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"The makeshift plastic walls had many holes and caused a standing water supply of 2-3 inches on the floor at all times. I brushed my teeth then used the toothbrush to rake the muck and cobwebs from my eyes.."
- Nick Mistretta

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Netherlands

Down and out in Amsterdam
by Nick Mistretta, Denver, Colorado, USA
Aug 3, 2000

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Lonely Planet Europe Travel Guidebook

When I stepped off the train at Central Station, I thought I had been mistakenly transported to Gotham City. Although, it didn't take me long to adjust to the dark hedonism of the place - where day runs into night and night runs back into day. I blinked, and a week had passed me by. I could count my few remaining brain cells on one hand. When I arrived in Amsterdam, I was expecting mad craziness beyond comprehension. What I found was just that.

Amsterdam is known as the world's most tolerant city. Name it, and it's probably legal. Mass consumption of the good-time condiments is the national pasttime, where a typical day for those willing to shed responsibility and inhibition most likely will be anything but typical. My weeklong festival of debauchery is a foggy recollection at best. With the aid of my poor penmanship in a beer stained journal, here is a recreation of an Amsterdam day much like all the others.

I awoke unusually early - around 1pm. My dorm room in the hostel, The Flying Pig, resembled a cramped military barracks only with no rules. After stepping on the poor soul sleeping in the bunk beneath me, I climbed back down to sea level and stumbled to the shower. It was a medieval assortment of discarded hardware store supplies - duct tape, chicken wire, a white picket fence, sheets of clear plastic and more duct tape. The makeshift plastic walls had many holes and caused a standing water supply of 2 to 3 inches on the floor at all times. I brushed my teeth then used the toothbrush to rake the muck and cobwebs from my eyes. The haze from the night before hovered above me like my own personal cartoon rain cloud, as I staggered into the alley.

Outside it was dark and drizzly. Perfect. Direct sunlight in my condition would have caused a spontaneous combustion-like reaction in my hangover-infested brain. I walked to The Last Watering Hole to hook up with Becky, Monica and Kelly - three girls I had met a couple days earlier. I got lost in the maze of cobblestone gloom, then came upon it by accident. They were huddled around a wooden table with an odd Chilean whom they introduced as Rod - we came to know him as The Dude.

Lonely Planet Europe Travel Guidebook

Who IS "The Dude"??

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