Beautiful Amsterdam

We had an early morning since we wanted to make the most out of our short time in Amsterdam. The itinerary for the day was visiting the Anne Frank House, Red Light District and Van Gogh Museum. Probably too ambitious for the time we had …

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The canal dwellers …  perhaps more urban than the swamp people in New Orleans 

The Anne Frank House is located about 20 minutes walk from our apartment. It was the house that she and her family hid during the Nazi occupation in Amsterdam. If you have read the book, you will definitely enjoy the museum. We saw the Secret Annex and all the rooms that were described in her book.  It was a very sobering experience because it didn’t only talked about Anne Frank but also the history of Holocaust in Europe.

During my education in Malaysia, we never studied the history of the Holocaust and WW2 in detail. My only exposure to that was reading the Anne Frank Diary. To be honest, I never really understood why the Jews did not foresee their persecution when Hitler came into power until I’ve visited the Anne Frank House. In my subjective opinion, besides the tyranny of that monster (Hitler), I believe it’s also a combination of denial, resignation and inexplicable trust placed on people of power that resulted in this massacre. Nonetheless, it was a horrible tragedy that everybody should learn about especially in this day and age. The leaders we vote to govern our country are supposed to serve us, not the other way around. In Malaysia, there is no denial that being in power is a privilege to take advantage of the country and drain all her resources for their personal benefit.

Anyways …..

After a very serious morning, we decided to go for brunch at this little cute pancake place called Mook Pancakes.

Adam got the Mancake  which had bacon, cheddar cheese,grilled onions and maple syrup

I had the Vegalicious, the complete opposite of Adam’s … Haha … It was with Avocado, Hummus and grilled vegetables. Both pancakes were very delish and filling. Definitely recommended if ever in Amsterdam.

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There were a lot of crooked buildings around the city. I wonder how much are they paying for their home insurance ….

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Smallest car I’ve ever seen.. I think it’s smaller than the Smart car!

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We saw these on display in a home decor store…. I’m sure someone out there would love to have these in their homes

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There were a lot of hipster / urban / industrial interior decoration stores around the city. I’d love to get some of these pieces back home but the shipping alone would probably buy us a new condo =P

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We ventured towards The Nine Streets to check out some stores. There were a lot of nice boutiquey stores but quite expensive. Wished we weren’t on a budget ….

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We did a lot of window shopping instead, mentally filing away stores to come back to next time when we’re NOT on a budget….

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More pretty canals…

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Never too early for a beer break … Okay, I do like the fruity beers… Drank more beer than I ever had in my life!

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Tried a Bitterballen which is a typical Dutch delicacy. It’s a kind of like an arancini minus the rice.  It’s a tad rich for my taste.

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We bought a couple old map prints as souvenirs.

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These narrow and tilted homes on the canal  make a good photo op

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Not sure what this structure is for but it’s pretty cool looking

And of course, a visit to Amsterdam is incomplete without a stop at the Red Light District …

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Which truthfully was very underwhelming and super touristy. In fact, it’s such a small part of Amsterdam that it’s way to overrated to be classify as a must-do. We couldn’t take any pictures but here’s some food for imagination…

There are several “rooms” with glass windows along the very narrow alley that are packed with people of all age-groups from gawking tourists to blokes on a bachelor party. Each girl has their own room equipped with a washroom and a bed. After a customer is done, they will sterilize their room. You can actually see them spraying down everything, in their skimpy outfits. We didn’t get to see any nudity but most of the girls are fairly attractive with their teeth intact – /inside joke – not a crackwh*re/

I can’t imagine if you actually want to procure their services can do so discreetly without having hundreds of people staring at you entering the room. But hey, people still do so! Saw one dude coming out of a room and several fingers pointing at him. Haha.

I’ve been itching to get my nose pierced for some time.  I had my nose pierced about 4 years ago when Myron convinced me to do it. It lasted about 2 weeks cause it got badly infected…. But I’ve always loved how it looked and so I decided to get my nose pierced again in Amsterdam.

By the way, I hate needles and they use big needles to pierce the nostril. I was actually super nervous about but thankfully, Adam the King of Calm was able to distract me with his super calm voice…. lol

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Prepping ….

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Selected the location of interest ….

Or you can watch the full video of me going through this ordeal …

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Unfortunately, this nose piercing lasted even shorter than my previous one …. It popped out when I rubbed my nose and I couldn’t put it back in again. Argh. I was too chicken to re-do it again cause of the needle …. However, I wouldn’t rule that out ….. Maybe in the future ….

With my new nose, we headed towards the Van Gogh Museum but unfortunately it was already closed when we got there.

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We settled down at the park anyway and watched a bunch of guys play football.

So peaceful and relaxing

We picked a random Spanish restaurant for dinner and had some tapas. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant cause the food was actually very good. I should start making notes about the places we visited cause writing about it post 2 months of intensive travel can do a number on your memory.

The calamari was very tender and the sauce was mildly spicy

The scallops were huge and fresh. So decadent in butter sauce.

 

Lamb meatballs that were as flavourful as it’s colour.

We did more exploring around the city and went home around 10 pm. There was a Lebanese restaurant right by our apartment and Adam couldn’t resist getting another dinner.

There’s a funny story with our AirBnB place in Amsterdam. When we booked it, we assumed we were sharing the place with the owner. When we showed up, we had to pick up the keys from the cafe next door cause the owner wasn’t home. We let ourselves in and there was a list of instructions and suggestions on the table. It had every information we needed for the stay. First night comes around, we still haven’t met the owner. By the second day, we thought maybe the owner doesn’t stay in the apartment if he had guests over and so we thought we had the whole place to ourselves. On the following night, we were hanging out in the kitchen and chatting with a friend on Skype. I told Adam, maybe we should talk in the room instead. 2 mins after we moved to the room, we heard the outside door opened and someone walking in. We didn’t leave our room cause we weren’t erm, decently dressed…. We figured, we’ll meet him the next morning before we leave for Frankfurt.

Our cozy little room

Next day came along and no one was home! Oh well, there was nothing to complain about it but it was our first time renting an AirBnB place without meeting the owner. The way this guy had it set up works well for him especially if he does not want to interact with his guest. We definitely had no complaints about his place and him. Works for all of us!

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Time to catch the tram to the train station

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Amsterdam’s central train station is very clean

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Getting back to work ….

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Picked up some currents and blueberries for breakfast. Dutch berries are the best I tell ya!

So far, I’d say Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities. The people are nice and we haven’t seen so many good looking people in a city like Amsterdam. The food is great and have a lot of varieties. The city is beautiful, clean and doesn’t feel as cramped like other European cities. I even told Adam that I would consider moving there as long as he can get a job there =P Initially we didn’t realized how much Amsterdam had to offer until we got there. We only spent 2.5 days there and it wasn’t even close to scratching the surface. Our impression of Amsterdam is definitely more than just Red Light District and space cakes. Next time, we’ll be back for more!

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Next up, Frankfurt – Germany!

 

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