Excerpt from TravelMag:
“Please take me out of this city before I die.” – My answer to the taxi driver’s question, as he took me to the airport after three nights in A’dam.
The first day begins at a pub near Dam Square. Beth and I are starting a long weekend in a city famous for its artists, architecture, and…I always forget the third thing.
We start with Strongbow cider beers and leave, noticing the Euro pub to the left. Heading down Rokin street , winding around the canals (stopping at a smart shop to price hallucinogen mushrooms) we find the coffee shop named Dutch Flowers where we buy a snow cone sized joint, smoke some and order coffees then stop at a small café and have drinks, mini-pizzas, a tuna sandwich, see a person dressed as a super hero, and then take pictures next to a giant painting of the Dutch Masters (the same guys on the boxes of cigars). Around the corner is the Torture museum where we treat ourselves to viewings of “The Chair”, “The Stretcher”, and finally “The Saw” which was used to cut people in half. Next, more sights: narrow house, canals, and a draw bridge. After sights, it’s time for drinks at bars with names like STAGGER and COME IN TOURIST where they only play live DVDs, random clippings hang from the walls, and you take three flights of stairs straight up to the bathroom.
A hard crashing nap is had (we make it back to the hotel for this) and then dinner at a restaurant next to the Euro Pub (cheeseburgers all around) and then it’s off to the Red Light district. First stop is Baba’s coffee house, a techno booming joint surrounded by fifty other coffee houses. We smoke, drink space tea, eat muffins, then cross the canal over to “Prostitute” street where the women are naked and staring at us from their windows. At a bar with a Heineken sign we drink Heinekens.
It’s shot time.
I ask the bartender for “Sex on the Beach” and he laughs and tells me that the “Sex” is outside and the beach no where near. He pours poisonous black licorice shots and we throw them down and order more Heinekens. Next door is another bar, also with a Heineken sign where we go in have another round of Heinekens, watch a man in drag sing and dance to an unidentifiable song, throw down a round of Kamikaze shots, have another round of Kamikaze shots, meet creepy English guys named Rory and Port, and then order another round of Heinekens, followed by more Kamikaze shots.
Walking again (sort of), we pass Casa Rosa sex shop and then pass the Casa Rosa live sex show and then arrive at the Casa Rosa Theatre where we have tickets to the “show”. Inside we drink a round of Captains, watch live sex (the show is pretty much couple after couple going on stage and having sex), move up three rows, watch a woman smoke a cigarette with her vagina, order another round of Captains, move up three more rows, watch more live sex, and then watch audience members eat a banana from inside one of the porn stars vaginas. Note that a gorilla (may or may not have been an actual gorilla, I was pretty fried at this point) is also on stage jerking off and spraying the audience with water.
The Euro pub. Final stop. The type of place where everyone rolls their own cigarettes and sings along to Irish chants, or maybe English, it’s very hard to say. The one guarantee is that soccer is on the television. A round of shots, a round of Captains, another round of shots, and another round of Captains. The Euro Pub. The only guarantee is a hangover the next day.
READ the full column at TravelMag.co.uk
David S. Grant is the author of BLOOD: The New Red. Follow David on Twitter: .david_s_grant