Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Amsterdam - Day 1 - Sunday

Right before I left on my work trip, I found out that my iPhone 4 wouldn't work in Amsterdam because my phone service provider happens to be the company that rhymes with Shmerizon.

So no pretty and touristy pictures for you right now.  And no cell or internet service for me, except when I'm in the office.  It's actually kind of a nice break, you know?

Anyway, my flight was uneventful, save for the unusually high number of children and babies on my overnight flight, what the hell?  Thankfully, I drowned out the noise with bad dialogue from the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting.  And I did manage to sleep for about 2 hours.

I arrived at my hotel around 9:30am, but my room wasn't ready, so my boss (who had arrived the day beforehand) and I traipsed around the city for an hour.  I totally just wanted to crawl into bed.  Thankfully, my room was ready at 11am, and I did just that.  Faceplanted into my pillow for hours.

I woke up mid-afternoon feeling pretty refreshed and guilty that I had just wasted valuable sightseeing time with my eyelids shut, so I set off, forgetting my map in the process.  If you know me, you know I have absolutely NO sense of direction.  So I played it safe and didn't stray too far.  And spent lots of money buying tchotchskes and souvenirs.  I'm in Holland - sex toys and pot wooden clogs and windmills for everyone!

Amsterdam is beautiful.  The architecture is stunning and everywhere you look there are canals and waterways.  EVERYONE rides a bike--men in business suits; women in heels; old; young; with children in buckets on the front.  (Related:  there aren't many overweight people in Amsterdam.)

My hotel is smack-dab in the middle of a busy part of the city, and my room overlooks Rembrandt's statue.  There's a cool pub on one corner and a disco called "Club Nasty" on the opposite corner.  Cafes and "smokeshops" are everywhere, so the smell of marijuana lingers in the air.

My boss and I had a few too many drinks and ate at an Italian restaurant on Sunday night.  We got a bit lost (during a hailstorm) and couldn't find the Red Light District, so we figured that was a sign from above to Stay Away.  Heh.

More to come...

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