The Clues And The Question

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The Clues And The Question

Post by HitTheNorth » Thu 25th Oct 2018 04:45 pm

Eleven years. The last time I set foot on those hallowed cobbles, Zinedine Zidane had just head butted an opponent in the World Cup final and you could still buy beer in coffee shops. Eleven years. How had I let myself sink so low?

But plans were afoot.

My partner, L's 40th birthday was coming up and I wanted to do something special, something she could remember. She'd never been to Amsterdam and we'd often talked about it. We're both keen smokers and she'd heard many tales of my previous six visits.

It was a no brainer. Childcare arranged, flights and air bnb booked. Boom.

As her birthday approached I began to think how I could "wrap" this gift, and came upon the idea of a series of clues, small gifts that would hint at the main event.

The day arrived, "Happy birthday love", the morning started as usual with a wake n bake - unbeknownst to L, her first clue. She then proceeded through her other gifts of a bunch of tulips (her fave flowers so no suspicion arose), a pair of nice table lamps (red of course!), bottle of gin (Geneva substitute), then a hideously kitsch pair of pottery clogs - she knows this is leading up to something but she's still not twigged so I gave her her card, Van Gogh painting on the front, still not got it, finally the plane tickets inside... Now she understands. Tears. Hugs. Kisses. Great success. But I have greater plans than this...

Due to work commitments, our trip wasn't for another two months. Those weeks were spent with my head buried in this forum. I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed. It's a fantastic resource for research and recommendations and also a wonderful archive of living history. Kudos.

Anyway enough of the preamble. Having made contact with our host, Cedric, he advised us to use sloterdijk rather than centraal for a connection which meant missing out on that wonderful welcome view from the front of centraal station for the first time. Never mind. Having successfully negotiated our way to the directed tram stop I called Cedric for further directions. Virgin says no. Luckily my partners phone works, contact made and were there shaking hands in two minutes flat.

Cedric shows us around his apartment, the realisation slowly dawns on me that we don't have this place to ourselves. This is not what I intended but in my defence it was my first time using air bnb and I clearly messed it up. Oh well, suck it up, the main thing is we're here. He's cool, not anti pot and he's fine with smoking on the balcony. That'll do. Quick freshen up and let's get at it.

Evening 1

We,re right out just a couple of streets from Erasmuspark. So we jump on a tram down to Marnixstraat. I ask L, "What do you want to do first? Eat or smoke?", "I want to go to a coffeeshop" she replies. Correct answer. Ten points. First stop, first aid...

1e Hulp

First time visit for me after reading many good things. There's only one other punter at the counter so we get served straight away. I ask what's good at the moment and the budtendress recommends the Orange Deisel, weirdly I had some of this at home a week or two before and instead opt from a g each of Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue 4. I grab a Fanta (not cold enough) and L in her innocence orders a tea expecting it to be English style, ah well, you live and learn.

We head to the upstairs smoking room and bang one of each together. I enjoyed the GG more than the GSC, I felt the GSC could have been cured slightly better but it was nice enough. The glue had a real interesting flavour and led to a little couch lock whilst I settled back in to a city I love and L soaked up her first experience of a coffeeshop. Overall I felt it was a good place to take her to break her duck. Very chill. Staff were pleasant enough. At one point the lady who served us was cleaning up and found a can of coke, unopened that someone must've left, and just gave it to some punters rather than bin it. I like little things like that.

It was getting a little smokey and we were getting hungry so we hit some random Italian on Rozengracht. Couple pizzas, couple beers. Three youngish Italian guys came in, obviously worse for wear and were seated on the next table to us. They were very funny, clearly smashed. They ordered sooooo much food it was untrue.

Time to mooch, I suggest showing L the sights of the night and she concurs. We stroll down to Dam and the fair is on, all whirling lights and craziness. We head up Warmoesstraat and a little trip through the RLD. It strikes me how much has changed since my last visit over a decade ago. I'm still not sure how I feel about this although I will say it's a lot less sketchy in the RLD even if a lot of what made it so full of character has been banished.

I have a destination in mind on our wandering and that is...

