Although the city of Amsterdam still bravely clings on to the brand-image as ultimate party-city, we’ve recently dropped down one whopping point on the Lonely Planet Top 10 Best Party City list. #2. Just before the awesome city of Hyderabad (?).
As much as this fact gives me a very welcome reason to write this column, it does hurt. I’ve always hugely liked our leading brand-image because it makes me look real badass to foreigners. Also, it attracts that awesome kind of people that don’t give a shit about wearing pants. But most of all: Amsterdam has always had the ambition and potential to put our cute little country on the overwhelmingly huge map.
Okay; nowadays San Francisco holds the best weed, Berlin really knows her MDMA and to make things worse for us the Mayor of Amsterdam banned magic mushrooms from our streets after one too many tourists went flying off a building. Yet another bad PR stunt for our brand-position.
But then, on one rainy afternoon whilst doing nothing more than some serious field research on the above at a coffee shop, a friendly tourist sang to me -in a soft 80’s voice- the poetic and promising: “The Amsterdamned Mushroom is back in bloom, back in bloom. Mushroom-room.”
Because I’ve never done drugs in my life and my parents read my columns, I assigned the brave kid to be my undercover agent and immediately decided to send him off on his first mission to discover the hidden Magic M on the streets. Oh my, was I psyched!! This would really help me build a stronger case to present to the organic vegans at Lonely Planet!
Let’s give this Donny Brasco a little background first -to make him even more likable:
It turned out it was his second visit to the Dam. The first time was less than memorable, he said, because he doesn’t remember:
After checking in at the Bulldog Hotel –awesome - he ate some spacecake, didn't think it was working so he washed it down with a hash-shake. As told by his friends, he couldn't move or speak for a day and then was escorted on to the plane in an electronic wheelchair. The only thing he said during the 5h flight back home was a constant repeat of the brilliant Homer Simpson-phrase “Operator! Please give me the number for 911!”
So, this time around he wisely skipped desert and went straight for the tea.
With a sign around his neck to remind him he was incapable of flying, I sent my brave little soldier off into the field.
After about an hour I received a text stating that he had bought and absorbed the urban fungi without any kerfuffle. No questions asked and no passport-registration needed. (Take notice, mister Mayor.)
Soon thereafter I had to calm him down a bit because his cup of coffee at Burger King actually turned out to be a nitro bomb planted there by Buddy Holly. Hey, we’ve all been there: It meant he was getting all warmed up. Great! I poured myself some more herbal tea, put a blank sheet in my typewriter and waited anxiously for the USP-evidence to put in my winning LP-presentation.
I will spare you all communication sent to me in the following hours, but to give you something to keep your kids off drugs with:
· “I bought a cat. I’ve set it free now. His name was Freedom McGee.”
· “Sally Spectra!”
· “My leg is asleep, so we’ll have to whisper.”
· “I just coughed up some of my brain. Hopefully it was not an important parsk of my broiwn.”
· And, my personal favorite: “I am so hungry, I could ride a horse.”
But then, about three hours after kick-off:
“WHERE THE FUCK AM I.”
To protect him from yet another luring bad trip, I calmly responded; “You, my trooper, are in Amsterdam.”
How the bloody hell did I end up in Denmark?!”
Well fuck me Alice and leave me pantyless.
Just give us back our well-earned #1 position and I’ll promise to like you on Facebook, my lonely Planets.