Goodbye, Amsterdam. A week was long enough. Ready to move on. Said my goodbyes to my first host. She and her family were absolutely phenomenal. Totally private and very helpful.
Took the train out of Amsterdam Centraal to the new location I’m staying at. I’ll be in Rotterdam shortly for the weekend. Rotterdam is a much more contemporary city and about an hour away from Amsterdam. This is where I’ll find real dutch scenery, like the iconic wind mills and fields we normally associate with the culture. It’s a spacious apartment. Cozy. Damn good for the price.
The host is a physical therapist who’s lived in Rotterdam his entire life. That stigma I mentioned earlier about hating your own home no matter how exotic or gorgeous didn’t extend toward my new host. He genuinely seemed to love this place. I’m his first guest so I suspect he’s testing the waters. He’s only the second person I’ve stayed with so we're in similar boats. He was kind enough to circle the best activities to do in Rotterdam this weekend on a map, which was extremely helpful. I’m only here for 2 days but I more than have my work cut out for me.
Okay, I have to pause for a moment here… Tell you the truth, the neighbors upstairs sound like their arguing and banging shit around. Sounds like they’re speaking Dutch. Could be German. There’s music playing so it’s hard to discern...
Anyway, I asked an employee out at Rotterdam Centraal when I arrived. She worked behind the counter at the tram service center. Blonde curly hair and brown eyes. Or at least I’m pretty sure they weren’t green…
Wait, now the neighbors upstairs are running back and forth and laughing… I don’t know what the hell is going on up there.
Anyway… This girl was absolutely unhelpful in resolving my issue but I thought she was cute and I got the impression she was interested, so I walked back up to her...
“Hey, I know this probably very strange but… Would you have any interest in going out sometime?” Her face turned red. Eyes widened slightly. She was embarrassed. Broke eye contact and smiled.
“No thanks.” Shot down! Perhaps I'll refrain from asking out anymore train service center employees.
Took the train back to Amsterdam. Talked to a cute Dutch girl for a good portion of it. Of course I wandered everywhere once I arrived in Amsterdam. I know I’ve said it before and I keep saying it now but Amsterdam is a bizarre place. One moment you’re in an alley with prostitutes behind glass, then the next you’re surrounded by some of the best art museums on the planet.
There was a definitive moment that influenced me to leave for good. One specific incident that finally pushed me out of Amsterdam. Again, I was walking through the red-light district. Through the alleys of red fluorescents. I watched an overweight gentlemen exit one of the rooms. Kept his head down. Clearly ashamed. He only lifted his gaze to see where he was going. I walked past him and got a good look at whoever he’d just left. Think Tim Curry in Rocky Horror but uglier. She tried to smile at me but I could see disgust all over her face. I don’t want to know what they were up to.
I took a right: more doors, more red fluorescents. And this was the moment… This woman, or at least I believe she was a woman, wore a silver two-piece bathing suit. She appeared to have had extensive plastic surgery. Her face was creature-like. Think Gollum from 'Lord of the Rings'. Lots of surgical work gone bad. She was staring at me. We made eye contact. She smiled, evil-like, but I assume she was trying to be sexy.
The prostitute reached down below her waist and grabbed a bulge where I thought a flat crotch would reside. Now either this bulge was her dick or an extremely unkempt afro-sized collection of pubic hair but when I use the word “bulge” to describe it, I assure you that when she began motioning her crotch in my direction, up and down, up and down, she had an entire handful of that crotch within her grasp. Like she was holding a softball. She really wanted me to approach... I was horrified. I decided that was enough for me.
I left the red-light district. Snagged two slices of shitty pizza and a Fanta. The pizza was horrid. But I don’t give a shit, I’ll eat any pizza. I headed back to Rotterdam. Easy to find your way around in Rotterdam, I think. The map my new host went over with me was incredibly helpful. There’s circles all over it.
I already like Rotterdam. The people are nicer. More mellow. I do keep getting looks though. I can’t tell if they’re looking at me cause they’re wondering if I’m going to rob them or they’re into me or if there’s something on fucking face… Kids provide my favorite reactions. They can't help their honesty. One kid passing on a bike stared at me wide-eyed the entire time he was passing. I stared back without looking away. He sized me up from head-to-toe. I’d never felt more like an alien in my entire life.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!