Green Place

Again I'd never been in here before but had heard some intriguing reports. My notes say "Hmmm moody vibe" and to be honest it wasn't my kind of place. I'm not a fan of turnstiles and the budtender was frosty but hey what the hell, they sell bud. I wanted something for the morning as I have big plans for tomorrow so I grabbed a g of their Amnesia 666 for €9, couple of drinks and a grinder and went to sit outside. This was a good choice. Although it was fairly cold it was a cool place to sit, smoke a joint and watch the world go by. We saw some sights that made us think. We talked and laughed.

After a while we had another little wander and then got the tram back up to Marnixstraat, we had a quick drink in Soundgarden. It was nearly midnight now I think and the outdoor area didn't look too inviting so I didn't have a smoke here. Back up the road to our digs and we need to sleep. It's a big day tomorrow. And she hasn't got a clue...

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by FODSmith » Thu 25th Oct 2018 05:22 pm

Great start. Looking forward to further instalments. You have a good grasp of what to me is essential about Amsterdam – there's lots of good things, and lots of crap, and the secret is not to waste time on the crap but look for the next good thing. It's likely to be around the corner.
HitTheNorth wrote:
Thu 25th Oct 2018 04:45 pm
I ask L, "What do you want to do first? Eat or smoke?", "I want to go to a coffeeshop" she replies. Correct answer. Ten points.
In my experience, a sound basis for a relationship.

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by HitTheNorth » Fri 26th Oct 2018 04:35 pm

Day 2

6:45am. Awake.

My mind is racing, there's no way I'm getting back to sleep. L thinks I'm mad, but I'm up and dressed. She rolls over, I roll up half the amnesia.

"Hi Cedric", he,s playing his PlayStation while I make a coffee and head out onto the balcony for breakfast. It's a grey, overcast morning but at least it's not raining. Rain could ruin everything. I smoke my joint of Amnesia and it sends me sky high, wow, real zingy and an almost trippy, cerebral high. I finish my coffee and decide to skin up the other half. L is still snoozing so I head back out onto the balcony with another coffee. I spent a while just looking out over the skyline and soaking it in. It's so so good to be back.

Suitably baked I decide to wake sleeping beauty. We shower, get our shit together and head into Centrum. Getting off the tram at the bottom of Rozengracht we strolled a little and then stopped in a cafe for coffee. L had a cake, I couldn't eat.

We headed down to the Pijp. Plan in effect. Albert Cuyp market, L was cold so I bought her a scarf. I knew where I needed to be, and what I wanted. Things were taking shape...


Once again, a new one on me. I knew what I wanted from here and that was Dr Grinspoon 1.3g €20 as we all know it looks scraggy but I wanted it for its pure sativa high. I had something to do. It looks really nice inside, I prefer this more rustic, arty type of shop than the modern look of say Easy Times. Older lady tender wasn't overly friendly. L said the toilets were fun but I didn't venture upstairs. Sat outside and smoked a fatty of the good doctor and then onwards.

A little help from google maps and we're at Museumplein. We take a few photos, looking back on them now there's a pretty wild look on my face.



We wander, seemingly randomly down a street.

"Are you having a good time?" I ask.

"I'm having a great time"

"Was it a good birthday present?"

"It was the best birthday present"

"Haha do you remember all the little Amsterdam related presents."

"Of course, that was funny"

"Well, there's one thing Amsterdam is famous for that I didn't want to give you until we were here"

L looks puzzled. I gently take hold of her shoulders and turn her round. Now in front of her is a white building, the sign reads "Diamant Museum".

By the time she's turned back round I'm already on one knee, ring in hand, "L, will you marry me?"

Tears. Hugs. Kisses. Great success.

"Let's get a drink. Let's celebrate". We walked from Museumplein up to Spui. Don't know how. I assume we used our feet and legs but it felt like we were transported by clouds. It was quite a surreal experience, the combination of high emotion, adrenalin and Grinspoon made it the fluffiest walk ever. We must've walked past so many bars but somehow ended up at Spui. Beer for me, g and t for the fiancé and phone the family. They of course we're in on the whole thing, I couldn't have done it without them. Tears, laughs, congratulations. Onwards.

We still had a bit of bud to smoke but fancied a beer too so headed to Hill St Booze. Got a small table downstairs and smoked a couple. At this point emotion got the better of L. She'd been thinking about my grandad, no longer with us. The thought of how happy he would've been just got to her and she was in floods, but happy at the same time. We contributed to the ever changing ambience by writing our initials and date in a heart on the table. Cheesy I know but we didn't care.

