostitution is also still alive and well in Amsterdam. Strolling through the Red Light District you'll see women in bikinis standing in front of the windows like mannequins showing off their wares and enticing men to spend some time with them. Don't you dare take a picture of them, though, unless you want them banging on the window and yelling, "No pictures!" People would stand around staring at the women just like people stand around looking at animals at the zoo. So odd.
Although I probably didn't have to travel thousands of miles for creative inspiration and to get some perspective on my life, something about a trip overseas opens your mind to so many different ways of thinking.
Click here for more pictures from my trip...