Day 3 - Wednesday 19th April 2017 - Just Chillin'
I awake to find the sun shining and the sky blue.
Through Hollywood apartment window
I'm planning to try to catch up with the gang at Mr. K, where they're supposed to be from 1pm. That gives me enough time to give a quick report on yesterday in the live thread.
As I do so, DeLekkersteNUGS16 posts a change of plan. Apparently there's a large gathering going on at 137
right now and they want to continue the session there rather than moving to Mr. K. I send a text to Papi to let him know because he should be arriving about now and is expecting to find us at Mr. K.
I decide to take a route to 137 through the Jordaan so that I can pass Mr. K along the way. That will give me the opportunity to get some more coffeeshop pics and round up any stray cats.
It also means that I can follow one of my favourite routes, where the view seems to change dramatically every few metres.
First I cross the Aluminiumbrug, so named because its deck is indeed made of aluminium, apparently. On the other side of the bridge there is an archway that opens out into one of those quiet little hidden away courtyards. Part of the university I think.
A short flight of steps leads to a doorway through a wall. On the other side of this is Grimburgwal, where the southern ends of the two canals that flow through the Red Light District meet. That brings me to my first coffeeshop photographing opportunity.
Next it's across the busy Rokin and onto the Spui. Then into the narrow Heisteeg where I can grab some pictures of the new-look Tweede Kamer.
I see that the postage stamp sign still survives in a form. It's lost its wooden perforations now though. This is what it looked like in 2009 and 2010 respectively:
Tweede Kamer sign 2009 and 2010
My walk continues past 420 Coffeeshop, Best Friends II and the remains of Biba until I arrive at Mr K.
Mr K & Co
As I'm snapping away at Mr. K, I see people inside waving at me. It turns out that Danny211204, Drugsbunny and Smirks have ignored the change of plan and migrated here from 137 regardless. I go inside and join them.
I haven't been into this shop since it was called Sanementereng. The first thing I notice is that its name has changed again. It was called simply Mr. K but now has a smart new graphic on the window saying Mr K & Co.
Are you up for another nostalgia trip? I hope so because I feel one coming on.
The old Sanementereng was unique. Outside it looked like a junk shop. There was an extraordinary collection of bits and pieces piled up in front. Not only that, but there were these huge tree trunks, apparently holding the building up.
Sanementereng before it became Mr. K
Inside it was a proper Aladdin's Cave. Every part of the shop was full of stuff. So much so that there was barely space to roll a joint.
For me, though, this was the perfect environment to get stoned in. So much to look at.
Jumping back to the present day, there is still some interesting stuff in various corners around the shop.
Inside Mr K & Co 2017
I hope someone got a better menu shot. These are details from a larger picture.
Mr K & Co menu
As well as me charging around photographing everything, the four of us are settled in for a nice little session around the big table on the ground floor. We get chatting with the lady running the place and generally enjoy this pleasant little shop.
Smirks has a phone with internet access so I ask him to post where we are for anyone reading the live thread. This reveals another recent post indicating that the gang from 137 have now moved to Sound Garden.
Sound Garden is not far from where we are sitting and it is a nice sunny day. We have been in Mr K at the appointed time and it sounds like many gathered earlier at 137 so, hopefully, we haven't lost too many cats. It's a bit of an 'in between' day after the hecticness of yesterday and expected hecticness of tomorrow so chilling at Sound Garden for a while sounds like a cool idea to me.
The others are up for the idea so, once we finished our current round of joints and vapes, we head off.
The front of Sound Garden
is looking a bit run down these days. Out back it's still the same, though, and very nice in the sunshine.
Sound Garden garden
Singelgracht from Sound Garden
There's a nice little session going on here. Everything is beautiful: the weather, the environment, the company, the weed... Nevertheless, it's approaching 3pm and we're supposed to be in Paradox soon. I mention this to the group but they tell me that word has been put out to everyone and they're all coming here to Sound Garden.
I think someone said that the Danes are rounding up anyone in Paradox and bringing them here. Certainly more and more of the gang are joining us, including new arrivals Choppermike, Nathan420stoner and Papi. There are at least a dozen of us here in the garden. We seem to have mislaid Lafe along the way somewhere. He hasn't been seen since 137. Apologies to him and anyone else we lost. Our cat herding is a bit poor today. We have found a furry cat though.
Don't even think about herding me
All of the kit is out. Behind the obvious there's also a Pax 3 on charge here I think.
The lens on my little camera is best for 28mm wide-angle shots rather than telephoto or macro but the bright sunshine helps me get this tasty shot:
After a couple of hours in Sound Garden I ask whether people fancy checking out Funky Munkey across the road. For some reason nobody seems very interested. Another half an hour or so later several of the crew are feeling hungry. At this point we divide into smaller groups with the intention of re-uniting at Rookies for the planned meet at 6pm.
The group I find myself with are vaguely Leidseplein-bound. We only get as far as 1e Hulp, though, before making a short stop.
At the Leidseplein, Papi and I wait while Macky pops into Burger King. That gives me the chance to get a few more coffeeshop pics.
From there it's straight to
In Rookies we've assembled a substantial gathering. Our travelling circus is joined by Tuttiflutes and Omnibuzz. We've taken over one end of the smoking area and, as you'd expect, there's a serious session going on. I manage to exchange a few words with Tuttiflutes and Omnibuzz but I'm far too stoned to communicate properly.
Through the glass of Rookies smoking area
The disintegration of our plans for the day is completed when any thought of a Pijp crawl is abandoned. It was only an aspiration rather than a firm plan anyway so it's all good.
As we're leaving Rookies and heading into the centre we find HullDJ and Wife sitting outside in the late afternoon sun. We lost Spidergawd and Miss Muffett this morning but we've gained quite a few today so the Gathering is gathering.
Our evening is spent in Batavia as usual.
I've now been in the 'Dam for a couple of days and reached a kind of level. This is my usual experience - the first night I'm absolutely destroyed and then, after a day or so, I reach a sort of plateau where I'm just constantly stoned but able to function in a sort of zombie fashion.
With this thought in mind, I no longer feel the need to decline any intoxicant I'm generously offered. "Dab Lemming?", "Yes please". Then Nugs produces a bottle labelled 'Tyson's THCyrup'. I'll just put some in your beer he says.
OK, now I've found a peak that rises above the plateau. I think that syrup is the only thing I really noticed as taking me to new level rather than just topping up my blitzed state. Very nice. Thanks Nugs.
Batavia is particularly hot and airless tonight. It seems like someone has sucked all of the oxygen out of the atmosphere. We take it in turns to pop upstairs and outside for a breath of air.
Eventually, around midnight, the smoky cavern is getting a bit too much for me and I decide to take a walk over to Utopia to have a spliff with Ingi.
As I'm walking along I hear someone shouting behind me. At first I think it's just a random drunk but then I hear my name. Turning around I find HullDJ steaming up behind me. Perfect, now we are two.
The pair of us continue to Utopia but when we get there it's all looking a bit dead. The door is unlocked so I pop my head around it and have a short conversation with Ingi. Apparently it's been a very quiet night and she's already shut up shop.
We pop into Babylon, which is at least open. I ask the budtender whether we can come and hang out in the lounge. "Sure" he says but then looks at the time and changes his mind. "Sorry mate, it's nearly closing time".
Eventually we finish up at Wonder Bar Two. A beer and a joint there in good company make a fine end to a fine day.
Big day tomorrow.