Running a little low on supplies now we head to an old favourite and the first coffeeshop of the trip I'd been to before.

Grey Area

Only a couple of people at the counter so nice and easy. I've heard tell of the queues but never experienced them myself. I grabbed a g of Greyberry at €10 and a g of Blue Dream at €16, buy and fly then off to try another place with the ACD seal of approval.


We loved this place. What's not to like? Grabbed a couple beers and headed downstairs. We grabbed the little alcove seats on the far right as you walk into the smoking room and chilled for quite a while. Greyberry was nice for the price, lovely and fruity. It was the Blue Dream that got us though. Something tickled us and we got the giggles. We couldn't even look at each other without bursting out laughing. It really felt like being a virgin smoker again, that feeling you've searched for. Fucking brilliant, loved it. We stayed here, laughing, drinking and smoking for a couple of hours and then decided to head out for something to eat.

Someone on here had recommended an Italian called Saturnino, now L loves Italian so it was on the hit list but I couldn't remember where it was. Anyway after Batavia we rolled down towards Spui and the Flower Market (if you've read the Assorted Memories travelogue then you'll understand when I say, this was the moment it clicked) when the heavens opened. Total downpour. We were at the top of Leidsestraat when we made the decision just to hit a cs for shelter. First one we saw was the Other Side, we were just about to go in when I glanced around and see none other than Saturnino. That'll do. Amsterdam serendipity strikes again.

Orbiting the Rings Of Saturnino

The staff were very accommodating in Saturnino. We on the other hand we high as fuck, wet and smelled strongly of weed. Nevertheless, a pleasant meal ensued, I think I had a pizza, I have no idea what L had. She's read this and she can't remember either!As the prospect of dessert loomed another fit of the giggles took hold and wasn't for going anywhere anytime soon. Bill please.

Back out in the street the rain has stopped. We decide to take a short walk over to Spui and hit another favourite from trips gone by.

Original Dampkring

Not too busy, espresso for me, hot choc for L. We grab a seat in the corner and I go have a look at the menu. I opt for a g of Kandy Kush at €13 and roll up a pure. Three American ladies take the table next to us. They don't look like tokers, more like business women. This could be fun. Two of the women suddenly leave to go find a cash point so they can buy some weed leaving the other one all on her own. She's looking a bit intimidated so I strike up a chat. She admits she's nervous and never smoked before, she's also worried about her friends getting lost and them getting separated. I do my best to reassure her and give her advice about smoking. She seems more settled but I can tell its preying on her mind. Eventually her friends return and all is well. With the balance of the universe restored we head on off for the tram home. The Kandy Kush was a very pleasant smoke for that time of night, nice and sweet too. Exhausted, it's been an eventful day. We are asleep within minutes.
Last edited by HitTheNorth on Tue 6th Nov 2018 01:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by Willjay » Fri 26th Oct 2018 05:50 pm

Congratulations :D :idea: :mrgreen: on your engagement

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by HitTheNorth » Mon 29th Oct 2018 08:48 pm

Day 3

Our last day. Pancakes on Rozengracht. Continuing with the theme of new to me coffeeshops we take a morning stroll to Boerejongens West. I wanted a sativa for daytime so grabbed a g of SSG13 at the bargain price of €11 nice tight frosted nugs. I also picked up a g of White Choco Block Extra at €8.50 having not been over in such a long time I was keen to try some new school hash. I'm more of a flower guy but always intend to pick up more hash than I do. Next time I always end up saying.

Got a tram back to town to find somewhere to smoke. Back to a place i know.


No purchase here, just drinks. Sat in the new (to me) smoking room, we are dirty tobacco users I'm afraid. Smoked some SSG13, nice uplifting high, no complaints with flush, cure etc good value for money. Pretty smokey in here, old guy falling asleep, drink up, smoke up, onwards.

Quick look at Waterlooplein market.

One last little plan, I know some aren't keen on this practice but we did the padlock bridge. L was made up but I wouldn't do it again knowing the stress to the structure etc, I wasn't aware beforehand and I certainly won't be doing it again, anywhere.

For some reason my notes say Dolphins. Now I know for a fact I only went in here for a gander at the decor. We must've been passing as I wouldn't have made a detour. Went in, woman behind counter was being bolshi to some couple, walked straight back out. Looking for somewhere to have a smoke we come across another new to me.


