Monday, June 06, 2005

Hoy!

Well, I'm in Europe once again, and once again, it's memorable. So memorable, it deserved some sort of documentation. And thus, the blog is born.

First off, I must say that everyone on this trip seems really cool. I have no beef against anyone, and people that I normally didn't talk to I am suddenly getting along with great. Maybe it's the honeymoon period of the trip, but either way it's been great.


LONDON

Weekend one was London, and we started the bloody tour as soon as we landed. Needless to say, the bus tour I was not awake for. That first day was pretty gruesome, and I had to battle out my jet lag and keep from falling asleep.

I'd been to London before, and loved it, but I feel as though this time through I didn't experience as much. For one, we just didn't see as much during the day. This was due to the fact that none of us knew our way around. We did see a few things like Trafalger's Square, that art museum next to it, and had a real crappy view of the changing of the guard.

The highlight of London, however, was what we did in the evening of day 2. We had a group of about 10 people who decided to do the night life--and it was blast. We started out just checking random pubs and hangouts. The streets were filled with energy and people. We found our way to the Sports Cafe that the fun really started. That particular night, there was a US vs. England soccer game, so people were going hog-wild watching this thing. Luckily, the U.S. lost, cause there would have been a lot of angry drunk Brits that might have done something rash. Who knows? I'm paranoid.

So I played a few rounds of pool and drank a like 3 pints. My first pint was free. When I decided to buy my first, there was a Brit waiting behind me to get his order and kept bumping me. He seemed pretty wasted and thus he couldn't help but sway back and forth. He was also very burly, so I didn't mind that he was being a bit rude. He then decided to talk to me, and quickly discovered that I'm form the states. We made small talk, and he busts out with "You play America's Army?" I've played this PC game maybe twice, so I nodded yes. He then proceeds to punch me in the chest and I'm his honorary friend for the evening. He asked me what my favorite level was, and I freaked internally but responded with, "That one with the snow and the bridge." That did the trick. And that's how I got a free drink.

From there we hit up the dance floor, and this was the first time that I really but my groove on. Dancing is I'd say 50% state of mind and 50% skill. I don't think I have much skill, and it probably showed for the first two songs, but after the awkward beginning, your state of mind begins to relax and lose care, and that's when you start to improve. I was indeed complimented afterwards that I could use my hips very well. Must be a Latin thing.

So we danced for a couple of hours and managed to find our way back to the hotel after the Underground closed. It was the longest walk back, but soon enough we were warm again and I took a royal piss.

AMSTERDAM

"Walk down the right streets of Sin City, and you can find anything" -- Frank Miller

That pretty much summed up the experience here in this gargantuan filthy city. The first day was absolutely miserable with the cold and rainy weather. I even caught a sniffle. But day 2 was much better and more. . .interesting?

We started out going to Anne Franke's home, which was a very cool thing to see. There's no way I would last more than a week in there as clumsy and loud as I can get. I'd be gassed for sure. After that, we saw the Van Gogh and Rembrandt galleries. Both were cool, but got old very quickly.

After that, I found my way to the "Netherland's 3-D experience" theater, but it was a little lame. It made me feel that the Netherland's doesn't have much to offer. It kept showing shots of boats, bicyclists, and flowers. . .something I've already been seeing in 3-D for a while now.

But the Netherland's do indeed have much more to offer. Much more. . .

The second half of the day turned very different. I split off with 2 friends who were a blast to hang out with. Both had a very can-do attitude and weren't sending off negative vibes or apathy. I think I want to do more with them.

So we turned onto this street, and I noticed there was a woman in the window in a bikini. I thought, "That's really weird." We walked not 10 steps and ran into a Sex Cinema. I thought, "Hmmm, that's also really. . . wait a second!" Yes, I soon came to the realization that we were going down the Red Light Disctrict. And it's just about as raunchy as you can imagine. I man at door we passed yelled, "High quality filth right here. Come on in!". I had a David Chappelle looking hobo come up to me and ask if I wanted "Crack and ecstasy". A woman tapped on a window and beckoned me to enter. There were mushroom shops and weed shops everywhere. I was truly in Sin City. At one point, while we were leaving, we walked down an alley, but it was the wrong alley to walk down. It was pretty much all windows and women. The three of us got a bit put off by this, but we really freaked when one of them opened the door. We all thought we were going to get yanked in, but turns out she was just yelling at someone for change. Crazy stuff, no?

After that, we decided to find a church and take a bath in holy water. Actually, we just found a very scenic church that's no longer a church, but is an attraction. We also found a windmill and a pirate ship in the harbor. We also ran into this bloke who wanted one of us to punch him in the face because of he had "a tooth ache". I don't know what kind of crazy scheme we was up to--if at all. This lanky dude was staggering down the street and wouldn't stop asking for a good punch in his cheek. We finally convinced him that we wouldn't feel right doing so and that he finally bugged off.

We spent the rest of the day just walking around and finally went home. It was really a trip (no pun intended).

I'll write a bit about Maastricht tomorrow and how we almost got beat up by the local soccer team in a pub. . .

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