|Amsterdam is full of nice people…
Boy…What a night!!~
They speak fluent Japanese!
Let me start here from the very beginning…
Much much earlier today…
Stopped by a local kiosk to refill!!
Here we are, finally arriving in the Netherlands!
This was where we were staying at!
It was a really beautiful place to put up for the night!!
Gonna be getting our ride…after my smoke!
(Bad bad habit, old habits die hard)
Although we were outside enjoying ourselves most of the time!! =)
And here we are!
|The name says it all, Amsterdam Centraal
|Amsterdam Centraal Station
And this is Amsterdam Centraal Station.
Very close by, and home to the famed Red-Light District of Europe.
(Before I continue, I would LOVE to thank my WONDERFUL lady. She’s really open, compared to other Asian girls. And as I’ve said before, “You only live once, live it to the fullest”. It appears she shares the same thoughts and I cannot imagine having a great time in Amsterdam with any of my Ex-(s).
Thank you, baby!)
Sensitive issues concerning legal implications
The Netherlands, although a signatory to the international conventions about combating drugs, have a tolerant approach to the drug abuse, treating it more as a health matter similar to the alcohol abuse or smoking of the tobacco.
The Dutch perceive addictions as much wider issue, pointing to addiction to prescriptions medicines, addiction to to gambling or to the modern video games addiction.
The Dutch policy of not prosecuting the minor drug offences, and not enforcing some the existing laws regarding the sale of small quantities Cannabis (Marijuana), is unique comparing even to the most tolerant countries in the world.
It is a common knowledge throughout the world, that in Amsterdam you may just enter a coffee shop and buy drugs; even more – you will be handed a menu with drugs of the day, and there might be even a special on the menu. It is all accessible – for four joints you will pay the same amount as for twenty cigarettes. Nobody will arrest you, because it is all LEGAL.
So what kind of laws are these? Aren’t the Dutch concerned about the real dangers of drug abuse?
Dutch drug laws evolved as the law in other countries during the past century, but the solutions taken in the Netherlands, differ from the rest of the world.
Smart shops in Amsterdam
|A smart shop, very smart…
Smart shops are shops selling herbal products – i.e. Smart drugs, named because they were supposed to stimulate the mind and improve memory. These include energy substances like Guarana, Cola nut, relaxation stuff like Skullcap, Valerian or aphrodisiacs Muira Puama, Gingko Biloba, among others.
Smart shops in Holland are special – Basically outlets which sell LEGAL ‘drugs’.
They also used to sell Magic Mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms – hallucinogenic fungi – were made illegal in the Netherlands in 2008.
The ‘Magic Truffle’ has replaced the banned Magic Mushrooms in Amsterdam’s smart shops. Magic Truffles aren’t against the law, but neither are they entirely without risk.
The only reason that you can still legally buy Magic Truffles, or sclerotia, is that – unlike magic mushrooms – they grow underground. So technically they’re not mushrooms. They are hallucinogenic though, but a lot less so than Magic Mushrooms.
In recent years there has been an explosion of smart shops in Amsterdam, many shops are selling mushrooms truffles, vitamins, weed seeds, grown kits, pipes and various souvenirs and psychedelic art pieces.
Coffee shops in Amsterdam
Coffee shops, not to be confused with cafes, have been a part of Amsterdam since the 1970’s, when the Dutch government made a clear distinction in the law between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs.
Unlike Amsterdam’s fully LEGAL smart shops, coffee shops have always existed in a legal grey area.
Today, Amsterdam’s City Council, through agreement with the coffee shop union “Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten” (BCD), allows coffeeshops to operate with the provision of set, non-transferable licences.
These are shown by the display of an official, green and white sticker in the window.
Yes, there is even a Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam!
The museum is called: “Hemp Gallery”, they explain in detail on the civilized use of cannabis, its history and tradition in arts, again repeating the arguments for the wider use of hemp. A small art gallery where individual shows of painters and photographers take place, is located at the back of the exhibit.
The hemp plant is one of the oldest crops known to man, which has been used for thousands of years as a material to make textiles that are similar to linen, ropes and even paper. Hemp has been also a source of oil – which while eatable, has been produced mainly to impregnate textiles, as a fuel for oil lamps, as a medicine and to make paints and soap.
Today, the hemp plant is seen as an important alternative of cotton, but while cultivation of cotton asks for a lot of water and pesticides and its harvest is labor consuming, the hemp plant is a strong, undemanding, versatile crop, harvesting of which may be easily mechanized.
The Red Light District
This is the entrance to the famous RLD of Amsterdam.
|The red light district in Amsterdam
Just a short walk from Amsterdam Centraal.
From brothels to sex shops to museums, the Red Light District leaves nothing to the imagination. It is very likely that you will have heard about this neighborhood and to be frank, everything you will have heard is probably true , but to really put rumors to rest, you have got to check it out for yourself.
The Rossebuurt, as the locals know it, is unlike any other place. Guaranteed.
Certainly, the Red Light District that everyone knows about is the one where women, of all nationalities, parade their wares in red-fringed window parlors, many ready to offer more than a school boy peep-show in a private cabin.
Another familiar image of the Red Light District is of packs of men, young and old , couples holding hands and pointing in shock of it all, giggling groups of women celebrating a hen night.
Busloads of Japanese tourists toting cameras here for “sex tours” (I swear they do exist!) – except not in the direction of the female entertainers! That is Strictly BANNED!
|Amsterdam – RLD
This is proof enough that the RLD deserves a visit, if not a little look in.
Time to retire!!
As you could see, it was getting really late.
It was almost deserted everywhere.
Decided to finally leave the Red Light District and head home!
Took a couple more pictures before our drive back to the hotel.
De Nieuwe Kerk
De Nieuwe Kerk – meaning New Church, is often used for important art exhibitions.
It’s a really beautiful structure!
Great architecture too, pity it was already closed! 🙁
Always wanted to fly?
You’ve gotta ❤ Qatar Airways, for never failing to provide reliable, non-stop flights!
This shot was taken on the way back.
Finally, home sweet home away from home!
I was so damn exhausted!!
Had a wonderful sleep and woke up feeling totally refreshed!
The next day.
We had breakfast at Delifrance.
|Delifrance croissants for breakfast
We were famished and the food tasted really wonderful!
But that’s another story for another day!
I hope you dear readers enjoyed reading.
I’ve learnt a lot in Amsterdam and i hope you dear readers found this post informative!
Let me know what you think and feel free to drop me a comment!
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Stay tuned for Part 2 of Amsterdam!
To be continued….