Being in a new place seems to be good for the brain. The monotony of your current situation needs to be broken up now and again to add a bit of spice to your life. Many of us never get the opportunity to do this and I am overly grateful for my first ‘proper’ trip to Amsterdam and the first holiday away with the other half. Weed and prostitution covered up with stories of visits to the Tulip and Van Gough museum, that’s what Amsterdam is known for. It was embarrassing to tell people where I was going on holiday because instantly the seedy nature of their brains went to fucking whores and taking drugs. I can imagine if I was Dutch, I would hate the way the general populous stigmatise Amsterdam which has an abundance of historical buildings, museums and a vibrant cultural scene. I’ve done the generic Amsterdam holiday before and now that I look back, a lot of it was a waste of time. I smoked too much and didn’t really enjoy the company or surroundings I was in, and now I’ve been able to experience this cultural comparison which highlights my spiritual growth. Passing by the coffee shops and spending way too much time in train stations, I was able to get a glimpse of my past holiday experiences through the bloodshot eyes of the unprepared travellers stuck dead to their seats, stoned out of their minds.
Second day – On the way to Rotterdam I stared out the window the whole time, fascinated by the unfamiliar landscape passing by. The train travels at such a speed so that you can actually take in the views which would be customary for a normal Dutch, but for me feels so extra ordinary. I spotted, the traditional Dutch windmill thrown in every now and then as a stout cultural reminder of where in Europe I was, the houses seemed narrower, and cleaner, plus there was very little advertising and rubbish. Everything seemed sterile, as if the plastic packaging had just been removed and now the giant toddlers were looking to play with their new Dutch lego set. Haarlem looked extremely upmarket but cool, and the houses with the rivers as back gardens were quaint, as there was a lot of countryside on the way. Rotterdam was more city like, and I felt a wave of familiarity when noticing a concrete pour going on after exiting the station. Metropolitan is the word I guess people would use. Plenty of shops, usual brands with some cool Dutch exclusives, Universities and colleges around, a large amount of young people of all races and backgrounds shopping, studying, conversing, it felt vibrant. The energy from the youths seemed to emanate through the city and offer an extra little buzz, missing in many places. It was busy but not too overcrowded and there wasn’t even a huge amount to see. Cube houses, Erasmus bridge and the Markethal. We managed to get a free bus journey and even picked up some Dutch swag. clothes.
We stayed in Sloterdijk which I managed to pronounce correctly after two days of embarrassment and sexual inclinations, and it seemed like a dull place when we first got there. There were some food location issues at first, but there was a Starbucks which offered the usual and after we starbucked, checked in and slept we made our way into Amsterdam Central. Rustic slanted buildings almost kissing each other from one side of the street to the other an array of contemporary trendy shops and an opulent train station. I loved the train station, great use of exposed facing brick, lights and detailed mouldings which brings the surroundings to life. They also have double decker trains which seemed futuristic. We saw the coffee shops, and I remember being on the other side of those tables. The weed is cleaner and stronger than what people may usually be used to so people get too high and just sit there staring into space and when you walk in sober its like walking into a zombie tea party. Ventured briefly into the red light district which is a novelty in itself, but holds the secret to, possibly a safer way for prostitution to operate. Walking through the streets, there is definitely a deep sense of the history which suits the city, felt in every pavestone and seen in every red brick. One of the places that we did end up was a shop showing the sign of magic truffles.
On the first day – Talking to Baba in the magic truffles shop gave me a warm but eerie feeling. It felt as if he was a gate keeper, someone who vehemently respected psilocybin and protected the experience from abuse. He also reminded me of a sacred illuminati goat, and it was interesting to speak to someone who had such an extensive relationship with the magic. I bought two packets of dolphins which we planned to take on the last full day we were there but I’d never done psilocybin in such a public space before. We ate decent dumplings in the evening, smoked and got to bed reasonably early ready for Rotterdam i the morning. There was a co-op 5 mins away where we acquired breakfast items but the first day was mellow.
The third day – Tours and museums, once we got the canal tour and body works museum out the way (which was fun), we jumped on to a ferry to take up to the other side of Amsterdam where there was the science museum and other attractions. We found a secluded lake and walked down a raised platform encroaching the lake, vigilant of the numerous cyclists riding home on the dedicated bike path, just yards away. It started to rain lightly, but wasn’t too cold. I took out the dolphins and started to munch. I ate a whole packet of dolphins and then just under half a pack of another. Around twenty grams in total, because I had heard that truffles have less psilocybin in them. We ate with the dark chocolate which is a good move.
We waited for 5 mins and then walked back towards the ferry, but found a hidden pathway lit up with small round yellow lights leading into a park. We were truffled up, so of course we followed the light and ended up in a dimly lit park with a timber built bar hidden under some trees at the back of the park and then the truffles started to work. I sat down feeling sick and extremely nauseous on a bench and tried to hold it down but the enzymes were churning and I felt as if I was going to throw up. We walked back to where the ferry initially dropped us off and I sat down by the riverside, still nauseous, feeling trippy and dizy. The truffles started to work more, but I was sick as fuck, I felt cold, and people’s faces started to get all Toy story like. People were walking by and I felt calm, but their excessive behaviour became piercing to my senses. Laughs became cackles, shouting got stuck in brain and I can see the waves getting more wavey. Everything got the best of me and eventually I did throw up, I felt like I got all the bad shit (I was recently ill and eating crap) out of me. Thats when the dolphins started to do their thing. The new built apartment building took on the usual mushroomy glow and we made our way to the ferry, hopped on and went inside. It was getting cold and as I looked around I realised I was heavily tripping and all I could think about was how embarrassing would it be if I threw up in the middle of the ferry right now.
