As you might recall from my first Amsterdam post that I talked to some awesome friendly Dutch girls on the last night of Contiki. Well Colin and I wanted to do as the locals do and they happily volunteered to take us around. We met up just after midday at Centraal (Central) Station, which we have gotten to a fine art now. We started hunting for bitterballen, as neither of us had tried it before. We walked, then walked some more followed by some more walking. We got lost a few times which made us feel better about our mistakes. Eventually we stopped at a cafè but it didn’t even have the dish we were searching for! Our feet needed a rest so we decided to eat lunch. We got some club sandwiches and I got a beer. I have learnt one thing about people from the Netherlands, that the Dutch like to drink sugar with coffee. Afterwards we walked a bit more until we found somewhere that sold kroketten, the cousin of bitterballen.
What was cool about the store is that you can buy the food from little vending machine boxes, it reminded me a lot of Japan and their obsession with then. We ordered four and added a healthy dose of mustard, they were really tasty and the combination of the crispy hard exterior and soft gooey centre was amazing. Afterwards we walked a bit to a small rest area outside a museum which gave us the idea to head to the large park in Amsterdam. It was a bit of a walk but it was probably good after eating the deep fried deliciously. On the way our guides explained some of the rich history, sights to see, shops to visit and some interesting buildings to admire. We ran into a group of market research people interviewing passer-bys. Colin ‘volunteered’ first and was bombarded by sexual questions, what is great/bad sex, what are your fantasies etc. It was hilarious as he hadn’t had time to process the situation fully and his thoughts weren’t coherent. Afterwards, the two girls volunteered, and despite English being their second language, made a whole lot more sense than SP.
The park was nice, very relaxing and peaceful, a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. After the restful interlude, we headed to a supermarket where there is a lot of different and cool stuff. I still don’t understand why you can’t get alcohol in ours back home, as we drink so much it would make sense. Finally, it was time to head back and we were guided back to the train station. On the way we were quizzed on what we had learnt (we forgot most of it already) but one thing that was puzzling us was the XXX you see everywhere. Colin had assumed it meant adult, but I had seen it everywhere from innocent tourist items to manhole grates. The origin is actually three St. Andrew’s crosses, same as the Scottish flag. Eventually we got to the station and headed home. We were still pumped to go out, but Colin is still battling the last of his illness and should rest.