I never really spent much time round Leidseplein before. Popped in for a drink and a smoke, no purchase. However, as I was picking up my drinks I hear one staff member ask another, "Are that old couple still alive?", as I walk outside I notice a couple well into their sixties, in the window seat, clearly out of their gourds. We take our seats outside, there's a Dutch guy sat next to us smoking hash. Next thing, the old couple are outside and sat down, they are both very stoned and keep asking passers by if they are a doctor. The staff, esp the tall bald guy, are super helpful and kind. The couple are asking for an ambulance and the guy is telling them they won't come, you need time and sugar. Here is a sweet tea, here are some biscuits. The old man is sick a little onto the floor. They still ask for an ambulance. In the end they get the bar guy to phone their daughter to come get them. She lived in Leiden and wasn't best pleased as she'd told them not to get high without her. My favourite part was when the Rookies staff member phoned the daughter and said, "Hi it's Rookies coffeeshop in Amsterdam. Please can you come and get your parents, they are too high"

Myself and the Dutch guy found this very funny, I know they were gonna be ok and the staff had it covered but I'm sure it wasn't very nice for them. The Dutch guy gets up, says bye to me and leaves. As I glance round I see he's left his hash on the bench and call out to him. He comes back to get it and with a smile and a shake of the head says, "Perhaps I need an ambulance too!" Great moment and I was impressed with the staff and how they handled it. I didn't have much cash on me at the time but made a mental note to return.

Wandering on, cash machine sourced and on to Wynand Fockink for geneva, very interesting place, and in that arcade too. Nice little break there and a meander through the RLD. Saw a guy getting swooped on by the police on Warmoesstraat. Only even slightly sketchy thing I saw all trip. From here I had another new one on my list.


Read so many good things about this place. Friendly Irish budtender showed me a few wares and I plumped for 24KGold, Karmarado (sp) and a cheeky bit of Amnesia for zing. Gram of each. Back to Batavia for a last pint and smoke, skin one of the 24K for the walk. It is so tasty I don't want to give it up. Down to Leidseplein for a steak and then roll into Easy Times. No purchase here, just looking to smoke up the stash. I'm not keen on the vending machine style drinks and the vibe is a bit weird in the back. It's busy and there's some pretty wasted people slumped around. Not to worry, we smoke up most of the voyagers weed leaving some Amnesia for the morning, also a little block left to sprinkle on. The 24K and Karmarado were both excellent and got us super stoned. Eyes were drooping on the tram back to the apartment. It's an early start in the morning and I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say a fat spliff before flight, chucked the last bit of ammo and grinder in the plant pots and back to Blighty.

In summary, we had a blast. Apart from the obvious of getting engaged L loved the city and I was thrilled to be back after such a long absence. I'm glad I tried out a lot of new places but there was still plenty I didn't get to. The city is a lot cleaner now, less junkies and nutters, less Windows, less coffeeshops. It feels a lot safer, esp at night and round the RLD. Didn't get pssst at once. Ate out more than ever before, used to exist on falafel. It's the perfect city for romance too. What I took from it more than anything though, was the bug. That falling in love again feeling. To rediscover a place that has always held such a special place in your memories, in new ways, in old ways, and to make wonderful, new memories. Eleven years? I'm not leaving it so long next time. That was it. Little did I know at the time, I'd be back in less than a year, and in very different circumstances...

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by Potimus » Tue 30th Oct 2018 06:17 am

A beautiful write up of what sounds like a beautiful trip.
Congratulations on your engagement!
"Hi it's Rookies coffeeshop in Amsterdam. Please can you come and get your parents, they are too high"
This is just excellent! :lol:

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by petesmythe » Tue 30th Oct 2018 10:17 pm

Thanks for that great write up mate, really enjoyed it! :)

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by DjShaggy » Wed 31st Oct 2018 07:11 am

Well done congrats
ignoring spellcheck since 1986

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by HitTheNorth » Wed 31st Oct 2018 09:58 am

Thanks for the kind words guys. I’ve got some pics too if I can work out how to embed them from photobucket. 1 more TR to come as well

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by Talhahaha » Sat 3rd Nov 2018 10:24 pm

Congratulations! Not the usual got baked and forgot everything that usually happens to me. Lol.

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Re: The Clues And The Question

Post by HitTheNorth » Tue 6th Nov 2018 01:18 pm








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