Fortunately I didn’t, but I knew I had a monumental task ahead of me when I tried walking off the ferry and it felt like I had clown shoes on. Every step I took was exaggerated just in case the ground decided to swallow me up. Bicycles were a big concern but I managed to navigate my way to the train station and find a seat watching the world go by. This is when the intensity levels ramped up with distant sounds fading in and out and a distinct feeling of being outer body Strange things would happen but I managed to stay calm, even when the weird guy kept sniffing the floor near my feet & the foreign gangster kept asking me for a billet. The lights became increasingly intense, and it felt like I was in downtown Tokyo in the times of blade runner experiencing time slowing down. I could zero in on people and really focus on a person’s soul but when teamed up, we walked up and down Amsterdam Central station, finding it difficult to get out, trapped in a continuous loop of train station with constant calling outs of Sloiterdjek. I noticed other people tripping, stopping at the same locations to take in the same views at the end of the station which seemed like the edge of the world. Still feeling slightly ill, not able to get to Amsterdam town centre, we entered a white zone reluctantly, which led to the train station platform. It reminded of the inside of a spaceship, all white, lights shining and entrances to the double decker train. We jumped on the train, and sat down and it felt like I was leaving Amsterdam, a female city, of lights love and culture behind. I could see the multicoloured lights in the window and I started to get a little emotional. The train stops and after navigating my way out of the Sloiterdjek station still intensely tripping, I was stuck in the rain.
Again, the lights in the surrounding buildings kept me drawing in, and in a way it felt good to be away from the overweight larger louts and stoned robo zombies trying to get the train home. I remember being slightly disconnected and the feeling that there were other people around me on mushrooms, the group of men taking in the same soberly boring lights at the end of the station, the female couple, one doing the matrix movements with her hands and the unbelievable views you get walking along the promenade in the evening soaking in the river views and the rainbow forcefield surrounding the museums on the opposite side of the water. But now off train, the rain at Sloiterdjiek station became part of the fun, part of the background and getting wet was a novelty. As we walked towards the hotel I got an iconic view of the ‘Breakfast Club’ restaurant and the thousands of bicycles at the station, in the rain with the colourful lights emanating from the high rise hotels in the background. I was in a movie, dreaming, aware enough to know how to cross a road but role playing my way through a fantasy that brought me back to the wonders of childhood. My mind was blown of the beauty around me, the delicate rain drops, the embracing of an alien surrounding, but as I walked away, was pulled away I had to stop and look back. One part trying to be comfortable back in the hotel, the other knowing that the lights is where I needed to be. Strange magnetism from beauty. I stopped and looked back again ‘The breakfast club’ that’s when the emotions come to the surface like plastic in a turquoise ocean, and I started to breathe heavy for the world and all the people in it. Also because I’d been here before, but I don’t know what that means, I stopped again, getting one last glimpse of the view before we went back, together but alone, it was a magnificent feeling.
Back in the hotel I could feel the effects slightly fading, the curtains breathing, solemn shading of purple and blue expanding and contracting in contrast with the night time sky sparking up in the background. It was warming, comforting, like I was being held in a massive purple marshmallow. Under the sheets was warm, different to the mild rain I’d just left from. I’ve never seen colours like this before. A part of my brain usually closed off to the sensory absorption of certain lights, was lit up. Partly stayed with me too, even after the truffle wear off. The deep, encompassing luminous yellow/purple covering the quilt which I was under was breathtaking, until disturbed, however etched in my brain. I remember listening to an explanation on the light spectrum outside of what we can not normally take in on a daily basis. I was exposed to the levels of ultraviolet and infrared our human senses cannot usually pick up, and it’s stunning. No words can do it justice, but I’ve realised more about the brain. About my brain. Once you truly expose yourself to higher learning and psychedelic concepts, this can translate in the hallucinogenic world. Train your brain before you go on a trip and you’ll be rewarded with bliss. There were more moments of deep breathing and heartfelt concern for those who never get to experience what I did. What I do and what I will. Family & friends of course but the whole world also. Wilful ignorance, comfort and fear stifles the potential of the human experience, and tapping in to the sadness gets me really emotional. There is pain dotted around these experiences, a feeling of uncontrollable sadness as well as awe, but I cannot yet figure it out. It has something to do with the quote below. I felt it, but for once, I didn’t cry for humanity. I didn’t cry for myself. I just about, didn’t cry at all, I just stayed on the edge. Like edging with tears instead of.
Overall it was a great experience enriched with culture and seasoned with discovery. This trip showed me more about who I am, but I still have no idea…
“For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.”
Hunter S. Thompson