Who’s in your hostel and more specifically your dorm room is a bit pot luck at times.
If they’re cool you’ve got instant not only friends but family, if not – you’re doomed to be a loner.
Luckily in Amsterdam I shared a dorm room with an Argentinian guy we nicknamed Angry Meat Man because it became apparent very quickly that he needs to be fed meat, and often, and an older grungier version of Melbourne hipster – with an uncanny resemblance to a young Steve Jobs.
It’s amazing how fast we bonded over a couple of pints and Angry Meat Man’s ice breaker proclamation while strolling a particularly low quality section of the Red Light District – ‘this must be the Ryan Air section.’
And, over the next few days we shared our highs and we shared our lows.
I’ll start with the highs.
In an effort to cheer ourselves up after Steve Jobs Jnr got kicked out of the ‘Inner Amsterdam’ hostel for allegedly not paying, even though it was far more likely a result of their shitty record keeping, we decided to go to one of Amsterdam’s coffee shops.
In the interests of disclosure, I’ve never actually smoked weed, not for any particular reason, I’ve just never felt the need to.
Turns out Angry Meat Man and Steve Jobs Jnr were about as novice as me, so it was quite appropriate that we ended up at a coffee shop called ‘Rookies.’
But the name was deceiving, it was definitely not a first time to Amsterdam coffee shop kind of place.
We were flying blind, so blind in fact we ended up leaving to go and enlist the help of a friendly Englishman we’d meet earlier in the day.
And, this is the last photo I have before things went seriously downhill after the Englishman and his girlfriend helped us purchase one gram of the standard Rookies’ home blend – which is marketed as the weakest strain and a mix of mellow and uplifting weed.
The one gram was enough for a joint each but we decided to ease ourselves into it and go thirds on the first one.
It just made me feel really really relaxed, though I was jolted from my zen-like calm when Angry Meat Man’s eyes went blood red, he began shaking and was sitting in the gutter outside frantically tying, untying and re-tying his shoelaces.
Even a can of Fanta and a Snickers didn’t do the trick and soon he became convinced, in his words – ‘Amsterdam is trying to kill me.’
Then Steve Jobs Jnr went all weird, clingy weird – ‘please hold my hand,’ ‘keep talking to me,’ ‘I feel very vulnerable’ weird.
I was in my happy place and had no idea what to do with them, so while I worked on my plan I lined them up against the wall and decided we needed photographic proof of this moment.
Finally it became apparent that the best place for both of them was in their bunk beds, so here I am walking down the street holding Steve Jobs Jnr’s hand, rubbing Angry Meat Man’s back, trying not to get us killed by the lines of bikes and trams and cars, all while hopelessly trying to navigate our way back to their hostels via double dutch street names like Reguliersdwarsstraat and Lange Leidsedwarssraat.
A good few hours later I manage to get them both safely tucked up in their bunk beds just in time to make it to the canal cruise and comedy show we’d stupidly booked earlier in the day.
It was very similar to that moment I had in Italy where I went from having two dinner dates to dining solo and I spent the next hour of my life seeing Amsterdam from the shelter of my umbrella, with only my box of Belgium chocolates and bottle of Rose of keep me company.
In fairness to Steve Jobs Jnr, he did recover in time to meet me for a late night hot chocolate and in hindsight I really should have grown a pair and kissed him.
As for my trippy moment, it came later that night in bed when I was convinced the strong pungent cheesy weed smell was coming from my hair.
I kept sitting bolt upright, sniffing my hair and then going back to sleep, but every time I rolled over this strong pungent weed waft would reappear.
Turns out I wasn’t tripping, I had for some paranoid reason decided to hide the other two joints in my pillowcase.
If you’re wondering what happened to them – I flushed them down the toilet.
And safe to say it may well be the first and last time I do weed, but hey, at least it was an experience I will never forget.